Integrating House And Garden: Doorways And Windows – The entrance to your garden is important. An interesting and inviting environment should greet you when you step out of the door. Not every door will open directly on to the garden, of course, but a row of well-tended pots could point the way to the garden, or perhaps a trellis-trained flowering climber on the wall.
Remember that a level garden seen from the ground appears foreshortened and shorter than it really is. Individual compartments will seem shorter too; so if you are planning a circular lawn, the circle will seem squashed unless you make it more of an oval, with the longest part facing the house.
The ideal entrance to a garden is through French doors to a patio. This really makes the garden into another ‘room’, and even when the weather is cool or rainy the garden ‘picture’ can be appreciated through the protective glass.
Single doors. If a large entrance is not possible, the garden door can still be given glass panels, which will make it seem less remote from the house. A scented shrub next to the door and pots or containers of summer-flowering plants will also be welcoming. Scented-leaved pelargoniums directly by the door will release their aroma as people brush against them. Lavender and rosemary will do the same.
Side entrance. Some gardens can be reached only through a side entrance. Even if a side entrance is narrow and tunnel-like you can make it seem more spacious by painting the walls white.
White reflects what light there is and always seems to enlarge a space. At the end of the alleyway you could install a wrought iron gate or arched entrance with climbers over it so that there is a hint of the promised garden before you get there. Always keep side entrances clear. There is nothing so off-putting as having to clamber over bags of compost or old pruning’s.
Windows. Windows overlooking the garden should not be wasted but should look out on to a pleasant garden view. If the living room window overlooks the garden, try to make sure the garden can be seen when people are sitting down.
If this is not possible, you should at least ensure that some climbing plant or flowering tree is visible through the window. This is especially important for disabled or elderly people, who spend more of their time sitting down than others might.
Transitional entrances. Porches, pergolas and conservatories all have very different functions but in one respect they are alike: they act as transitional areas between the house and the garden. Porches are usually erected as insulation from the weather. It they are very small they sometimes seem to act more as a barrier between house and garden than as a lobby joining one to the other. However, if they are glazed, they can be used to grow tender houseplants and become almost like miniature conservatories. A pergola by the garden door can complement the architecture of the house, while the planted elements can relate to the garden. A conservatory is also a meeting point between house and garden, relating both to the architecture and to the hardier plants outside.