Column: Design with a generous plant pallet
Commentary by Randy Sorrell
This beautiful front living space was created over a decade ago and has matured wonderfully. The vibe, or feel of the space, is very inviting and full of wonder as you journey to the front door. Packed with seasonal color and a generous width on the walk, the immediate sensation is that you have arrived at a special home.
Welcome to the lost art of thoughtful landscaping and to what we would all prefer our front entry to resemble! The flowering dogwoods were in full bloom this spring and a glimpse of the blazing creeping phlox is peeking on the edge. When these guys begin to tire, profusely flowering native fothergill take over followed immediately by joyful yellow creeping sedum and knockout roses that persists into early fall with a few colorful surprises along the way. We use sedum (a fantastic succulent), phlox, other groundcovers and boulders/cobble to gradually reduce exhausting mulch requirements.
Entry sidewalks have become a benign afterthought in home building and we are committed to changing that to something more representative of our upscale homes. The featured 48-inch-wide walk represents what appropriate scale is and how to imagine something more relevant for our lifestyle. A spacious courtyard, just outside the front door, is a favorite gathering area during parties and as daily guests arrive. Front walks are becoming an accepted contributor to the VIBE and sense of place we hope to create.
Front courtyards are gorgeous and remind us of vacation spots and historic living. The reality is that most homes cannot properly accommodate a front courtyard without serious planning and comprehensive innovation. Perhaps that’s what makes them so compelling and a frequent request.
Generating the right vibe requires smart design, a generous plant pallet … and an emotional connection.