Warm and Welcoming: First Impressions in the Garden

This stylish side entrance design offers inspiration for a “first impressions” garden – the areas of the landscape visitors see as they approach the home. These include street-side plantings, sidewalk connections, mailbox gardens, even entryway containers. By planting a warm and inviting garden, you set the tone for visitors to your home.


Say Hello with Color

Bright, evergreen foliage and brilliant blooms stand out in this planting. The golden foliage of ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum immediately establishes a warm, inviting character, echoed in the playful blossoms of Ever White™ Agapanthus. The addition of blue-tinged foliage in Clarity Blue™ Dianella balances out the bold hues. Apply this pairing of evergreen foliage and colorful blooms in your own garden, playing with color to create your own unique design.

Keep It Simple

A relatively narrow plant palette of just five varieties keeps this garden both visually impactful and easy to manage. By repeating and massing plant materials on either side of the doorway, we create a grounding effect without sacrificing the wow factor of those vibrant hues. If you are new to gardening, simplify this design even further by starting with just three plant varieties that complement one another through varying sizes, forms, and colors.  

Seasonal Touches

Once you have the base of the garden in place, add container plantings, bulbs, and flowering annuals or perennials to provide seasonal touches of color. We’ve repeated the colors and textures of the garden in container plantings by the doorway. Patches of Scent First® Raspberry Surprise Dianthus and Chef’s Choice® Culinary Rosemary add fragrant spring blooms and edibles to use in the kitchen. You can inject personality into a garden through small additions.

In this design, we apply these strategies to greet the homeowners at their own door – the less formal, but heavily used side entrance. The sunny garden says “welcome home” at the end of a long day. But these concepts can be adapted for any area of the landscape. Try planting this colorful garden along a sidewalk running up to your house. Adjust the color scheme to match your garden’s unique personality.

Download this First Impressions Garden Plan PDF


  • ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum   
  • Baby Gem™ Boxwood   
  • Chef’s Choice® Rosemary  
  • Ever White™ Agapanthus  
  • Raspberry Surprise ScentFirst® Dianthus   
  • Clarity Blue™ Dianella   
  • Ever Sapphire™ Agapanthus  
  • Amethyst Falls™ Wisteria   
  • Evergreen Stella™ Daylily   
  • White Garden Jewels™ Gerbera Daisy   
  • Irish Mint™ Euonymous  
  • 'Lemon-Lime' Nandina
  • 'Meerlo' Lavender