From the curb to the front yard foundation plantings, the aesthetic and physical transition to the entry garden can be a welcoming first impression your guests will experience. Creating a sense of eagerness, anticipation, and whimsy, along with beautiful plants and texture, will increase your garden’s curb appeal. Here are some landscaping ideas for developing the best entry garden.

Place a Delightful Gate or Arbor in the Entry Garden

A gate or archway can be a welcoming and inviting entry into the garden. The gate or arbor will create a focal point and add vertical interest, saying, ‘Come in; you’re welcome here!.” Choose a gate or archway that blends in with the design of your house and garden. Think about surrounding it with climbing plants or vines to soften the edges. For instance, a cedar garden gate with a rounded archway and double doors flanked by trellis walls for growing vining plants would look elegant near a traditional home style. Another inviting entryway to the landscape is an arbor tall and wide enough for seating, with roses topping the trellis and flanked by shrubbery as the walls. Find more Pinterest ideas for the entry garden here.

arbor on entry garden pathway in Washington Park, Portland

Notice the moss-covered arbor that leads into the garden. You feel a sense of reverence as you enter this garden. Observe the moss texture on the arbor roof with the various textures on the garden path floor.

Cedar or tree trunks of 5-6″ calibers cut with the bark still attached to form an arbor carry a rustic theme near a cabin or arts and crafts style home. If you’re clearing land and have fallen trees, recycle the trees and limbs, collaborate with nature, and recycle! What an excellent conversational piece to explain where the wood originated! 

Next, light up your arbor with twinkling lights for night lighting. Finally, the ambiance of soft, warm lighting will invite any guest and create a dreamy garden entry to the front door garden.

A more contemporary design for a front entry garden could incorporate an aluminum gate or metal custom-made garden arbor. The styles are endless, including etched with a pattern or soldered into garden motifs. 

Design an Engaging Entryway with Paths

Use a path or stepping stones in the lawn that lead from the entrance to the garden to create a sense of progression and anticipation. Use natural stone or gravel materials to develop a sense of texture and add interest to the path.

Raw materials like local fieldstone with creeping thyme tucked in and around each stone can give a cottage look and smell good when stepped upon. More formal and stable thicker cuts of stone can be anchored up and down a steep slope with a handrail, leading the observer to the garden destination too. 

To add whimsy, mix materials to give a funky, eclectic look. You can use items collected along your travels to create a fun, imaginative pathway with a mosaic feel fit for a fairy to travel on! 

If you have a cabin in the woods, try cutting and forming a path using the waste from tree trunks and their branches. When laying out your paths, try to make them wide enough that two people can easily walk side by side. This width makes it more comfortable for the main entryways into the garden. 

Design a Front Entry Garden with Plants

Use fine-gardening plants to create visual interest along the garden path or near the entrance to the garden. Choose gorgeous perennials and small shrubs with contrasting colors and textures to add depth and interest. Large, eye-catching plants or trees can also serve as focal points in a garden entry, creating a sense of drama and natural beauty. For instance, planting two identical plants across from each other can denote the entrance to the garden. Then flank a low hedge on both sides of the path to lead you to the front garden bed. 

Add Whimsy, Color & Mystery in the Garden Entryway

An abundance of color with swathes of one plant like daffodils or groundcover roses along a path will make the traveler stop to observe. Placing a bench on the opposite side to “stop and smell” will create a charming front entry garden. If you like a little whimsy, add colored glass balls to a modern landscape filled with low-growing grasses or ground cover. The pops of color will surprise yet stay within the stylish feel for the welcoming of guests. Create more smiles by using concrete rabbits tall enough to peep over the grasses as if they were popping their heads high enough to look out for Mr. McGregor. 

Art & Water Features Enhance a Garden Entryway

Another front-door landscaping idea is to use sculptures or water features. For example, suppose you have a space without enough space to plant something as a focal point. Use a metal sculpture with lighting to accentuate. A contemporary art piece or something more traditional that represents or has meaning to your garden would be an excellent visual. Also, the sound of water always draws the hearer into the garden and is a beautiful soothing focal point. 

water feature in a garden

Engaging Fragrance in the Entryway Garden

Remember to add a little fragrance into the mix! The waft of ‘Ruby Spice’ Clethra always takes my breath away in the summer or brushing up against lavender along the pathway. Stepping on thyme is a soft scent that lingers too. Add New Dawn climbing roses around the arbor. Train them as they grow to 18 feet and bloom all summer with slightly pink fragrant double flowers in lush clusters. Using fragrance can be a cozy transition from the car to the house and set people in a relaxed mood. 

Accentuate a Garden Entry with Containers

Container gardens can be a great way to accentuate a garden entry and add visual interest to the space. Here are a few ways to incorporate container gardens into your garden entry:

Use containers to frame the entryway: 

Placing matching containers on either side of the entrance can help draw the eye and create a focal point. Choose containers that complement the style of your garden and fill them with plants that coordinate with the surrounding landscape and lighting available.

Create a colorful display: 

A container garden bursting with bright, colorful blooms can add an eye-catching element to your garden entry. Choose a mix of plants with different heights, textures, and colors to create a dynamic display.

Play with texture: 

Add exciting textures to your garden entry with pots. Try combining plants with varying leaf shapes and textures, such as spiky grasses, soft ferns, and velvety lamb’s ear.

Incorporate seasonal interest: 

Change your container plants with the seasons to keep your garden entry fresh and inviting year-round. For example, in the fall, you could fill your containers with colorful mums and ornamental kale, while in the winter, evergreens, and winterberry holly would add festive flair.

containers full of pansies and tulips

Consider the container itself: 

The chosen container can also be an essential design part. Select containers that complement the style and colors of your home and garden. For example, a rustic terra cotta pot might work well in a cottage garden, while a sleek, modern container would be more at home in a contemporary landscape.

Overall, container gardens can be a versatile and effective way to accentuate your garden entry and add interest and beauty to your outdoor space.

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere with Lighting

Lighting can be a powerful tool for accentuating a garden entry and creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. Here are a few ways that lighting can enhance your garden entry:

Highlight architectural features: 

Use lighting to draw attention to the architectural details of your entryway, such as columns, arches, or a front door. Entryway lighting can create a focal point and add depth and dimension to the space.

Illuminate pathways: 

Use lighting to illuminate the path leading to your garden entry. This makes it easier to navigate in the dark and can create a dramatic effect and enhance the overall ambiance of the space.

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere: Soft, warm lighting can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making your garden entry feel more attractive to guests. Achieve ambiance through wall sconces, lanterns, or string lights.

Accentuate plants and landscaping: 

Landscape lighting can highlight the plants and landscaping around your garden entry, creating a beautiful and cohesive look. For example, use uplights to create a silhouette or a shadow on trees or shrubs while using spotlights to draw attention to a particular plant or garden feature.

Improve safety and security: 

Proper lighting can also improve safety and security around your garden entry. Illuminating dark corners and pathways can help prevent tripping hazards, while a well-lit entryway can deter burglars and intruders.

Overall, lighting can be versatile and practical to accentuate your garden entry and create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. By strategically placing fixtures and selecting the correct type of lighting, you can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space.

Consider the View from Outside the Garden

When designing the entrance to the garden, consider the view from outside the garden as well. Use elements such as a water feature or a sculpture to create a focal point that draws the eye towards the garden, and consider using elements such as a fence or hedge to create a sense of enclosure and privacy.

Water features: A fountain, waterfall, or other water features can add a peaceful and calming element to a garden entry while creating a beautiful focal point.

Sculptures or statues: A sculpture or statue can add a unique and artistic touch to a garden entry, with options ranging from abstract to realistic.

Overall, there are many options for creating a striking focal point in a garden entry, and the choice will depend on your style, the size and shape of the space, and the overall design aesthetic you aim to achieve.

blue bell flowers under a tree in the garden

What are the Benefits of Having an Entry Garden?

Creating an entry garden is an ideal way to boost your home’s aesthetic appeal while positively impacting the environment. An entry garden can be a great way to give your home an inviting, natural look while adding a touch of personalization. Furthermore, an entry garden can increase the value of your home, making it an attractive selling point should you decide to put it on the market.

From an environmental perspective, entry gardens offer numerous benefits, as they help conserve water, reduce air pollution, and provide shelter for birds and other wildlife. By using drought-tolerant plants, you can save money on your water bill while also protecting the environment. Entry gardens can also serve as a natural filtration system, trapping pollutants and dust in the soil before it enters nearby water sources.

The Hendersonville, NC, area is full of beautiful homes, and entry gardens can take them to the next level. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home’s curb appeal or help the environment, creating an entry garden is a great way to achieve both goals. Ask a landscape designer for assistance in creating your entry garden!