One of the best ways to maximize the beauty of the home and create a positive first impression with guests is to effectively layer shrubs, plants and flowers in the landscape. For DIY-focused homeowners, it’s important to understand the role each layer plays in creating an appealing, cohesive visual experience that naturally guides visitors to the front door.
Landscape designer, Doug Scott, said the concept behind plant layering is similar to that of painting a portrait.
“Just like in a painting, you need to have a background, a middle ground and a foreground,” Scott said. “Each layer serves its own unique purpose, and there’s no more important place for them to be on full display than at your home’s entrance.”
Scott has partnered with Exmark on a new Done-In-A-Weekend Projects video to help homeowners understand the reasoning behind plant layering, as well as the best types of plants to consider for each layer in the landscape.
Scott said the background layer is typically comprised of evergreen shrubs or bushes of some type. Standing taller than the other two layers, the background provides a cohesive backdrop for the other plant layers, as well as a bit of living color in every season.
Stepping down a notch in height, the middle ground is a good area to add interesting shapes, colors or stripes to the landscape design. Scott said herbaceous perennials such as lavender are a good choice for the middle ground. The texture and color in the middle layer provide contrast against the darker green of the background layer.
“The bonus with lavender is its incredible smell,” Scott said. “I try to incorporate it into designs where I think somebody will interact with it and release that amazing scent.”
The foreground, or front layer, is an opportunity to add a pop of color at ground level and draw attention to the entrance of the home. Because the foreground is typically comprised of annuals, the colors used can be changed from one season to the next.
Scott said it’s important to keep the plants used consistent with the overall style of the home and that the chosen plants don’t obstruct the view of the front door from the street or approach.
“To make your entrance the star it should be, the plant material and the rest of your yard should not be distracting, but rather, frame the intended views,” Scott added.
View the entire Making an Entrance video and download additional landscape tips, visit the Exmark Backyard Life website. There, you can also view other Exmark Original Series videos, including Dream Yards, Living Rural, Prime Cuts and Done In a Weekend – Extreme Projects.