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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Growing Together: The importance of creating a sense of entry to your garden

I wrote last week about taking advantage of the winter months to plan for changes that you would like to make in your garden.

When speaking of gardens, there are five senses of design that should be incorporated into your plans. One of the first elements to consider when preparing your own garden plan is to create a “Sense of Entry.”

Before you even arrive in the garden you need to create an entrance, something that invites you to enter and entices you and your guests to want to see more of it.

It is something that makes people feel instantly welcomed in your space. A proper entrance gives you the sense that you have arrived.

It might be something that adds a bit of mystery to the garden, that makes you want to see what lies beyond the entrance. The entrance should be welcoming, giving you glimpses of the garden without necessarily giving up all of the garden’s secrets.

A sense of entry should convey the style you want to portray. A well-planned garden entry will gently guide your guests in the direction you want them to go. It will subconsciously take them to a given destination, whether that would be your front door or a special feature of your back garden.

In any front yard, the main focal point is always the front door. A good garden design will help to accentuate the door, drawing your eye to that area. When speaking about the front entrance of our homes we often use the term “curb appeal.”

This can apply to the exterior of the home as well as the landscaping, outdoor fixtures, sidewalks and driveway. It's been said a house with a good sense of entry can increase the value of the home by at least five per cent.

The front entrance might be the only part of the garden that people will get to see during their visit, so it is important to make it something that they will enjoy and will make them want to come back again.

When we are talking about incorporating a sense of entry into your garden design, we are not only speaking about the front garden. It is equally important to create a sense of entry for the back garden. As one walks down the side of the house toward the backyard what is there that draws you in and entices you to continue down the path?

A sense of entry can be achieved in various ways. One way is by using structures such as an arbour, gate or portal. Another is with the use of plants.

If you want to create an entry in the garden, place two identical plants across from each other. Our instinct will be that we need to walk in between them.

A low hedge, such as boxwood, will also lead your eye to the desired destination.

Paths and walkways are a third way to create a sense of entry as they lead you to a destination of some sort. It is the front walkway that will first welcome your guests and it should work its way down the driveway a bit farther and flare out at the driveway to greet your guests.

The sense of entry is an important part of good garden design. As you evaluate your existing garden, be thinking about how you can be adding or improving upon this aspect in your garden.

Joanne Young is a Niagara-on-the-Lake garden expert and coach. See her website at joanneyoung.ca.

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