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Driveway Landscaping – Greet Your Guests with Plants

Driveway Landscaping – Greet Your Guests with Plants

Is it important to pay much attention to the driveway? Of course yes. It is the first part that visitors see when they enter a home and so many homeowners want to get this space just right. As a designer, what are some of the ways you could help your client create that wow factor in their driveway?

1. Creating a focal point in a circular driveway

The middle of a circular driveway can offer a great spot for planting trees and flowers. Since it stands out in itself, you could completely indulge in this little space and even add rocks and pots to add to the interest. This will be a pleasant welcome for the guests and you could even use this to demarcate vehicular path directions.

2. Go for heat-resistant shrubs

At particular times, especially in the summer, the driveway may get so hot such that it affects the temperature of the nearby plants. When the driveway is too hot, this heat is transferred to the plants around and this can be quite the hostile environment for plant life.

It is up to you as the landscape designer to accommodate for such extremes and most favorably, go for plants that are heat-resistant. A couple of such plants are Euonymus fortune (Euonymus), Juniperus horizontalis (Creeping juniper), Potentilla fruticosa (Cinquefoil), Lantana hybrids (Lantana), Hypericum calycinum (Creeping St. Johnswort) etc. 

3. Factor in long-term winter conditions too

During winter, you have snow covering the ground. You may have planted plants that can withstand the cold summer conditions but what happens when salt is constantly poured on the ground to help thaw the snow? The long term effect will be that the surrounding soil will turn very alkaline and the plants that previously flourished there would no longer be able to grow well.

For this reason, the ideal landscape plants are the hardy kind such that even when the soil alkalinity goes up, the plants will still flourish in that same spot. 

4. Alternate hardscape and plant life

This will particularly work if you are working with a small driveway. You could alternate the hardscape with plants such that the part of the driveway that comes in contact with the car tires will be hardscape whereas that other part will have hardy plants. It is important for the plants to the hardy and tough though, to protect them against damage when a car tire goes off-route or any other such thing. Such plants may be Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) or blue star creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis). 

5. Use porous pavers

Made of concrete of plastic blocks, these pavers are durable and what happens is that they allow you to play vegetation within the blocks. This is a great idea for a “living” driveway and it is also very environmental friendly. Another great advantage of this approach is that the porosity of the pavers allows for rainwater to drain underneath thus reducing the runoff, which in turn controls sogginess. 

Whichever direction you decide to go when it comes to landscaping the driveway, remember that the key thing here is using hardy plants that can withstand a misplaced car tire of even harsh environmental conditions.

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