Porches serve as the defining element in an outdoor living space. These great expanses of decking lining the front or rear of a home beg for comfortable furniture, rockers and plants so homeowners can enjoy the outdoors. Lawns also function as an expansive feature in the home landscape.
Porches function as a primary entryway to the home, often serving as a connection between an expanse of lawn. Landscaping these two very different items requires choosing to blend similar elements between the two for cohesion in the landscape.
Many homeowners pile plants into the front garden, hiding the truly beautiful lines created by a front porch. Free up this area by focusing plants in areas that won't block the view across the front yard. Allow for line-of-sight access from the driveway to this entryway. Line taller plants up with pillars or choosing plants that will mature to a height level with the deck area. Allowing the lawn to reach the home foundation for a section of the porch blends these two dramatic landscape elements together.
Shrubs serve a two-fold function in the home garden. These larger, bulkier plants require less maintenance than flowers and block unwanted view of under-deck areas, A/C and heating units and storage areas. The vibrant green of many shrubs blends perfectly with grass to form an eye-pleasing, relaxing vision of the property. Tailored shrubs such as dwarf Alberta spruces or box elders can be easily groomed one time a year to retain shape.
The contrast created between a flowering bed of perennials and the lawn creates appealing different in the landscape. No one wants an entire landscape of bright green. Adding pocket gardens to accent a porch instead of a linear garden removing all grass relaxes the form of the landscape. Choose irregular shapes to accent porches and to blend lawns and flowers. Flowering perennials can be staggered through the garden spaces to allow for continual bloom through the growing season.
Mulches, Borders and Walkways
The true connection between a porch and lawn lies in the access placed conveniently throughout the property. This comes in the form of walkways and paths through the grass and gardens that allow access to the porch area. Brick pavers, cement paths or gravel walks provide connections between landscape elements as well as a functional addition to the property. Consider using mulch to designate walkways and lining paths with bricks or pavers to match the exterior of the home. Use corresponding borders to neaten the appearance of gardens along porches to tie the landscape together.