Once upon a time, neighborhoods not only had sidewalks, but also front porches where neighbors would sit, chat and enjoy their time together. The neighborhood kids would play nearby, while the grown-ups sat and discussed the local news.
Then, gradually, porches became smaller and smaller, then, non-existent. The front lawns became longer and longer, pushing the houses further away from the sidewalks – if there were any sidewalks at all.
Now after many years of not knowing their neighbors, people are seeking to recreate a sense of community. They want to create places where people can gather, and get to know each other. They want a friendly front yard!
If you’re looking for ways to create some neighborly interaction, here are some ideas.
- Plant cheerful and inviting plants for pedestrians to enjoy. Plant things that no one has ever seen. Make your front garden a topic of conversation. Also, tending to your garden creates an excuse to step outside your daily indoor routine.
- All of the lights! A well-lit house, pathway and lawn are warm and welcoming, especially in colder months. It is also a safer place for neighbors to gather after the sunsets.
- No porch? No problem? Create a gathering space anywhere you want. Put a bench under a tree. Tuck a café table & chairs in a sunny corner. Even a set of steps can be a place to hang as long as you make them accessible and welcoming.
- Bring the inside out. Furnish your porch with comfy chairs, pillows, cushions, throw rugs and tables. The more comfortable people feel, the longer they’ll hang out.