What are the Best Tips for Landscaping a Driveway?

Keith Koons

The best tips for landscaping a driveway will vary greatly between individuals depending on their overall budget and style preferences, and perhaps the best place to start is on a blank sheet of paper. Once a consumer draws out a rough sketch of the shape of her driveway, it is relatively easy to visualize how the surrounding areas can be tied in with the residence, and anything from shrubbery to mulch, rock, or gravel can be used as a starting boundary. One of the most overlooked aspects of landscaping a driveway is the long-term maintenance required to keep the area looking great, so it is often better to select plants and other features that do not require frequent upkeep. A final consideration is lighting and the required power sources for any electrical equipment since this may require hiring a contractor.

Crushed gravel can be utilized in a decorative manner for a driveway landscaping project.
Crushed gravel can be utilized in a decorative manner for a driveway landscaping project.

Perhaps the most important aspect of landscaping a driveway is predetermining a boundary, and professionals often use a barrier that connects to the ground with stakes. A large sheet of plastic should first be placed on the ground to kill any grass or weeds, and then the boundary should be installed on top of it to hold the plastic in place. The boundaries are normally very flexible to allow for complex patterns to be formed, and once installed, the remaining plastic can be trimmed from around the outer edges. Once these steps are completed, the area can be covered with mulch or gravel for instant curb appeal.

After the foundation has been completed, there are a number of options available to homeowners. Anything from hedges to seasonal flowering plants can be lined across the center of the landscaped area, but it is important to determine the maximum size of the foliage to ensure that it is suitable for this area. Plants that grow quickly may also be a poor choice when landscaping a driveway simply due to the maintenance aspects of the project. To add more of a vertical appeal, individuals can consider installing various types of latticework fencing, area lighting, or other objects that will make the driveway unique.

Sometimes the smart choice when landscaping a driveway is to hand the project over to a professional, since impressive results can be achieved rather quickly and without any setbacks. It is important to note, however, that there are few landscaping projects that an amateur do-it-yourself handyman can not complete on his own. For example, if a waterfall within a circular driveway is desired, the most difficult aspect of the entire project is installing the electrical wiring; the rest is simply building the foundation and connecting the water pump. The same goes for installing running lights or other types of decorations.

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