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Dramatic Entrance

Summer may be half over, but it’s not too late to give people a feast for the eyes as they walk past your home. Garden centers still have container plants for sale, both flowering and nonflowering, and they can make an eye-catching addition to any front doorway. Dave Sherwood, owner of Sherwood’s Forest Nursery in Manchester, says it’s easy to create an attractive look that will last, even if your thumbs aren’t all that green.

Here are some picture-perfect plants to consider for your entryway:

ferns
“Boston, Kimberly and foxtail ferns are good choices for the front door,” Sherwood explains. “They won’t fade,and they don’t need much pruning or trimming.”

helianthus
SunBelievable Brown-Eyed Girl is a new variety of helianthus that produces daisy-like yellow flowers with brown centers. “These will carry you through the fall with lots of color,” Sherwood notes. “Other flowering plants like impatiens or petunias may fade in the heat, but helianthus tends to hold up well.”

sago palms
“These are the dramatic potted palms you often see in photos of mansions from a century ago,” Sherwood says. “You can bring them inside for interior decoration over the winter.”

vegetables
Sherwood says ornamental pepper plants, flowering kale and cabbage are striking choices for entryway pots. “They’re not really edible, but they will last through the summer and provide an unusual look,” he notes.

boxwoods
These tidy shrubs can be pruned in different shapes and look nice in the ground or in containers. “Varieties like Green Mountain are perfect for people who want something low-maintenance that can stay in the same pot all year,” Sherwood says.

evergreens
Sherwood recommends small evergreens like Alberta spruce for front-door containers. “They have a nice pyramid shape and are very festive,” he notes.

geraniums
These come in lots of colors, grow well in pots and hold up nicely in changing seasons.

crape myrtle
Small varieties of this many-colored favorite are available for container planting, and Sherwood says they can be transferred to the ground later if desired.


Whatever green things you pick to perk up the front door, remember to check on them. “Plants on a porch often are shielded from rainfall, so make sure they don’t get too dry, especially in the winter,” Sherwood says. “As soon as there is a 40+ degree day in December or January, give them some water. And if you have plants that can overwinter in outdoor containers, such as boxwoods, be sure to transfer them to pots at least 1.5 times larger than the ones they were grown in. A greater volume of soil in a bigger container will help insulate and protect the roots.”

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