6 Driveway Appears Take Landscapes Along for the Ride

Driveways are often the most overlooked part of garden layout, considered more utilitarian than something worthy of our attention; nevertheless we usually travel together them at least two times per day, and they’re frequently both the first and last thing people see. What impression does your driveway give?

Certainly designing homes that flank a driveway or service street can have its challenges, but there are always alternatives which will add the essential style and color to this important area. Slopes, watering issues or just the sheer length of a driveway may seem daunting obstacles when you’re developing a garden. Then there’s the question of how to link the plan and plant palette into the house itself.

These inspirational designs reveal the way to meet such challenges and produce an approach to your house which will be both inviting and memorable.

Rocco Fiore & Sons

1. The Sweeping Driveway

The question: How to create the process interesting and set the scene for what’s to come.

Option A: Produce a park-like feel with a tapestry of plants and lawn that fulfills the paving at times along the way.

Many people would approach the thought of planting a driveway by digging a boundary on each side and incorporating plants. This layout goes beyond that by integrating areas of manicured lawn to give the impact of forcing through a park.

Considering that the plantings are low, they appear to meld with the greater garden, whereas the soft color palette and plant selection indicate lovely, billowing, intimate gardens beforehand.

Every vignette is exceptional, making this drive an excellent garden tour. I doubt visitors will be rushing in either direction with so far to enjoy en route.

Katia Goffin Gardens

Option B: set a rhythm with regularly spaced trees on either side of the driveway, interplanted with a modest-height hedge.

This glorious mass planting of white Annabelle hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) stands from sight, enticing visitors to see where it leads. Although you can still see over these shrubs, there’s a feeling of mystery since the earth plane isn’t instantly visible on the other side.

Zelkova trees flank the driveway and set up a pleasing rhythm while incorporating height to what otherwise may become a monotonous design. Both the shrubs and trees add structure to the garden in the winter as well.

This elegant garden lends itself perfectly to classic architecture like colonial or Cape Cod styles. Yet its elegant monochromatic scheme would work well for an approach to any traditional-style house.

Madson Design

2. The Large Driveway

The challenge: The driveway dominates the property, taking up a substantial proportion of the front garden.

The alternative: instead of using strong paving or poured concrete, add a center strip of grass or drought-tolerant flooring covers. Flank this with big pavers separated in such a way as to make a checkerboard with plants growing in between.

This gives the impact of some other border within the front garden and expands the visual green area, making the driveway obtrusive.

Although bud could be used with this, I’d opt for a tough, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ground cover, for example elfin thyme (Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’, zones 7 to 9) or even miniature brass buttons (Leptinella gruveri,zones 7 to 9). Both of these resist heavy foot and automobile traffic, are evergreen and require neither mowing or fertilizing. Dymondia (Dymondia margaretae, zones 9 to 11) is a good choice for warmer climates.

Perello Building Corporation

3. The Long, Straight Driveway

The question: How to protect against this directly driveway from feeling like a runway once the home isn’t even in sight.

The alternative: Produce an allée of trees to prepare a rhythm and supply vertical interest to divert the eye from the street itself.

Regularly spaced ornamental pear trees (Pyrus sp)behave as mile markers this down long gravel driveway, each pair taking you one step nearer to the destination. Without these trees that the driveway would feel more like a street; their inclusion creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

This crunching gravel driveway approach suggests a formal or perhaps Mediterranean house and garden style, with ease being the key.

Portal Design Inc

4. The Sloped Driveway

The barrier: Creating planting pockets which are easy to control.

Option A: Combine a stepped pathway to one side of the driveway with a series of built in planters between the two.

This layout almost makes me wish I had a bootable drive. It not only solves the issue of planting, but by integrating a series of wide, shallow steps, the designer has made the journey on foot considerably more comfy.

The rectangular and square planters tie in with the theme used for the garage door and windows.

Should you construct raised beds, you can keep the soil surface level, preventing the issue of erosion following a heavy rainfall in addition to allowing for deeper soil to support trees and larger shrubs. For added attention these could always be brightened with seasonal color, yet this very simple approach is in keeping with the overall planting motif of the house.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Option B: Produce a shallow raised border following the slope and fill it with plenty of seasonal color.

The best challenge with this specific border is preventing the dirt either from slipping on the driveway or being washed. A very simple cobblestone edging provides an easy boundary to plant, while the dense planting creates a mat of roots to maintain the dirt in place.

Weeding sloping gardens isn’t an easy undertaking, but one way to decrease this is by simply covering the soil with more plants. Certainly this homeowner knows that and has created a delightful cutting lawn that provides months of color while also covering the dirt in such a way as to decrease the ability for weeds to take hold.

The Design Build Company

5. The Sunken Driveway

The barrier: The driveway runs parallel to an incline.

The alternative: Build a retaining wall to make a raised patio and a level driveway.

This beautiful design is likely to have drivers actually taking their time. Considering that the plants are elevated, they may be appreciated from within a vehicle a lot more readily than if they were at ground level.

Tiers of shrubs and perennials in a rich color palette set the scene for this Tuscan house; they include blue coral reefs (Agapanthus sp) and purple fan flowers (Scaevola). The retaining wall is capped with flagstone to supply a sitting ledge — obviously the designer knew that this part of the garden would be revisited following the car was parked.

D-CRAIN Design and Construction

6. The Contemporary Driveway

The question: Bring a feeling of contemporary design to the space while maintaining the planting varied yet drought tolerant.

The alternative: Produce a solid geometrical motif, with irregular planting areas dissecting the driveway.

I find the design of this driveway particularly attractive because of its strong grey motif. Wide strips of concrete are all interspersed with cherry blossom. These strips are counter tops, adding a softness into the layout and busting away from the expected straight route to make subtle curves.

By stepping the substances in this way, planting pockets of varying widths and lengths have been created. All these have been filled with an range of drought-tolerant shrubs, perennials and grasses with a crushed stone mulch being applied as a finishing touch. This mulch joins the plants to the driveway itself while still continuing the contemporary style and reducing weed growth.

Take a look at your own driveway with fresh eyes. Perhaps what you believed an insurmountable difficulty is becoming more manageable after seeing these inspirational designs.

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