garage is a necessary entity to any home. When it becomes
the entire façade of the house, it creates a difficult
design challenge. It was just such a task that Dave Reitz
of Dietrick Landscapes undertook with the Kiefner residence.
Situated on a semi-urban, shaded lot in downtown Jenkintown,
PA, The Kiefner home lacked a visible front door. A 30"
wide bluestone walk crept along the side of the garage to
the hidden front porch leaving a new visitor to question how
to enter the house. Near the front door, the grade slipped
away steeply to the small side yard leaving the entry lacking
presence. A neighbor’s Ivy bed crept over their property
line and was nearing the Kiefner’s front walk. Numerous
shrubs were overgrown and needed to be removed.
A new entry walkway was designed to greet visitors and leave
no question as to where to enter the home. Limestone moss
boulders are used first to level the area, provide a level
area around the corner for the hose, and for an informal step
down to a steppingstone walk to the rear yard. On axis with
the attractive window near the front door, a formal entry
court is laid out. Four boxwoods form the corners. A cast
iron urn filled with bright annuals draws you down the new
48" bluestone walk. Small 12" square bluestones,
usually never used in a dry laid walk, become an interesting
paving detail. Using iron stained bluestone pieces make connection
to the rust colored roofing material of the prominent window.
The 24" wide planting space along the walk is filled
with Liriope which always appears lush and can easily be mowed
to the ground in the spring. The encroaching Ivy bed is connected
into the new planting bed at the driveway end of the walk.
Several Oakleaf hydrangea now give the Ivy bed meaning. Plantings
are kept low to maximize views to the entry. Sum and Substance
hosta give a welcome burst of lime green color to the base
of the lamp post. Purple coralbells work well with the gray
siding. A tall Pieris gives height to the left house corner
and hides the hose bib.
In all, a gracious new and interesting entry was achieved.
What was once an eyesore has now become a entry that truly
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