Your driveway and your front yard, if you have one, might be something that is functional, practical, and a little utilitarian. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be an ugly space. You might not spend a lot of time out there, but having it designed just right can help it to look good, serve its purpose better, as well as help with curb appeal. If you are thinking of selling your home then this can be of extra importance. Even if you aren’t selling right now, having your home look good from the outside, right before anyone sets foot in the house, can help a lot, and it can make such a difference; the welcome home that you deserve.
So with all of that in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to make your driveway and front yard look good, but still serve its very practical purpose. Plus, right now is a good time to get adjusting things, before the cold weather and snow really kicks in (if you live in an area that experiences this). If you can’t get anything done before then, this kind of thing is a great project for spring. So get planning now! It would be great to hear what you think.
Making it pretty but still practical
When you think about your driveway and landscaping ideas, you also need to think about the conditions that it will be facing. As an example, if you live in an area that experiences a lot of frost and snow, and many places in the north can experience this for several months, then you need to think about if there is a space where you will be able to shovel snow to or blow the snow over to using a snowblower. Plus, no matter where you live, you have to consider drainage on the driveway. From rainwater to soapy water after cleaning your car, you need to think about drainage, otherwise it could cause an issue. Looking into some exterior trench drainage ideas can help you to redesign your driveway with this in mind. You could also think about using plants around the driveway, alongside mulch, as this can be used to absorb water, but also help to create a route for rainwater to be directed.
If you have the space, then creating a circular driveway can look good. It can add a touch of elegance and class, as well as serving a pretty practical purpose. If you have a number of cars, then it can be easy to use this circular space as a mini-roundabout to drive around, rather than having to back up the cars out of the driveway. As such, it can look good to make the most of the middle space, if there is room for it, and create something like a water feature or a trimmed hedge. This will look good but also help to stop any vehicles from getting too close to the middle. It can make a really great focal point for the home, as well as help with curb appeal in a big way.
It can be quite tempting to just have the whole driveway be a driveway. It can be easy to maintain that way, as you don’t have to think about plants or watering any flowers. However, if you have a large driveway space to fill, it can look a little dull and sterile in that way. That is why it is a good idea to use some areas around the driveway where you can plant. By creating some ‘pockets’ that are filled with shrubs, flowers, and plants, you can soften the look of the driveway and make it look much better and more friendly. You might choose a strip at the top of the driveway, or perhaps at one side or the other (or both). You could choose a pocket to plant in each corner, to give the driveway a more rounded-edge look. It is important to think about what you plant, though. Think of the natural size of the plant that will go there, and if it will hinder the space at all. If you want something quite low-maintenance, then that is another thing to think about.
Making a grand entrance
If you want to make a real grand entrance to your home, then it is a good idea to earmark your driveway by having some matching trees on either side of it. This not only defines the driveway, but if they are lit, it can look like a really grand and dramatic landscape. It is important to remember that you won’t want to have trees blocking your view when you’re backing up the driveway, so think about the trees that you plant, as well as making sure that they are regularly pruned and trimmed, to prevent overgrowth.
If you have, or want to have, a border around the driveway that is filled with flowers and plants, then it can look really good. It defines the driveway and makes it look good. However, if there isn’t much of a definition between where the flower border begins and where the driveway ends, then it can mean that when reversing or turning in the driveway, plants can get squashed or planters can get knocked over. That is why having a curb can come in handy, and can help the latter from happening. In bad weather, it also stops mud, mulch, or stones from rolling over onto the driveway. So a curb around the flowerbed border can help to keep things looking good, as well as keeping them separate and defined.
By placing some large plant pot containers in some strategic positions along the driveway can be a good idea. The key to this, though, is to put them where they aren’t going to interfere with any of the vehicles that will be using the driveway. Choose large plant pot containers that are going to be seen easily by people in their vehicles when using the driveway. Small pots can clutter up the space and make it all look quite fussy. They can also be hard to see, which can lead to some damage, of both the plant pots and car bumpers! Large pots can work well, and are a good alternative to having a flowerbed border around the driveway.
Smart Approach to Landscaping
Having a fully landscaped driveway can be great, but at the end of the day, you need to have a space to be able to park cars. If you have a driveway and garage to the left of your home, then it could be a good idea to keep any landscaping to one side, such as the right hand side. It is by the front of the house and the front door and windows, so it will be seen and appreciated more there. Then to the left of the driveway, you will have some extra space for cars to park, if you need to use up some more space, without having to block out the garage. So think carefully about how many cars will need to use your driveway, and then you can go from there with your planning and landscaping.
Rock and Roll
If you want to avoid any stray cars from rolling into your driveway, or parking near your driveway to block your exit or your view, then it can be a good idea to use some large rocks, or a rockery, in your driveway landscaping. Rocks are something that can be practical, as they are big and serve a purpose, but they can also be quite ornamental at the same time. This is going to be especially true when it is all paired with some attractive plants, such as heather or evergreens. It can be a good idea to use some mulch along with it, perhaps with smaller rocks on top of it, as it will help to bring the look of the whole flower and rock bed together.
If you have a sling driveway, then it could be a good idea to add in some steps to the side of the driveway. This can help when people are going to be out for a walk, and in winter, with snow and ice, if you live in an area where this is prevalent, then it will help to make getting in and out of your driveway simpler, especially for people like delivery drivers. If you need accessibility to your home, then you could keep a separate slope away from the cars, but add in rails to hold onto; a big plus for older people or those with a disability.
As you can see, there are a number of things that you can do when it comes to the look of your driveway and helping the home to have more curb appeal. Are there any ideas here that you like the sound of? It would be good to hear what you think.