Plants can be used to create showstopping front doors - here's how.

Gardeners are going the extra mile to make the entrance to their homes a welcoming landmark, according to a new report.

Nearly half of gardeners use plants or trees to dress their front door, according to the Garden Trends Report compiled by the UK's largest garden centre chain, Wyevale Garden Centres, based on survey data from more than 27,000 gardeners, combined with sales insights from the retailer's garden team.

Mark Sage, head of horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres (, explains: "Our front doors are an expression of who we are. It's our kingdom, our palace - and maybe we can inspire with some ideas."

Here are his top 5 to help you pimp your front door and make the entrance to your home as inviting as you can.

1. Think about colour schemes

There's a massive range of cheerful colours available throughout spring, from zingy primroses and rich pansies, to heathers, acid green miniature lemon scented conifers, and bulbs, which if you forgot to plant in autumn are widely available to plant in pots now.

Sage notes: "There's plenty of scope for conventional colour schemes, but have you thought about doing it in black and white, using deep foliage plants contrasted with white flowers?"

2. Check out smaller plants

If you haven't much space, you can now find smaller varieties of plants that won't grow too big around your front door area. Smaller types of shrubs, climbers and roses are widely available.

If you want a climber in a pot - one that won't grow too tall but will provide a pretty framework for a front door - Raymond Evison has some beauties, including 'Josephine' and 'Doctor Ruppel' - both clematis.

Climbing versions of the famous David Austin old English roses have seen a surge in sales too, thanks to their ability to flourish in a pot or container, according to the report.

3. Make it personal

Flowers create more than just a 'welcome mat' to your home, and what you create should match your personality says Sage.

"Consider the type of container you're choosing - that says an awful lot about you. The container needs to complement the brickwork and the design of the front door. If it's contemporary, it could be minimalist, such as spiralled or lollipop topiary."

You may want to go for an alternative to box if you live in an area where there has been box blight, he suggests. Other plants you can use which will give you the same feel include Ligustrum jonandrum, the very small-leaved privet, or bay, or lavender if you want flower on there too, to juxtapose the formal with the informal (but make sure the lavender is sourced from the UK).

4. Look at pairs

Some householders with little time for deadheading flowering plants are going grand and opting for pairs of evergreen standards in pots, where the foliage at the top is the focal point and is often shaped into a ball.

Twin bay trees remain a favourite for adding structural impact, while new container-friendly bamboo varieties such as the red-stemmed Fargesia 'Red Dragon' are to be introduced to Wyevale this year.

Garden centres have also noticed an increasing demand for evergreen box and topiary in all shapes and sizes, which create a focal point either side of a front door.

5. Be inspired by social media

Front doors are being turned into social media sensations - so check out how other householders are accessorising their front doors. The report notes that hanging baskets are once more becoming the nation's go-to for front door dressing.

Once perceived as a more old-fashioned feature, they are making a comeback with the younger generation, and now feature in nearly 40% of front gardens across the UK.