Front porches function as a gathering space for families as well as the inviting entry to your home. Using this space to the maximum effect adds an enjoyable option for a family that enjoys outdoor living. A wrap-around front porch adds considerable space for entertaining. Landscape design should frame and flatter your porch to enhance this dramatic exterior feature.
A wrap-around front porch creates a series of lines in your landscapes with the railing and porch edges. Design your gardens to create focus on the plantings to soften these lines. In addition, you want to draw visitors towards the porch steps and into your home. This basic landscape technique involves using lines of borders and walkways to draw the eye towards the home's best feature. Plants can perform this functional as well. Incorporate taller plants on the edges of the porch and gradually lower the plant height to the entryway.
Irregularly shaped gardens in front of the porch allow plenty of planting room and draw the beholder's eye upward to the porch. Carry the garden all the way around the porch. Repeat the use of plants for unity. Some great choices of shrubs include box elders, barberry and azalea. Azalea will create a stunning display when blooms appear in the spring.
Don't forget the finishing touches to your porch. Bring the garden to center stage with hanging planters and container plants on the porch. Use the same color scheme and types of plants as those in your garden for continuity. Place containers in groups of three pots of varying height to create a mini-garden right on the porch. Add a contained water fountain or barrel fishpond for a delightful landscape accent.
Accent the Positive
Porch styles vary with the design of the home. Whether your porch attaches to a farmhouse or colonial-style home, accenting the positive features of your porch is your primary landscaping goal. Begin with the steps leading to your porch. Choosing stunning landscape features to accentuate the staircase area focuses attention on the entryway to your home. This spot should include tailored shrubs, groomed evergreen bushes or low, flowering shrubs. Don't hide the decorative features of the porch railings, moldings or columns. Use your plantings to make these elegant architectural features the focus.
Choosing plants based on height is a major consideration when decorating a wrap-around porch. Although it might be tempting to install a groomed Alberta spruce in front of each pillar, resist the urge to hide this decorative accent. Place low plants, centered between pillars, for a symmetrical look. If you porch has lattice screens covering the underside of the porch, pull attention up to the porch itself by planting taller plants in the back, decreasing height as you move forward.
Wrap-around front porches provide additional living space to your home. Evaluate where the sun hits your porch during the day and create multiple seating arrangements tailored to the sun exposure. Choose furniture that matches your home style and emphasizes your plantings to bring the entire design together. Each individual piece of your landscape, including your furniture, should blend to create a seamless, relaxing atmosphere.
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