Front entry upgrade




When renovating the front of a home, a very important part of the project is the front, or main, entry. This can be especially true when the home is located on a corner lot with more than one choice to get to the front door.

I designed this project it so that from no matter which side you entered the property, it would lead you to the front door. The first thing I did was eliminate  the sharp angles and long straight lines and switched the concrete sidewalks to pavers, which softened the look. The long  paver pathway  (which comes from the driveway on the other side of the house) was installed in a running bond pattern,  will be passing through a garden, making the 80 foot long  ”journey” to the front door more pleasant than, say, a concrete walk cutting through the lawn.

The front walk coming from the street also needed more character and some softening up, which we accomplished by installing the paver walkway in a soft “S” line.


A curved entry softens the approach to the front entry

We added a small entry patio and installed a seat stone in it , which helps draw attention to the front door, and also helps separate the two walkways with the change in brick pattern.



Expanding a hidden entry with a wall, a walk, and a patio (pt. 1)

A while back we started on an interesting project on the south end of Northfield, designed by local landscape architect Spencer Jones. The clients had converted their existing garage into a workshop and had a new garage added on onto the front of the old one to take it’s place Because of the addition, the entry has been visually “pushed back” and is actually hidden from view when you pull in to the driveway. (see photo at right) 2 (1).JPG

To solve the problem, the “hidden” entry needed to be expanded to have the eye drawn to it . Spencer decided to include a bluestone walkway and patio, and a limestone seat wallDSCF0043.JPG integrated with large field stone.

In the photo at left, you can see crew foreman Jason Larson installing the bluestone, with the limestone seat wall and boulder combination in the background.

The landscaping involved renovating the entire yard, including the removal of four large trees and removing 8″ of clay and having it replaced with a blend of sand, soil and peat so it would support the plantings and lawn. The entire driveway was removed and redesigned.

The project includes an interesting mix of fieldstone boulders, colored concrete, and a unique blend of exposed aggregate with large pieces of limestone embedded in it.DSCF0038.JPG

The embedded limestone (See photo at left) is is going to be very interesting, and combined with the bluestone work and limestone seat wall, will be (in my opinion) strong features of this project.

I really enjoy projects like this. It (especially the wall and the patio) requires a great deal of skill and attention to detail to turn out right. These projects always present a challenge, and usually involve a lot of problem solving as the work progresses.


Next week: Look for something very unique we did in this project and and may never get an opportunity to do again!

Written and posted by Doug Grove, Grove Landscaping, Northfield, MN