Landscaping driveways does not necessarily mean the driveway itself, although the design of your driveway can impact the look and feel of your landscape. Rather, many people neglect to landscape their driveways to look attractive. This includes adding landscaping elements to the sides of the driveway, as well as at the bottom and the top of the driveway. There are many softscape and hardscape elements that can be added to make the area surrounding the driveway more attractive.
Make a Good Impression
Your driveway landscape is the entrance to your property. If you ignore it, the driveway can look more like an ugly scar than a part of your landscape. If properly incorporated, however, it is possible to create a nice looking element in your landscape, tying it in to the rest of your design and looking as though it truly belongs. It is very much worth your while to make an attempt at landscaping around your driveway.
You need not spend a great deal of money to landscape your driveway, but if you carefully choose features and elements that are attractive and creative, you can have a fairly low-cost driveway landscape that is inviting to visitors as well as to those who live inside the house.
Before landscaping the driveway, however, there are a few things to take into account. First of all, you need to make sure that what you are doing will not be so much wasted work. Take into account your neighborhood. If there are a great deal of children, a flower bed at the entrance, near the street, may not be a wise decision. It may be trampled careless children, or the flowers may be picked.
While these actions do not usually the products malice, they can result in a ragged and disheveled looking driveway entrance. In such a neighborhood one might consider accenting the entrance with an attractive fence, rock wall, or even a small rock garden. Also determine the footpaths traveled by those who live in the house. Make sure that any elements you add to the sides or ends of the driveway are not interfering in established walkways.
Some of the common hardscape options are walls and fences. These are projects that can add distinction and accent to your driveway area. A rock retaining wall can be especially interesting if you use different colored rocks. It is also possible to plant grasses and small, hardy flowers in the cracks between the stones used to construct the wall. This can be decorative and it can add a more interesting aspect to your rock wall.
Short, attractive fences, and even some of higher height, can also accent the driveway and give it a little more color and character. Small hanging baskets or lanterns can be used with either a fence or a wall to add more beauty.
There are plenty of softscape options for dressing up the area around the driveway. The first thing you need to decide (and this goes for hardscape accents as well) is whether you plan to use the landscape elements to run the length of the driveway or to simply accent the entrance to the driveway.
If you are working with a very small budget, simply accenting either side of the driveway, near the bottom, is a good idea. It will cost much less, but add a great deal to the look of your over all landscape. Some of the softscape ideas that work well either to follow the driveway up or simply to add character to the entrance, include beds of colorful annuals, groundcover along the drive to create a natural and interesting border with the lawn, ornamental trees, and shrubs. The shrubs can even be cut to be topiary and have interesting designs.
A curved driveway is interesting of itself, and can be made even more so if a focal point is added to nestle in the curve. This focal point should be something of beauty. It can be as simple as a stately oak, or a specially designed flowerbed or rock garden. Or, instead of being something simple, the focal point can be something else entirely. Landscape bridges, wishing wells, garden arbors, and water gardens all make excellent focal points that can be exceptionally attractive.