Making your driveway an integral part of your landscape

Your driveway is an important part of your landscaping because it gives a first impression of your home – they call this ‘kerb appeal’, making the approach to your home attractive and appealing. However, is also likely that your driveway will be driven on every day. That means in addition to looking good, it needs to be durable and functional.

A well-designed driveway will take into account the surrounding landscape as well as your home’s architectural style and car parking needs.

The four main issues that a designer considers when creating and building a driveway are access, safety, drainage and aesthetics.

Materials are the most important component in the design and with so many options, from block paving and asphalt to concrete and gravel, to choose from, it may feel overwhelming.

It’s important to look at the width and layout of your driveway to see which will work best but ultimately, your budget and design goals will determine what you choose.

A good designer will advise on the pros and cons of each material and may also suggest additional ideas, such as multiple colours to create a pattern, pattern stamping or decorative borders, lighting or gates. While many homeowners understandably want to maximise the space they have to park their cars safely on their property, try not to create a car park.

Planting softens the hardscaping, creates a more inviting space and assists with drainage, but choose carefully the shrubs and plants that will be used in the borders alongside driveways – check for overhang, maximum growth and spread.

Here Martin provides 5 different style ideas for creating attractive driveway landscapes.

  • ELEGANCE. Create kerb appeal with an elegant paved driveway that is bordered by a classic planting combination of evergreens and colourful scented blooms.
  • CLEAN AND GREEN. Create an inviting and lush planting scheme by layering all-green foliage plants.  These will also require less maintenance as compared to perennials.
  • LARGE AND PROUD. For large driveways, you want hard materials that complement the landscape (so it doesn’t look like a car-park) and the planting scheme should be designed to look like a garden – not practical.  Consider using attractively planted and colourful ‘cottage garden style’ flower beds.  For long driveways, break-up lawn areas with a mix of leafy evergreens, bright foliage and colourful accents. Depending on the design of the space, an informal meadow garden can also be very attractive and cost effective for large expanses.
  • MINIMALIST. Keep things simple with a single variety of plant — this could bean evergreen shrub, an ornamental grass or topiary – strategically planted a long the length of the driveway.  This works well with contemporary styled homes.
  • SHORT AND SWEET. Even small driveways provide the opportunity to make a design statement with plantings. If you are short of space for borders, swap out some of the paved areas with walk able ground covers and complement with colourful potted plants and glorious hanging baskets.

For further information and advice on creating a striking driveway, please contact us today for a free consultation.