the 1960's, when central air was the new big thing,
home styles began to change. The front porch, where
families used to gather to catch a cool breeze and talk
with the neighbors, began to disappear. And with it
went the reason to "hang out" in your front yard.
Today, three Kansas City homeowners have put out a perennial
welcome mat in the form of a front garden that not only
becomes a place to socialize, but also to rest and refresh.
And it doesn't hurt, either, that front gardens definitely
increase curb appeal.
In Prairie Village, Scot and Carrie Lane love their
mid-century modern home "with a shoji screen look",
as Carrie sees it. To bring out the Zen in their landscape,
they called on Brian Whitfill of Kissinger & Associates
"to create the area to look like it belonged there,
without it looking like it was forced upon the front
of the house." Whitfill says.
The flag-shaped garden, complete with a Japanese pagoda
and a carp pond, becomes a kind of processional entry
up to the carved wood antique Chinese doors, Whitfill
uses lots of natural materials - pine needle mulch,
river rock in random patterns, pebble aggregate in concrete
- along with low-maintenance plants such as inkberry
bush, blue Atlas cedar, Japanese maple, dwarf holly,
cypress and bamboo in a giant pot as well as the existing
crabapple and red bud trees. "We thought it was going
to appear more Oriental themed, but it turned out more
of a woodland garden that we love." says Scott