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Landscaping for Driveways

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 6 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Driveway Landscaping Edging Landscaping

Landscaping around a driveway is important to keep kerb appeal high, particularly if you are about to sell a property. Assuming that you aren't the owner of a baronial hall then your driveway is going to be quite short, so integrating it with the garden shouldn't be too difficult.

Landscaping for driveways really comes into three categories and we'll tackle these in turn:

  • Landscaping as part of a new driveway project
  • Landscaping to integrate an existing driveway
  • Maintenance of the driveway area and edging

Landscaping as Part of a New Driveway

Depending on the lie of your plot and the size of the frontage of your property you may be able to get away with minimal landscaping for a driveway project. We're thinking here of re-doing the driveway or perhaps moving it or building a new one.

Take a look at the lie of the plot and assess where you might have to move soil to make a reasonably flat driveway. Note that it doesn't necessarily have to be level, but if you can reduce any gradient it does make using the driveway easier. Then look at where you might put the soil or other waste material.

Of course it can be taken away, but if you can reuse it somewhere, by building a bank or terrace as a feature in the front or back garden, it will be more economical and more ecologically sound.

After the Project

Once you are done, clear away any building material and other debris before standing back to assess the driveway in the context of the plot. Look at hard landscaping first; paths to the driveway from key access points such as pavements, front or back doors and garden gates.

You may also need to build dwarf walls to separate drive areas from soft landscaping, either to hold back banks or purely to create a visual separation. If your driveway edging is significantly proud of the ground level you might want to put a bed along the edge. If you run a lawn right up to it you might damage the lawn mower on the driveway edging.

Landscaping to Integrate an Existing Driveway

The approach here will depend on whether you want to hide the driveway or integrate into your garden. A line of large shrubs along a bed at the edge will hide it well. But make sure they aren't too sharp or fast-growing or you will be spending all your time cutting them back to avoid scrapes to cars.

Integrating is a different matter. Look at the overall shape of the garden around the driveway and the colour and texture of the driveway itself. If you've gone for a coloured driveway surface see if you can pick up on and contrast with those colours in your planting. If the driveway curves, see if you can echo that curve with beds or planting.

Maintenance of the Driveway Area and Edging

The long term impression of your property will be enhanced if you maintain it, which in most cases is usually about weed control. Don't let weeds get a hold and dig them out or use weedkiller to keep them at bay.

Many people are against using weedkiller these days, as the poison get into the food chain and can harm insects, birds and other animals, but there are ecologically sensitive versions available. Or take the hard way out and dig them out as soon as they appear, filling any cracks where they can take root.

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