DESIGNING ENTRANCES TO A GARDEN

The front of your property is in some respects the most important area of your garden. It is the first thing a visitor will see, whether they are entering the property from the front street, or going into the garden from a house door. The front  gives people their first impressions of the property. The way you develop the garden entrances will influence the overall feel of the garden. Garden entrances should not only impress visitors, but also give the designer a sense of satisfaction.

The components used in a garden are particularly important in relation to the entry points.  The types of paths and barriers used will invite or discourage people from entering.  The garden features should be glimpsed from the entries, to encourage use or further garden exploration following the direction of the path.  As with any other part of the garden, the success of the entry depends on good planning.

DESIGN CONCERNS

Decide the purposes you want the front garden areas and other parts of the garden to serve. Consider the following:

  • Should the garden be fully visible from the entry point? Consider aesthetics, creation of a sense of mystery, and security. Some of these and other issues may conflict; but if you think about them at the design stage, you can balance their relative importance in your design
  • How much privacy do you want?
  • Do you want entice or discourage people from entering your property? Such concerns affect the level of accessibility and visibility you provide.
  • Consider vehicles you may need to park inside the property? Do you need to provide access for deliveries? This can affect the length and design of the driveway and surfacing material, an often neglected entry point.
  • Consider security? Do you need lighting? Do you need to lock animals in or out? Do you need to fence off a pool?
  • Are there areas of the garden you want hidden, or highly visible? Consider attractive and unattractive features, from compost bins and washing lines to water features and statuary.
  • Enclosing a garden too much will restrict air flow; and that can in some climates create greater humidity; more susceptibility to plant diseases, less exposure to frost but greater retention of heat (making gardens hotter in hot weather); and other concerns.

These are just a few of the considerations you should make when designing the entrances to the areas of your garden.  They should be part of the planning and design process, especially when dealing with the planning processes of Garden and Concept Planning.

It is most important to keep the entrances to all areas of the garden in mind when choosing the components to use within the garden.  Materials and size of barriers, buildings, furniture and all other components need to retain the "feeling" that you have tried to create from that entry point.