When it comes to property landscaping, driveways are often only considered as an afterthought. However, this is unfortunate as not only does a driveway take up a significant amount of space, it is often the first feature that’s encountered upon approaching the property. Properly landscaping your driveway will not only create a positive first impression, it can increase the overall value of your home. As those in the real estate business say, curb appeal is key to selling a home. If you want to learn more about how to landscape driveways, we suggest this article for some pointers.
Because the driveway is meant to be used by motorized vehicles, safety should be your primary consideration. Whether installing hardscape or softscape features, it’s important to consider the driver’s view when entering and exiting the driveway. An obstructed view can place pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles in danger, so ensuring a clear view should be your primary concern. An obstructed view may also encourage theft or vandalism which only reinforces the need to consider how landscaping elements interact with sightlines.
One of the most common driveway hardscaping features is the parking pad. Although functional and easily maintained, gravel, concrete and asphalt pads are probably on the low end of the aesthetic scale. For something more aesthetically appealing, there’s a wide range of paving stones which can be used to create a surprisingly attractive parking pad. You’ll have a large choice of colour, design and materials to work with.
Another popular option when it comes to driveways is the use of walls or fencing. These can be placed parallel along the sides of the driveway or perpendicular across the front. Perpendicular walls can also be complemented with an entry gate or archway. How these dividers are situated should depend on where you want the eye drawn and how they will match or contrast with other elements of the property. Choosing a focal point is a good place to begin when making these decisions.
Again, safety needs to be kept in mind when it comes to the types of plants you’ll grow around your driveway. You’ll need to consider the full lifespan of any plants used since large growing perennials can eventually cause problems with sightlines. You’ll also need to take into account how pollution and traffic can affect the plants. For this reason, annuals are a good choice for roadside softscaping as they’ll be replaced every year.