Monday, October 04, 2010

First Impressions

First impressions really do count not just in our personal connections but with the appearance of the front facade of our home.  We read a great deal about focal points, and they are important, but we talk very little in regard to how our home looks to one who is passing by walking or in a car.

This is a great entrance to a 1921 home that has been renovated inside and out.  The urn as a focal point stops the eye for a moment but then you are brought on up to the front door.

Urn as a focal point on the walk

Hayrack on the gate at the side of the home

A big turn off for me is a guessing game when it comes to the location of the front door, sometimes there are homes with two front doors, which one do I go to?  Manytimes, there are so many plantings that the front door is obscured.  I know there are people who prefer a private effect (like Frank Lloyd Wright who had his front door on the side of the house rather than the front).

This is a large home with lots of landscaping, but there is still a pathway leading up to the front door which is visible from the street.

This stone pathway leads up to the front door on an angle.

Even though the lot is heavily planted, there is a full view of the front door from all angles.

This is a view of the lower level plantings on this lot, your eye is constantly taken up until you reach the front door.

Again, this home has many plantings, but the front door is left free for the eye to lead you there.

If you can imagine, this picture does not do the landscape justice, since the perennial gardens go all the way around the house, too bad about that crocked stop sign, but the owners have planted on property owned by the village.

This is a home I constantly watch through the seasons, all those mounds you see are mums.  See, I am not too bad about buying mums compared to this!  Notice the clear pathway to the front door.

This is a very large home with expanses of Limelight Hydrangea on each side of the front walk.  I have one Limelight, so I was blown away by the expanse of these hydrangeas used as a hedge on each side of the walk.

This was a stunning look with plantings flanking the walk and then diverse plantings on each side of the front door.

I have determined that I do not have the lot width to do plantings this far down on my walk (at least this is what my husband thinks) but it does give me ideas on how to handle the plantings on the sides of the walk.

I really am going to remove those thorns from the front of my house (roses) and redo with some interesting evergreens, perennials and annuals.


Cottage Garden said...

You've shown us some lovely houses here Eileen. Kerb appeal is important I think and its so nice when people go to so much effort.

Is this type of architecture prevalent in your neck of the woods - it looks to be of a particular handsome style?

Sorry that you've been having trouble reading my script - I have changed the background colour and the font. Perhaps if you zoom in the size to say 125% - that may help ... let me know.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jeanne, the homes in my village are of all types and sizes. They range in age from mid 1800's to brand new. I will try to pick some very old ones next time. The white print is definitely easier to read on the gray background. The size of the print is fine. We have certainly gotten cold here 40 degrees F this a.m.


RainGardener said...

What gorgeous landscaped homes Eileen. My jaw is still hanging! You're right thought about first impressions. That's exactly why I'm re arranging my front bank (again) after trees falling on it and it collapsing. It is the first thing people see as they come around the corner and our house comes into view. Our front door, though, is hidden and faces the side street. O'well.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi RG,

I have many friends who have side doors, my daughter's garage door faces the main street. Sometimes, you can bring a path up from the front leading to the side door. But, if it was good enough for Frank Lloyd Wright, he must have liked the mystery.


Edith Hope said...

Dear Eileen, What a wonderful selectionof houses and front gardens you have shown us here. I agree that first impressions are really important and for me, I prefer a purposeful way to the hall door, flanked by symmetrical planting for a bold effect.

You certainly have gathered a mass of ideas and I look forward to seeing what you do in your own front garden.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Very nice! The houses really blend well with the landscape and become a part of their garden.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

I don't have the approach that some of these homes enjoy, but I think I can modify a plan to make the front of my home look better.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Dave, I wish I had more property to work with, but I have got some good ideas for my trip around the town.


Karen said...

Hi Eileen, what lovely homes in your area...and I agree, first impressions do mean a LOT! I'm not crazy about our first impression here; but we have been working on making the view from either direction a bit more inviting and less cluttered. Thank you for an excellent post!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, not all of the homes look like the ones on my post. I think my next one will be how not to landscape up to your front door!


LC said...

Hi Eileen... I see you've moved to fall colors in your blog! This post was certainly fun to read and look through... so many beautiful homes with lovely landscapes! L

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Larry, these are the good. I should do a blog on the bad and the ugly!


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

These are gorgeous front gardens in your post. I personally think that a front garden needs to be neat and tidy, while still managing to be colorful throughout the seasons. It seems that you have gathered lots of great inspiration. I look forward to seeing what you create!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer, I do not have the expanse of these gardens, but they do give me inspiration. I need more year-round color.


Grace Peterson said...

I love going around looking at houses too. It's always fun to think what I would do if I owned the place. Great post, Edith.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Grace, I wish I could write like Edith (Hope I mean) but I am just Eileen. I am again letting my sister-in-law know of your great post.


allanbecker-gardenguru said...

Eileen, you have just taken your readers on a wonderful garden tour. While the home entrances were beautiful, it is the journey itself that I will remember.Thanks for taking us along. Great post!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What beautiful homes and entry's. My very old house has two front doors on the porch and it is a pain. I always try to keep one of the doors blocked off. A lot of the very old homes here had two doors in front. I remember Grandmas home did and one door went into her 'good' living room where guest were taken into. We kids came through the other door into the old family room. LOL! She use to keep all the inner door to the good living room shut to keep us kids out and keep it clean for guest. Naturally we were always sneaking into it trying to see why we were not allowed or just because we were not allowed in it to play.LOL!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank Allan, it is always fun to see what people have done to the walkways leading to their homes.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona, my daughter was looking at a home built in the 50's and it really did have two front doors, one leading into the living room and the other leading into the family room. I am not sure why there was that second family room door. To make it even more confusing, there was no pathway leading to the living room door, just grass.


Zoey said...

What a great tour of some lovely homes. I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I was really impressed with those mums. I hope you show us a picture when they are in full bloom. They must be stunning.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey, I will definitely try to get back there and do an aftershot.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thanks for your time and effort to show us these beautiful homes and landscapes!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Tatyana, it is always fun to look at other people's landscaping.