Shut the Front Door

A welcoming front door signals a welcoming house– or rather signals that the house is a home. Summertime is the perfect time to make your house feel like home– to relax and enjoy time spent with friends and family in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. My way of welcoming friends and family is through creating a beautiful entrance.  front door 1The inspiration for this latest wreath came by way of a beautiful flower planter created by my avid gardening friend, Cathy, who luckily happens to be my neighbor. She paired red, white and black flowers in a large planter. Isn’t it beautiful?

cathy's planter

I love the red double begonias paired with  black petunias and the subtle white flower as an accent.

Black petunias: I never knew how gorgeous they could be. I tend to view flowers through a traditional color lens–reds, yellows, whites, pinks, purples. I never  thought of buying black flowers, but they are absolutely stunning, striking and different.

And so I decided to make a wreath– an ekphrasis or ode to her beautiful potted flowers. And this is the result.

front door sun

I love this color combination of red and white with a dash of green on the leaves– and I LOVE the black and white striped bow. In fact, I am debating about buying more ribbon and making the bow even bigger and more dramatic. (I bought the ribbon as well as the silk flowers at Michael’s Craft Store.)

As a way to connect the wreath with the front garden, I have planted a smattering of red and white flowering annuals throughout. Using begonias, allysium, and petunias,

white begonia

white petuniared petunia with white

I am trying to make a garden emphasizing these three specific colors. This is the first year I have tried to keep to a color scheme. Usually, I select annuals haphazardly–selecting some pinks, whites, reds, purples, whatever flower catches my eye. I love planting new flowers and hate getting stuck in a gardening rut. (My dad was a great gardener but he only planted marigolds. He hated experimenting or trying new plants: he found success with marigolds and never wavered. He also found success with early girl tomato plants–that was the ONLY tomato  (or vegetable) plant he would buy. And because of this, I will never, ever buy marigolds. And I buy a variety of vegetable plants but never the early girl tomato plant–currently I have Roma tomato plants as well as peppers and kale in my vegetable garden.)

But I digress, this year I am trying to have a complimentary color scheme and reign in my maverick flower purchases at garden stores. I also have red dahlias almost ready to bloom (they survived the mild winter).dalhia

Red zinnias and white cosmos that I started from seed should start flowering in July. And for an immediate impact I planted flowers in two potted urns on the front stoop using the red, white and black color accent to create a connection to the wreath.

The urns I created myself– and after some trial and error with trying to figure out the best combination of flowers– I settled on ‘the thiller, filler, and spiller’ technique for the entrance way.

Although the flowers are just recently planted, the urns are already growing nicely. I selected a ‘cordyline red star spike’ for the ‘thriller’ effect; for the ‘filler’ I planted several red begonias; and for the ‘spiller’ I planted creeping jenny and a vinca vine. I also planted white caladium tubers that will hopefully bloom and with a white hearted leaf and add additional interest to these planters in the later days of summer.


Here is the final product:

planters with front door

I love the welcome mat too –I found this at Walmart for under 10 dollars.

front door with hosta


I am eager to see how my garden blooms and continues to accent this beautiful wreath. I would love to see pictures of your gardens as well as the creations you have made with potted plants and wreaths.

For further reading, I wrote a blog previously entitled A Door of a Different Color.

If you are enjoying the blog,click the link and like and follow on Facebook @wicklowwildflower.

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