Garage Door Landscaping Ideas
To Garage or Not to Garage?
Your garage or carport area is a significant chunk of your home’s exterior, so why are you pretending it’s not there? Whether it’s part of the main structure or a separate building on your property, your garage deserves to be more than an afterthought. A landscape plan that includes specific design elements for the garage will bring visual continuity to your lot and enhance its appearance.
If your garage faces the street, don’t ignore it. Instead, “reduce its impact,” says landscape designer Tara Dillard.
The look of the door is important (see “Hide and seek” section below), but don’t just focus on the type or color of the door, she says. Consider your garage door as part of an overall plan that also keeps the driveway, plants, lighting, and siding in mind.
For example, Dillard says that exterior lights should be installed close to the top of the garage door for a sleeker look; brick walls may need less plant cover than wood siding; and driveway edges should never be barren.
When a garage door “takes up too much visual real estate,” Dillard says, “softening with plants is the best option.”
“Azaleas billow and give roundness, while a star jasmine or grape vine on the house provides softness. The vine is especially important if there is little planting space between a concrete walk and the driveway.”
The new soft touch of visible foliage also extends to the interior of your home, making for an improved view, Dillard says: “Tendrils from the vines will soon peek in the kitchen window.”
Want to minimize your garage altogether? Make your garage doors disappear by painting them – and any trim or gutters – the same color as your home. Glass garage doors work well within contemporary architecture to create the feeling of oversized windows (just be sure to keep interior clutter out of the picture). Overhead fiberglass doors provide the convenience of space (with energy-saving insulation and a handy remote control). Reclaimed double barn doors, which open in the middle, serve as a proper entrance, aesthetically.
Hide and Seek
Base your door choice on whether you prefer your garage to hide or become a focal point of your home’s street-facing exterior. Maybe a brightly painted door is just the facelift your house needs. When choosing paint colors, consider bold hues that complement (but don’t necessarily match) your plantings, siding, shutters, front door or trim. Want the expensive beveled look but don’t have the cash? Paint accents in white or gray to give the appearance of paneling. Go symmetrical with giant pots of pencil hollies on either side of the door.
Carports Are cool
No garage? Don’t fret. Carports and driveways can be transformed into what Dillard calls “a parking court” within your garden or yard. Determining the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do is key, since the density of planting directly correlates to hours of TLC. For easy upgrades, consider lining the drive with low boxwood hedges or rows of pots filled with annuals such as pansies or petunias, which can be easily switched according to season. For a more time-intensive project, re-imagine your carport as an outdoor pavilion, dressed with draperies in outdoor fabrics and covered in creeping wisteria.
Whatever your style, remembering to consider the garage in your overall design plans will make for a more unified look and give your home additional curb appeal.