Landscape ideas along driveway

5 Landscaping Ideas for along the Driveway

If you’re looking into landscaping your property this spring, one great place to start may very well be your driveway. While most head straight for the backyard for their serious landscaping, a well-landscaped front yard is an unexpected outdoor design element that will draw admiration from everyone who passes by your home. Read on for five great ways to dress up your driveway this spring.

Pavers

It is remarkable how much paving stones can dress up a simple concrete driveway when lined up at driveway level along that driveway’s edges. Many opt for pavers that resemble bricks for a warm, yet traditional look, while others opt for a more neutral paver that coordinates well with the colors of their home.

A Short Raised Edge

For a look reminiscent of large estates of centuries past, try creating a short raised wall along the edges of your driveway. This is best done with tiles of a strong material like quartz or concrete, or even with bricks. A raised edge along the sides of your driveway is also practical because it can keep grass and mulch off of your driveway. For an especially sophisticated look, match the raised edge to the driveway.

A Flower Garden

Flower gardens need not be reserved for the backyard, hidden from the view of passers-by. A striking departure from the most common home landscaping is to bring what would normally be reserved for the backyard to the front of the home where it can be seen front and center. Consider creating a flower bed along the driveway and front walkway of your home so that you can be greeted by beautiful flowers when entering your home all year round.

Trees

Depending on how long your driveway is, lining your driveway with trees could be a great option. Tree-lined driveways look fantastic in any season, but especially so in the fall when leaves are shedding their green color and in the spring when trees are blossoming.

A Combination of These

It’s important to note that a few of these elements can be combined together along your driveway for an extra intricate landscaping detail. For example, a driveway could be lined in pavers that then lead to a raised edge, which also serves as the edge of a well-tended flower bed. So get creative, plan it out, and dream up a design for an unforgettable driveway.

Driveway Landscaping Tips: What Are The Best Plants For Driveways

Landscaping is an art, and not one that can be applied the same way to all parts of the yard. Driveway landscaping, in particular, has certain rules that should be followed if you want your plans to succeed. Keep reading to learn more about growing plants along driveways.

Tips for Landscaping around Driveways

Driveway landscaping is different from other landscaping for a few key reasons, and as long as you bear those in mind, you should be fine.

The first key thing to consider is visibility. Tall plants are all well and good in other parts of the yard, but bordering a driveway, especially where it meets the road, they can create a real headache. When planning, make sure to pay attention to plants’ mature

height – what may seem inconspicuous as a seedling could grow into a monster later.

But while you want to choose plants that grow low to the ground, groundcovers might not be the best choice. Plants that spread are not going to spread only in the direction that you want them to, and if you add creeping plants, you’re signing yourself up for years of chopping them back from the asphalt. Choose plants that stay where you put them, or that spread very slowly.

The final major consideration is water runoff. Every rainfall is going to mean lots of water looking for a place to absorb into the ground, and especially if you have a paved driveway, the first place it’s going to find is where your driveway plants live. Opt for plants that can handle the extra irrigation, and that have strong enough root systems they won’t be washed away.

What are the Best Driveway Plants?

Now that you know to look for low, non-spreading plants that can take running water, what are some good examples?

The best plants for driveways depend somewhat upon which zone and type of climate you live in, but here are some good choices:

  • Low growing annuals, such as dahlias, zinnia, geraniums, and marigolds
  • Flowering herbs such as sage, rosemary, and lavender
  • Short shrubs like Korean boxwood and lavender cotton
  • Most ornamental grasses

Driveway Landscaping Photo Ideas

A good driveway landscaping photo can inspire you with curb appeal ideas for your own yard. A drive around your local area also helps by showing you the use of native materials and plants.

Driveway ideas like this flagstone path style, are a great way to add character to your front yard. This would make me feel like I was arriving at a cottage when I came home. What a great way to mentally shift gears from work to play.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

Landscaping driveways is one of the most challenging things to do in your yard. Front yard curb appeal is important because of the visual exposure to the public, but it also has to be practical for vehicles and foot traffic. In northern climates, it will have to resist the stresses of heavy snow, ice, and salt.

Other times it has to endure extreme desert heat or drought.

Visual appeal doesn’t always have to be sacrificed for being practical. Driveway edging using decorative rocks and hearty shrubs has become an attractive and popular way to deal with winterkill of grass.

There are many other creative ways to landscape your front yard using a variety of different materials.

For Pinterest users, we have added pin-it buttons for each picture to make it easier for you to share with other users. You can also follow us on Pinterest as we have over 7000 categorized landscaping pictures on over 70 different boards.

Click on any driveway landscaping photo to open a gallery slideshow.

Thanks so much, the Dream-yard Team.

Attractive driveway landscaping for a small front yard. This low maintenance yard on a small city lot is just as nice at night with a few simple lights
placed to accent the rocks and trees.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

Driveway landscaping between two neighbors with a small slope can be challenging. Instead of building a small retaining wall and separating the properties, try simple rock garden ideas like this.

Driveway landscaping on a corner lot with a decorative rock to match the brickwork. Bricks stood on end (soldiering), also provide a way of
retaining the rock from spilling onto the sidewalk.
Picture permission of a homeowner with a dream yard.

The stone walls and interlocking brick driveway used here are a great way to blend a design into the existing natural landscape. There is no mowing or watering involved when using natural trees and shrubs.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

This driveway landscaping design has native desert plants complimenting a natural flagstone driveway. The interval lighting along the perimeter
provides elegance and safety at night.
Picture compliments of www.horticultureunlimited.com

Driveway landscaping for a corner lot done with xeriscaping. This home is in a northern climate where winterkill is common from heavy snow, ice,
and salt. Notice how the two different decorative rocks are
separated with landscape bricks.
Picture permission of a homeowner with a dream yard.

Feature boulders create a small garden bed in a small sloped piece of property between two houses. A small Inukshuk stands proud
in the front of the evergreens.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a dream yard.

A mixed ornamental grass and perennial garden wrap this front lawn for some great color and front yard curb appeal. The driveway edging and garden edging are done using the same brick.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

Driveway landscaping with flagstone providing a walkway that doubles as a border to a low maintenance front yard. It also provides a great transition of colour to the stonework in the house, and the rest of the yard.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a dream yard.

With the driveway lower than the front door, this retaining wall and flagstone front walkway were a nice addition. It is also complimented with a small garden bed between the walkway and the wall for added colour and interest.
Picture compliments of www.goshenstonework.com

Landscaping driveways with natural stone is one of the most appealing ways to increase curb appeal. This beautiful flagstone driveway
and front walkway also compliment the stonework
of the walls and pillars of this garage.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

Winterkill in northern climates from snow, ice and salt down the edge of a driveway can be a losing battle. Installing edging and rock or mulch beds has become a very popular and effective way to deal with this issue.
Picture compliments of Dream-yard.

These two neighbours built a creative low maintenance space between the driveways. They did it by not using a defined property line. They each used their unique and individual ideas and blended it into one fluid design.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a dream yard.

These stone steps and retaining walls tame a very steep slope. Working with natural stone is a skill and an art. This is a little more
than the do-it-yourselfer project.
Picture compliments of www.goshenstonework.com

Small front yard landscaping made simple. This attractive exposed aggregate driveway with a simple rock garden will require almost no maintenance. A small dry creek bed has been added for drainage from the side of the house.
Picture compliments of a homeowner with a Dream-yard.

More Driveway Landscaping Photos… 1|2|3

Go to Landscaping Ideas Photo Gallery from Driveway Landscaping Photo
Go to “The Yard” Landscaping How-to Modules

Project Guide: Front Yard Landscaping

Photo: .com

Your front yard, regardless of its size, plays an important role in your home’s overall curb appeal. Your landscaping, however, goes well beyond just a beautiful lawn. It should take into account the style and size of your house, how it’s sited on the property, the amount of sunlight the yard receives, and how best to enhance it with plantings, bushes, shrubs, and trees. It should also include hardscaping features, from walkways and driveways to raised beds, planters, and decorative containers.

What are the best practices for front yard landscaping? To learn more, we reached out to Dorian Winslow, Certified Landscape Designer and owner and president of Womanswork, an online retailer of gardening apparel and supplies. Here are her 12 tips for successful front yard landscaping.

Photo: housefm.org

1. Find your focus.

Every view in your landscape should have a focal point. “For your front yard the focal point is the front door, so be sure you don’t hide it,” advises Winslow. If you are considering major plantings such as trees, think about how they will frame the front door as you approach your house.

2. Use ground covers.

Ground covers are a low-maintenance alternative—and complement—to grass. “Because they’re low to the ground and dense, they give a neat appearance with very little maintenance,” says Winslow. “They also allow you to introduce spring bulbs to your landscape, because the ground cover hides the dead leaves after the bulbs bloom.” Be sure you research what ground covers work (culturally) with the trees in your yard.

3. Set the right path.

When considering the pathway from the driveway to your front door, “remember that our natural instinct is to take the most direct route to where we’re going,” notes Winslow. A curved path to the front door is nice, but a meandering path may not be. “If you want to take your visitors on a circuitous route, be sure you plant densely along each side of your path,” she adds, “otherwise your guests will cut their own path across your grass to get to the front door.”

4. Rethink foundation plants.

“Avoid treating foundation plants as if they were little soldiers pressed up along the perimeter of your house,” advises Winslow. “For a two-story house, foundation plantings should extend at least eight feet out from the house.” And remember, a curved garden bed can soften the lines of your house in a pleasing way. Be sure the shrubs that are placed closest to your house are not taller than the windows, or they will block the light coming into your house and the view from inside looking out. When you’re planting shrubs, think about how they will look in three to five years. “You don’t want to select varieties that will block your windows,” she adds.

5. Add some privacy.

If you are looking to add some privacy in your yard, consider a buffer of shrubs, suggests Winslow. “A buffer that includes multiple plants at varying heights can accomplish the same thing as a solid hedge or a fence but is far more welcoming,” says Winslow. Alternatively, if you are just trying to block the view from a particular room—or a part of your yard from your neighbors—plant a couple of trees or shrubs with strategic precision.

Photo: lowes.com

6. Deter the deer.

If deer are an issue, select shrubs that are deciduous (lose their leaves in the winter) but retain their form even when their leaves are gone. This will help preserve the structure of your garden in all seasons.

7. Consider the light.

“Your house is a large object that will block the sun for part of every day,” notes Winslow. If your house faces north, the front yard is never going to get great light. If it faces east or west, it may get searing sun for part of the day and then no sun for the remainder. Make your plant choices with that in mind, advises Winslow.

8. Think long term.

If you’re planting trees in front of your house, plan 12 to 15 years out. They are considered a permanent fixture in the landscape, so you want to be sure they are not too close to the house. “If you are thinking of selling your house, a tree can be an asset—unless it is one that prospective owners think they will have to remove; then it’s a liability,” cautions Winslow.

Photo: dirtworkscapecod.com

9. Dress up the drive.

If you have a standard asphalt driveway that you want to enhance, install a border of Belgian blocks (more expensive) or cement pavers (less expensive) along the edges of your driveway. A border gives the driveway a more finished and “expensive” look.

10. Create an entrance.

“If your driveway is a straight line from the street to the house,” says Winslow, “soften the line with a curved planting bed where the driveway meets the front corner of your yard.” This will create a pleasing sweeping effect as you approach the house.

11. Add a flowering tree.

It provides wonderful curb appeal and is welcoming for those few weeks in spring when it’s in bloom. Flowering varieties provide fragrance and usually don’t block the house, because they tend to be smaller trees.

12. Keep it simple.

Don’t crowd your front yard with lots of objects or plants. Have a clear structure to the design and a focal point.

8 Drought-Tolerant Plants to Line Your Driveway

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Mixing plants with hardscapes is a great way to soften the overall look of your landscaping and bring a variety of colors and textures into play.

When choosing which plants to use along your driveway, there are several things to consider.

First off, you will need to decide if you want to extend your automatic irrigation system to include this area, if it is not covered by your current system.

If you choose drought-tolerant plants that only need regular watering until they are established, you may be able to get away with watering them by hand and not needing to expand your current irrigation system.

However, it should be noted that an automatic irrigation system allows you to save time by not watering by hand and to save water by delivering just the right amount in a more efficient manner.

You also need to determine if a low-growing ground cover or a fast-growing privacy screen will better suit your needs.

This will likely be partly determined by the length and width of your driveway and the size of the planting strip along the side of your driveway, since larger or taller options may overpower a smaller driveway.

For example, a narrow driveway will only become narrower if you plant something large and bushy, like Mexican sage, next to it.

You will also want to make sure you do not limit visibility at the entrance of your driveway to make sure you and your guests can safely enter and leave your property with a clear line of sight.

The best options for use along your driveway are plants, shrubs or trees that are drought tolerant, resilient and able to withstand the heat reflected off of hardscapes, such as concrete or paving stones.

To help your drought-tolerant plants thrive and save even more water, be sure to use a thick layer of mulch to limit weed growth, help the soil retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil over time.

While it might be tempting to use gravel around the plants near your driveway, I would recommend sticking to organic materials.

Your driveway will already be reflecting a good amount of heat that these plants or shrubs will need to tolerate, so it is best to not add even more heat reflected off of gravel.

Here are eight drought-tolerant options to consider for your driveway border.

1. Mexican Sage

Salvia luecantha, also known as Mexican sage and Mexican bush sage, is a low-water landscaping option popular among Southern California homeowners.

This hardy shrub develops beautiful spikes of purple flowers and is happy to grow just about anywhere.

When it is not in bloom, it still brings color and texture to your landscaping with the grayish-green leaves you will see throughout the year.

Mexican sage works well along driveways because it is easy to care for and is resilient enough to survive if you accidentally drive over part of it.

If a section becomes very damaged, you can safely prune it without hurting the shrub.

It is also quite bushy and grows wide and up to about four feet in height, which makes it a great option for covering a lot of ground with just a few plants.

As an added bonus, this easy-care, attractive, drought-tolerant shrub also attracts hummingbirds.

2. Russian Sage

It is hard to go wrong with Perovskia atriplicifolia (aka Russian sage).

This drought-tolerant perennial will thrive just fine if left almost completely alone and needs very little water once it is established.

Although its common name is Russian sage, it is not a member of the salvia family (it is actually in the mint family).

Historically used for medicinal purposes, you can also add this one to your backyard herbal remedy garden — as long as you do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides, which really are not necessary anyways.

This option is not as bushy as Mexican sage and, therefore, is not quite as resilient if you drive over it, but it still holds up quite well.

If you do choose to grow this attractive, colorful addition to your landscaping along your driveway, you may want to also grow some away from exhaust fumes and rubber tires so that you will have some to use for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Russian sage also grows to about four feet tall, but will usually not get quite as wide as Mexican sage.

3. Lantana

There are so many species in this genus, that we will just call this one by the genus: lantana.

Part of the verbena family, these hardy, fast-growing plants are perennials in Southern California and can grace the border of your driveway with beautiful clusters of white, yellow, pink, orange, blue or multi-colored flowers.

They do require regular watering while they become established, but once they are going strong, you can water them weekly — and they will likely forgive you if you occasionally forget to water them at all.

Some varieties are thought of more as invasive weeds in some parts of the world, which gives us a clue to just how well — and how quickly — these little beauties can cover some ground.

If you do not want to prune them regularly, these work best for wide driveways where they can spill over the edge and add a softer texture to a large area of hardscape.

Some shrubby varieties can grow quite tall (up to about six feet) so ask your local garden center which varieties are best for your needs.

For example, certain varieties work better as low-growing ground covers, and some work better as privacy hedges.

They can also be grown in containers, which means these might be a good choice for a low-water option on either side of the entrance to your driveway as well.

4. Texas Ranger

Leucophyllum frutescens, also known as Texas ranger or Texas sage, is an excellent choice for drought-tolerant landscaping and needs very little care to thrive.

Silvery-green foliage and purple flowers bring beautiful colors and texture to your landscaping, and this hardy, resilient shrub looks fantastic alongside a paving stone driveway.

Once established, they only need to be watered during the warmer months of summer or when there is very little rainfall during times of drought.

This attractive option is native to Texas and Northern Mexico, which speaks to its ability to tolerate drought conditions quite well.

Growing to over eight feet in height in the right conditions, this evergreen shrub can be shaped to create a privacy hedge and is usually best when used to border long, wide driveways.

5. Lavender

Lavandula is a genus of plants with more than three dozen species from which to choose.

English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common variety, but your local garden center will likely have at least a few varieties available.

This will allow you to work with your landscape designer to determine which will work best for your particular situation.

Lavender can be used for culinary purposes or in traditional medicine but, like other herbs grown for consumption, I would recommend growing some in your garden away from the driveway, if you plan to use it for these purposes.

You can, however, use the lavender you grow along your driveway for making potpourri or sachets for use around the house.

These perennial shrubs can grow to about three or four feet tall, depending on the variety, so they can be used to provide a bit more privacy without blocking your view as you leave your driveway.

6. Seaside Daisy

Erigeron glaucus, which is also known as seaside daisy or beach aster, is native to coastal California and thrives with very little care.

This low-growing, flowering plant fits best along the driveways of oceanfront homes or homes near the beach, which is where this member of the daisy family is known to grow wild.

This short perennial only reaches a height of about one foot, so this one is best used in areas along your driveway where you want to add a colorful ground cover without much height.

Since most beachfront homes have short driveways, this low-growing option is a great choice that will look natural and will not encroach upon your driveway or overpower the design of your paving stones.

7. Leyland Cypress

Cupressus leylandii is a fast-growing, evergreen tree that can reach great heights rather quickly, making this an excellent choice for folks looking for privacy.

These coniferous evergreens can grow as much as four feet in a single year and can tower at more than 100 feet after a couple of decades of growth.

Unless you plan on cutting it back to keep it at a manageable height, this drought-tolerant option is best for folks with larger properties, long driveways and no nearby neighbors who might not appreciate these giants towering over their house and blocking the sun.

Leyland cypress trees love sun and can withstand salty air near the ocean, so this is a particularly good choice for homes near the coast, but it will do just as well a bit inland.

If you live in a particularly hot, inland area, this might not be the best choice, since Leyland cypress do best in more moderate climates.

You do see these used along short driveways in residential neighborhoods, just remember that if you want to use them in this setting, you will likely need to be a bit more diligent about pruning them each year.

8. Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis, more commonly called rosemary, makes a great hedge and is a versatile choice that will go with most landscaping styles.

Left in its natural state, rosemary goes perfectly with gardens with a natural flair, while a well-groomed rosemary hedge is a great addition for modern landscapes or traditional, well-manicured gardens.

Rosemary can be used for culinary or medicinal purposes, to this is another one you may want to add to your backyard garden as well.

This hardy, resilient, evergreen perennial brings color, texture and fragrance to your driveway border and will delight your guests with flowers in hues of pink, blue, white or purple.

You can easily keep rosemary short with regular pruning, but you can allow it to grow to its full height, which is usually about five feet, if you would like it to also add a bit of privacy.

Your Turn…

Which drought-tolerant plants or shrubs did you choose to use in the border along your driveway?

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