Landscape design for driveway entrance

Landscape design for driveway entrance DEFAULT

Top 60 Best Driveway Landscaping Ideas – Home Exterior Designs

The ideal driveway leads you and your guests up to your front door smoothly and in style; it is the first introduction to your home and, arguably, the last impression left.

Your driveway should hint at the splendor to come without clashing with the surrounding landscape or suggesting what does not align with your home’s tastes and values.

This may seem like a tall order for a well-trafficked parcel, but rest assured this is your moment to seize the first brushstroke of your home’s palette.

Just as your residence likely follows a design theme and aspiring aesthetic, so too should your drive. Lush greenery and well-maintained flower beds suggest a peaceful country retreat, a comfortable haven in which to admire the natural beauty so much of the outside world is deprived of.

Conversely, geometric hedges and sharp stonework suggest a more minimalist approach, the prologue to a thoroughly modern abode. And of course, there are plenty of in-between options to reflect your home in the best possible fashion: finely laid borders, elegant statuary pieces, and lighting implements all denote a sanctum that is as welcoming as it is well-kempt.

You needn’t be in possession of an estate-length drive to transform it into a palatial prelude to your home just beyond. Just as your guests deserve a fine first impression, so too are you worthy of a daily greeting worth looking forward to all year round.

These top 60 best driveway landscaping ideas honor their surroundings while highlighting what matters most: your very own domicile.


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Good driveway ideas create a memorable first impression, so it's well worth investing time and money in getting them right. Crisp, weed-free paving, neatly planted borders and beautiful lighting can all work wonders, but there are other things to try too. From intricate block laid surfaces and drive-over planting combos to luxe gates, your driveway can easily be transformed to fit your individual style and complement the exterior of your home.

Of course, as with all landscaping ideas, driveway designs needs to be practical too. After all, nobody wants to deal with tricky car manoeuvres or wet, overhanging branches every day. There are safety considerations too, particularly if you live in an unlit rural area or are lucky enough to have a long, winding drive. We've rounded up the hottest ideas and the best industry tips out there, so you can put them into action and get the approach to your home looking its best.

Driveway ideas: 20 looks for your yard

You'll find plenty of inspiration in our selection of driveway ideas below, plus there are more stunning looks in our front garden ideas feature too. 

1. Add an elegant pond

(Image credit: Reimar Gaertner/UIG/Getty Images)

Say goodbye to boring driveways by adding in a pond. No matter its size, it will create a gorgeous focal point, adding a natural vibe amongst all the hard landscaping. 

Bring in plenty of pond plants to enhance the look and introduce more greenery to the space. And how about a fountain too, for an extra dose of pizzazz? We love the curved design of this one above, which balances out the smart columns whilst tying in with the red-brick theme.

You can find more garden pond ideas in our guide.

2. Create an enchanting cottage-style entrance

(Image credit: Photos by R A Kearton/Moment/Getty Images)

Have you been busy introducing cottage garden ideas to your plot? That relaxed, whimsical look is always a winner – and your driveway can be designed to match.

Rather than hard paving, opt for textural pea gravel for a more informal feel. Then, line with billowing borders filled with a riot of colorful blooms, small trees, and textural foliage. An edge of large, weathered rocks will continue the organic vibe whilst subtly (yet effectively) keeping things in their place. 

Bonus points if you train one of the best climbing plants up your home's exterior for that quintessential sense of charm.

3. Mix up the paving

(Image credit: Fotosearch/Getty Images)

There are all kinds of paving ideas that will add bags of style to a space. But, if you're looking for something that really draws the eye, then a design like this may well be the solution.

The irregular pattern is full of fun, whilst the hardy grass bordering each slab adds verdant color and enhances the naturalistic tone. Stained wooden garage doors complement the look well, and wall lights will always give a warm welcome when you return home after dark.

4. Surround with stone walls

(Image credit: Hoachlander Davis Photography/Joseph Richardson Landscape Architecture)

With clever levelling and hardscaping, even the steepest of slopes can be transformed into a stable, chic, and simple-to-use driveway. This gorgeous modern home is a case in point.

It showcases rustic front garden wall ideas that safely border the drop to the left whilst retaining the mass of earth to the right. Plus, the material used beautifully complements the exterior of the home. 

Plenty of ferns along the higher wall help the build to effortlessly blend into the woodland surroundings. We like the strip of planting by the front door too, which adds a refreshing contrast against the stone backdrop.

5. Get the paving color right

(Image credit: Bradstone)

The secret to choosing paving that will perfectly complement your home is to pick a color or shade for your driveway that's already present in its exterior. Warm Cotswold stone, rich toned brickwork or, in this case, picking out the cool gray used for the window frames, can all inspire beautiful driveway schemes that will create a cohesive look and a stylish impression. 

Different materials and the way they are laid will create a huge variety of effects, each lending their own charm and personality to your landscaping ideas for the front of your house. Stick to a single tone and simple arrangement – such as this dark gray block paving – for a crisp, contemporary look, or combine slightly different shade blocks or stone chippings for a gently mottled and more informal feel. 

6. Lay permeable paving

(Image credit: Bradstone)

As well as providing easy parking and access, driveways also need to allow rainwater to drain quickly and efficiently. Not just to keep homeowners and guests happy and dry, but also to avoid large amounts of rainwater running off on to surrounding roads and contributing to localized flooding. 

In fact, since 2008 in the UK, it is essential that any front driveway or paved area larger than 5 sqm must be permeable or porous or you will require planning permission. As a result, most manufacturers offer a wide range of permeable paving products. Block products are usually shaped or laid to allow water to drain, while aggregates such as resin or gravel naturally let rain soak through.

7. Add chic rain garden features

(Image credit: Arcaid Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

If you want to go a step further when it comes to dealing with rainwater, then perhaps this set-up will inspire. As we become more aware of climate change, rain gardens are becoming increasingly popular features for our backyards. And there's good reason for it – they help to deal with flash floods, plus they filter out toxins from rainwater before it enters storm drains.

But the clever features involved aren't solely reserved for the back of the house. As this garden designed by Wendy Allen shows, you can work them into your driveway ideas, too. Firstly, this scene features a living roof – a great way to soak up rainwater. A series of chains and planters are then used to funnel water run-off down towards a permeable rain bed below, which is filled with eye-catching plants. Tracks keep the vehicle sturdily elevated above the foliage. The result is a showstopper of a space.

8. Replan your borders 

(Image credit: Moodboard Stock Photography/Alamy Stock Photo)

Elevate a new or revamped driveway with our guide to garden borders. Just one or two well-planned, large planting areas are enough to soften hard paving and by introducing a tactile mix of foliage and flowers you can enjoy interest all year round. 

The shape and size of the drive will dictate the shape and scale of each flowerbed, but try to go for sweeping shapes if you can. Factor in some movement within the planting to soften the overall impression too. By learning how to grow ornamental grasses, bamboo and tall, airy plants such as fennel, verbena bonariensis and delicate gaura, you'll have plants that will all sway in the breeze. If room allows add in a statement tree or two – the sense of scale will help add height and character and balance out meters of paving.

9. Vary block size for a rustic feel

(Image credit: Bradstone)

Create a driveway full of character and rural charm by going for rounded, cobble-style blocks. Choose a single finish that comes in several sizes and create a gently undulating surface. Tightly packed together, the gaps between blocks will vary slightly, softening the effect of any grid-like joins. 

Perfect for rural or older properties, the finished effect complements older brickwork and weathered garden gates and doorways.

10. Make a statement with grand gates

(Image credit: Haddonstone)

True, if you're looking for small front garden ideas, this probably won't be the solution for you. But if you're lucky enough to have a long driveway, it's a surefire way to make a grand entrance. 

How you frame the entrance to the drive can speak volumes about the property beyond. Simple brickwork pillars and a sturdy gate – from handcrafted timber or decorative ironwork – is a practical combo that will provide a warm welcome and security too. 

The design and finish of the gate and pillars can ooze personality, so have fun and consider what's best for you. Play with intricate shapes, unexpected colors or contrast striking materials to create stunning effects, or if you fancy something a little grander, how about adding some elegant piers and finials for a statement look? 

11. Up your security levels

(Image credit: Screen With Envy)

Security and garden privacy ideas are top of most houseowner's lists, particularly if you live in a larger property or a rural location. Your choice of garden gate can play a big part in how your home is perceived and can provide peace of mind for those inside too. 

Solid panel designs offer ultimate privacy but, if you choose wisely, can also look super smart too. Plain or decorative panels are usually set in lightweight but durable aluminium frames so they are still robust but also light enough to move easily either manually or automatically. Choose from swing or slide openings depending on the space available.  

12. Plant amongst the paving

(Image credit: Sarah Cuttle/RHS)

A paved and practical driveway doesn't mean that it has to be boring. Leaving pockets for low-growing plants is a great way to soften the overall look, add some color and interest and attract insects and wildlife too. In fact, it's something the Royal Horticultural Society has been encouraging homeowners to do for the last decade or so.

Choosing the right plants is key to making it work though and there are a few star varieties that are well worth a try, particularly in a sun-baked position. Thyme, sedum and New Zealand burr all form dense, compact, flowering mats that will handle being crushed occasionally and re-root easily in gravel. For bolder blooms try Californian poppies, miniature cranesbill and dreamy but tough forget-me-nots.

13. Light the way 

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Guide friends and family safely by adding practical outdoor lighting ideas to your driveway. Not only will it create a warm and reassuring welcome but will also help your guests avoid any unfortunate surprises en route. 

There are many different lighting options on offer, including flush-fitting paving lights that are tough enough to be driven over, but we particularly love the pools of light cast by downlighters. Alternatively, look for wall-mounted designs that can be neatly recessed – perfect for low or vast retaining garden wall ideas. Or, try elegant post lights dotted along the drive like the ones shown above.

14. Design decorative borders

(Image credit: Marshalls)

Personalize the driveway space outside your front door with decorative borders and contrasting materials. Create interlocking shapes, outline key areas or simply guide guests to the front door with narrow bands of standout paving for your garden path ideas. 

Setts – square or rectangular – raised kerb stones or even moulded relief tiles can all work beautifully alongside large paving slabs. Besides varying the color, combine different textures too. Be aware though that the more complex the design, the higher the installation costs. 

15. Go for the perfect kerb

(Image credit: Wickes)

Kerbstones are the ideal way to edge any driveway. A raised line that flows around the paving not only looks neat and super chic but is also great for protecting borders and lawns from being flattened by straying wheels. 

Go for a design that coordinates with the main paving material and think about the different profiles available. Angular, squared-off designs look super contemporary while bullnose or angled splayed shapes give a much softer look. Kerbs are also a great way to keep gravel contained and from spreading.

There are lots more garden edging ideas in our dedicated feature.

(Image credit: The New Driveway Company)

There's something reassuring about the crunch of gravel underfoot but while it looks great – particularly outside period properties like this gorgeous house – it can be seen as a high-maintenance choice. 

Thankfully, the days of gravel and stone chippings being walked into the house are over, due to clever interlocking pocket systems that hold the stones in place. Pretty inexpensive to install, they are strong enough to be driven over, help prevent the shingle from compressing and don't require painstaking levelling before being laid. There are various configurations available, designed to withstand different loads and the plastic also comes in a range of colors to suit your choice of aggregate. When it comes to choosing the stones go for a larger size – between 0.5–0.8in (14mm to 20mm) – as they are hardwearing and too large to be popular with cats, dogs and foxes that love to dig.

Want more ways to create a garden that's easy to look after? Our low-maintenance garden ideas feature has lots of inspiration. 

17. Install a combination gate

(Image credit: Britannia Joinery)

If your front gate is a long way from your property or you want more control over who comes and goes, then opt for a combination gate. Made up of a large double gate with a smaller side gate, you can grant access to pedestrians while restricting larger vehicles or vice versa. 

These products tend to be bespoke and can be fitted with remote and automated opening systems. 

18. Pop in a focal point

(Image credit: The London Gardener)

Make an expansive, empty space more inviting by introducing a focal point to your driveway ideas. Planters are perfect for this – go big for a fuss-free look and maximum impact. Choose from a host of different shapes, materials, styles and colors to reflect your home's character and your sense of style. 

Cube and rectangular containers in galvanized steel, powder-coated aluminium and rusty Corten steel instantly add a crisp, contemporary vibe that works perfectly for modern gardens. Tactile terracotta and French-style wooden planters offer a more traditional and modern-country feel. 

Be bold when it comes to choosing plants, but pick something that is size appropriate if you're short on space. If you like the idea of including trees in your design, as pictured above, our guide to the best trees to grow in pots will come in handy.

19. Try a grass protector

(Image credit: Marshalls)

Fancy looking out on to a sea of lush grass rather than hard paving? Well, you can – thanks to the latest grow-through driveway products. 

Designed for occasional rather than everyday use, these ground-strengthening systems can be easily fitted over a vast area. Consisting of a rigid plastic mesh with large pockets, it is laid on to a well-prepared, free-draining surface before being filled with compost and hardwearing grass seed. 

The secret to these systems lays in meticulous preparation and timing the project to fall within either spring or early autumn, as this will allow the grass to germinate and have time to establish. 

20. Trim back shrubs and trees

(Image credit: Burgon & Ball)

Show off your driveway and keep the way clear by cutting back any overhanging branches. Not only will it avoid vehicles suffering scratches and damaging trees and shrubs, but it will also prevent soggy leaves from falling on to the paving and, if left for a long time, from staining the surface. 

Use a pair of the best loppers or a sharp wood saw to remove woody growth and cut at a slight downward angle to help prevent infection or from rain pooling. Our guide to pruning shrubs has more advice. 

What is the cheapest type of driveway?

'Factoring in the costs of materials and labor, gravel is usually the cheapest type of driveway,' says Lee Dunderdale, Product Manager at Bradstone. 'However, it doesn't necessarily have the best kerb appeal for your home. 

'Block paving comes in more expensive than gravel but is cheaper than the likes of resin and setts – whilst still providing great frontage to your house, with various options of color and style.'

Another option is to go for poured concrete. It tends to be less expensive than pavers and is incredibly durable, however it's fuss-free appearance is not for everyone.

You can find more cheap garden ideas in our guide to help you make your budget go further.

(Image credit: Bradstone)

'You need to consider both functionality and style when planning your driveway,' advises Lee Dunderdale, Product Manager at Bradstone.

'First, check whether planning permission is required. If your new drive is more than 5m2 and doesn't include a permeable surface or an area for surface water to run off and soak away, you'll need to get planning permission first,' (at least in the UK). A permeable block paving solution makes good sense if surface water is a concern, Lee explains. 'When rainfall hits your drive, it simply drains away between the blocks and prevents water collecting on the surface.'

'Once you've ticked the functionality box, it's time to look at the style of your driveway,' Lee continues. As our selection of driveway ideas above demonstrate, there is a wide range of colors and finishes to choose from, so you can make your space one that's truly personal to you. 'Due to the vast array of finishes available, it's easy to find a design that adheres to your vision, complements the existing architecture of your home, and fits within your budget,' Lee says.

'You will also need to seek out a landscaper to bring your dream driveway to life,' he adds. When it comes to block paving, it’s always best to bring in a professional landscaper, who will ensure a high standard and create kerb appeal.' Wondering how much to budget? Our guide on how much does landscaping cost has lots of useful info.

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Overhaul Your Current Driveway with Pavers

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June 17, 2021

A cracked, uneven, and stained driveway can negatively impact the curb appeal and overall aesthetic of your home. If you are putting effort into maintaining and upgrading the interior and exterior of your home, you need to pay just as much attention to the driveway. Rather than repaving or refinishing your driveway with traditional concrete, which can quickly stain, crack, or develop bumps, consider overhauling your driveway with landscape pavers.

Grand entrance with custom designed driveway made out of high quality pavers.

Choosing Landscape Pavers for Your Driveway

Landscape pavers were originally made of stone and clay, but they can also be made of cement aggregate, which is a combination of cement and rock. Paving stones are now one of the most durable materials for driveways on the market. Traditional concrete driveways will crack over time. Settlement in the earth, nearby tree roots, and weight overload can all crack a traditional driveway. Cracks let in water, which can cause the expansion and contraction of the concrete, which will cause more cracks. Many homeowners do not have the time and ability to stay on top of repairing the cracks, and if the cracking is not dealt with immediately, the problems will become bigger. Even when cracks are repaired, the aesthetic will not be pleasing. Resurfacing may be an option, but will typically not fix the problem long term. These drawbacks to a traditional concrete driveway are not present in a driveway designed with landscape pavers.

Benefits of Landscape Pavers

There are many benefits to using landscape pavers for your driveway. Pavers are much more aesthetically pleasing than concrete. They will add elegance and improve your curb appeal. Pavers are available in a variety of colors, textures, and styles and can be installed in different designs. Unlike concrete, pavers will not crack. Pavers are designed to move and flex with the earth because of the sand between the pavers. Pavers are exceedingly durable and designed to last. Most pavers will come with a lifetime warranty. If one or more landscape pavers are damaged for whatever reason, the damaged pavers can easily be replaced without needing to replace the entire driveway. Pavers are easy to maintain. Cleaning with a simple solution is typically all that is needed, and if you use a paver sealer, water is all that is needed for upkeep. Finally, pavers usually provide more traction than traditional concrete. The surface is non-skid and non-slip, making them ideal for many climates.

Upgrading Your Driveway

While installing landscape pavers alone will upgrade your driveway, especially with all the variety in colors, styles, and designs, you can enhance your curb appeal even more with additional features.

Outdoor lighting can enhance any driveway. There are many styles of outdoor lighting. Lights on posts or pillars, built in lights at ground level, or pagoda-style lights alongside the driveway are all good choices to highlight a driveway of landscape pavers.

A gate will always give the impression of elegance and status. Pillars at the base of the driveway will greatly enhance curb appeal.

Adding a border with a contrasting color or style will help upgrade the driveway. A raised edge can have the added benefit of protecting your landscaping as well as defining the driveway.

A walkway leading to the front door or backyard in the same style of landscape pavers as the driveway can help tie the driveway into the rest of the landscaping features.

Landscape pavers can make your driveway stand out and will give guests and visitors to your home the best impression of the pride you take in your property. Speaking with a landscaping professional is the first step in creating a driveway you can enjoy for a long time. Contact Twin Oaks Landscape today to learn more.

How to Build a Landscape Entry Monument/Entrance Marker


Hardscaping 101: Driveways

Driveways often get taken for granted. They deserve better. When it comes to creating curb appeal, the entry road that links a house to the public thoroughfare is often a home’s most prominent hardscape feature.

“An attractive driveway will increase resale value if a homeowner ever wishes to sell—and in the meantime will welcome you home every day,” writes our contributor Kier Holmes.

Are you designing a new driveway? Step one: Style and function should marry. To lay out a driveway, start by studying the shape and contour of the land. How big is your property? Are there dips and slopes to navigate between the public road and the house? Take into consideration the number of parked vehicles you will want a driveway to accommodate and whether you will need to allocate square footage for a garage.

Your driveway’s style will depend on its size, shape, and the material you use to pave it. If you live on a busy street, consider a horseshoe driveway to make it easier to pull out into traffic. If your house is set back from the road, consider a curving driveway to create a country-lane effect. On a smaller lot, a simple, straight driveway sited on the edge of the property may be the best choice.

The material you select to surface a driveway should complement the architectural style of the house. Pavers, gravel, grass block pavers, asphalt, and poured-in-place concrete are all common choices. Which is the best choice for your climate and terrain? Read on:


Driveway landscape design entrance for

8 Drought-Tolerant Plants to Line Your Driveway

Paving Stone Driveway with Border

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.

Paving Stone Driveway

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.

Traditional Landscape by Carrollton Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersHarold Leidner Landscape Architects

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.

Traditional Landscape by Austin Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersJ. Peterson Garden Design

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.

Contemporary Spaces by Wheat Ridge Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersJocelyn H. Chilvers

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.

Landscape by San Jose Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersDebbie Ballentine

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.

Traditional Landscape by Massapequa Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersDesign and Build landscape

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.

Mediterranean Landscape by Phoenix Design-Build FirmsHendricks Construction

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?

Landscape Design Ideas Circular Driveway

Driveways aren't exactly known for their good looks. Given their purpose, which is literally just getting your car off the street, it can seem like there's not much you can do to make them pretty. But since they're often at the front of the house, it's definitely worth thinking about driveway design ideas that'll be both practical and beautiful. From long country drives to street-view city garages, these landscape and driveway design ideas will steer you in the right direction to drive up your curb appeal. Read on to learn about border foliage ideas, pattern designs, garage door styles, subsurface functionality, and alternative top layer materials to pick the best driveway design for your own home.

1Valet-Style Drive

The Style Guide: Concrete driveways love oil stains, so if you host a lot and love the look of green gardens, make your drive up entry look like a valet-ready country club with permeable stone pavers. This beautiful driveway by Hollander Design is all the convincing we need.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Permeable stone pavers are a drivable surface with stormwater drainage and, best of all, grassy green good looks. Because they're great for drainage, think about putting them wherever water tends to collect.

2Old World Charm

The Style Guide: Mark D. Sikes designed the custom gate to the driveway of his 1920s West Hollywood house. We love the look of the ivy crawling up the column bordering the iron-wrought gate, which adds to the charm of the brick paver driveway.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Brick driveway pavers are a great option for a more traditional, romantic, and lived-in look. They're more stain-resistant than concrete is and also more abrasive, which makes them less slippery. But you want to make sure you choose brick pavers instead of traditional clay bricks, which can't handle as much weight. There are also specific codes depending on your region's environmental challenges (looking at you, earthquakes).

3Oyster Shells

The Style Guide: The more obvious driveway tip on this property designed by Charlotte Barnes would be to invest in car as cool as this bright blue 1948 Jeepster, but we'll stick to more realistic design ideas for now. Brick pavers separate the gravel driveway from the garage flooring to keep maintenance manageable. Try crushed oyster shells if you're in a beachy area (they're particularly popular in Cape Cod and other parts of New England).

The Practical Need-to-Know: Aside from being pretty and on-theme, shell driveways were also used in the early American Colonies as a way to recycled discarded shellfish. As you drive over them and break into tinier and tinier pieces, they'll just get better by breaking up and spreading out more for an even, flat and easy-to-walk-on surface. They also have great drainage since the spaces between them allow rain to pass through them to be absorbed by the ground.

4Grass-Jointed Geometry

The Style Guide: We're digging the geometric design of these permeable concrete pavers in front of a home designed by Studio Lifestyle. The seamless transition from the driveway to the walkway also creates such a nice cohesive facade, while those awnings also soften the front of the house.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Meet permeable pavers's cousin: Grass-jointed pavers. These are also great at preventing flood damage, as they allow rainwater to infiltrate the ground. "Within driveways, we often use block pavers with a significant material thickness. The added thickness is essential for areas trafficked by cars and trucks. These blocks can be made of granite Belgian block cobbles or a prefabricated concrete aggregate block," explains landscape designer Douglas Clark.

5Mixed Stone Tiles

The Style Guide: These multi-hued stone tiles reflect the charming exterior of this classic home, from the shutters to the carport. Then add greenery in the surrounding area for an overall quaint, charming, and classic aesthetic.

The Practical Need-to-Know: We get it... Permeable pavers can be a big commitment. But if you know you want something a little more natural-looking than concrete and a little less difficult to manage than gravel, consider laying stone tiles. Cobblestone is actually more durable than both concrete and brick pavers.

6Limestone Pavers

The Style Guide: If your driveway spills out directly onto a sidewall, opt for a paver in a similar color for a seamless transition between the two that still sets your home apart. The exterior of this home designed by Jean Liu features Texas Shellstone while the gravel and stone are comprised of crushed limestone. "The materials give it a sense of modernity," says the designer.

The Practical Need-to-Know: If opting for limestone pavers, keep in mind that the material itself, as well as installation, will come with a steep price steep because they're made from natural stone. That being said, they are beautiful and only look better with age.

7Balancing Green and Gravel

The Style Guide: In this country home designed by Hollander Designs, the gravel ground is broken up by a strip of greenery. Though simple, it brings the driveway to life.

The Practical Need-to-Know: A center grass strip accommodates a little garden or small amount of grass. Instead of sprinkling on grass seeds, Ed Hollander suggests planting cut-​to-​fit sod in the strip between the gravel: “Sod will establish more quickly and prevent any weeds from taking root,” he explains.

8A Driveable Garden

The Style Guide: In a street level city home, the driveway takes up a major portion of the narrow lot, and thus, has a big role in the perception of your house. But instead of trying to make it disappear, you can make it pop even more for a drivable garden. The modern frosted glass garage door pattern really draws the eye in, thanks to the gorgeous drivable garden.

The Practical Need-to-Know: In this home, Bay Area designer Dan Carlson of Wigglestem Gardens combined succulents and herbs for this low-to-the-ground garden tucked into a permeable-paver driveway. The trick to making it work? It can't grow too tall, especially in a high-traffic zone where cars run over it consistently.

9Concrete Cubism

The Style Guide: There's no shame in a classic concrete driveway. In fact, concrete can be the perfect fit for a modern home, like this one designed by Robson Rak. If you have an automatic garage door, which most modern homes do, opt of hardware for clean, sleek exterior. It completely complements the style of the home, blending in nicely rather than dominating the view.

The Practical Need-to-Know: You can use concrete pavers or pour concrete, which will be different in both form and function. Pavers won't require a curing period, they have more traction, it has super high PSI, meaning it can withstand a ton of pressure (that's one of the reasons it's so common). The key to keeping it from looking dirty is maintenance and diligence (though tree roots and other natural causes can create cracks).


The Style Guide: Achieve a storybook look with a mix of organic-shaped stone pavers, grass, and brick as designer Elizabeth Goergantas did in this laidback Nantucket driveway.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Your grass will likely get muddy and beaten down if it's constantly being driven on, so opt for cobblestone and brick on the most high-traffic zone and then use grass in the surrounding area.

11Asphalt Canopied by Trees

The Style Guide: Take inspiration from back country roads when looking for ways to design a long driveway. There's really no better place to look. Case in point? This tunnel of trees in Point Reyes, California. It leads you right up to the building in the distance and the canopy effect makes you feel like you're traveling to another fairytale dimension, not just your average house.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Asphalt is another durable material for your driveway, and disguised with the right landscaping design, can be quite beautiful. It's super low-cost to maintain, can carry a ton of weight, and is quick and easy to install.

12Casual, Undone Style

The Style Guide: Match the color of your driveway with the roof or window trimmings for a consistent yet interesting look. Detached garages can be super charming, like this one designed by John Wooden—thanks to the stucco shingled A-frame, manual hatch doos, and lantern light.

The Practical Need-to-Know: Loose materials like gravel and paving stones are the most cost-effective options and they have a charming, rustic sensibility. They're also pretty easy to maintain, you'll just need to make sure the subsurface is optimized for drainage, plus you'll wan to sweep regularly to keep the gravel from cluttering bordering greenery.

13Permeable Curvilinear

The Style Guide: Customize a permeable grass paver in a curvilinear drive for a grand entrance, as done in this Southern California home designed by Studio Lifestyle. It frames the drive nicely but it's not so delicate that it can't withstand cars when you host large parties and need extra parking.

The Practical Need-to-Know: When using permeable grass pavers in a driveway, Hollander also says "you have to use them in areas that don’t get a huge amount of automated traffic, like occasional country drives, as the turning of tires will tear out grass and you can end up with mud rather than grass in the joints."

14Tiles With Drainage

The Style Guide: Planters will create a nice symmetry and also add a touch of greenery to the driveway without taking up a ton of space. Installing pretty sconces will also contribute to that calming sense of symmetry (also good for safety reasons).

The Practical Need-to-Know: It's well advised to add a channel drain in front of your driveway to prevent flooding. This is especially true if you're not building yours with permeable pavers.

15Hillside Pink Blooms

The Style Guide: How pretty is this blush pink painted garage door? Draped by a canopy of bougainvillea, the street-front driveway is instantly beautified. Take advantage of your vertical space when there's not much you can do about the material used in front of your garage. Although, if you look closely, you can see the row of terracotta tiles adding a touch of style and personality.

The Practical Need-to-Know: There are quite a few variations in municipal regulations for curbside redesign, so you'll definitely need to look into details before getting your heart set on any one style in particular.

16Hedge Border

The Style Guide: Having grass-jointed pavers can be great for flood prevention, and they're also environmentally friendly. We love how this grass-jointed pavement situation is bordered by low hedges to separate the driveway from the walkway and entrance area. It's also a subtle but transformative difference when you lay stone slabs instead of cement ones (like the aforementioned grass-jointed paver example).

The Practical Need-to-Know: With the same practical value as the grass-jointed pavers, "pervious pavement allows stormwater to infiltrate the ground, rather than sheeting off your property, and carrying away any pollutants and debris it encounters along with it," Clark tells us. Just make sure you work with a professional installer to set up proper drainage for optimal results.

Hadley MendelsohnSenior EditorHadley Mendelsohn is House Beautiful's senior editor, and when she's not busy obsessing over all things decor-related, you can find her scouring vintage stores, reading, or stumbling about because she probably lost her glasses again.

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Driveway Entrance Ideas for Landscaping

By Jenny Green

Driveway landscaping should lead guests safely to the front door.

Landscaping around a driveway entrance can enhance the front yard's appearance, adding curb appeal and inviting guests. Effective front yard landscaping draws the eye to the front door, so grow understated, non-flowering plants or plants with tiny flowers to avoid a distracting effect. Plants should also tolerate car exhaust fumes and poor soil that can border a driveway as a result of hardscaping. To avoid blocking the driver's view of the road, select plants that grow no taller than 2 feet.

Go For Grasses

Ornamental grasses are a decorative alternative to turf at a driveway entrance and don't require mowing. Silver hairgrass (Koeleria argentea) grows in clumps of silvery green, thin leaves 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Leaves are more silvery underneath, creating a two-toned effect. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, this low-maintenance grass tolerates air pollution well. Fountain grass "Piglet" (Pennisetum alopecuroides "Piglet") grows 9 inches tall and wide in graceful clumps of narrow medium or deep green leaves. In summer bears 18- to 24-inch spikes of bottle brush flowers that fan out like a fountain. Tolerating drought, air pollution and wet soil, "Piglet" grows in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Select Shrubs

Providing year-round structure and color, evergreen shrubs mark a driveway entrance without distracting viewers with showy displays. Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster astrophoros) grows 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 18 inches wide, bearing tiny white spring flowers followed by red berries. This tough shrub tolerates drought and grows well in full sun and partial shade in USDA zones 5 through 9. Shore juniper "Blue Pacific" (Juniperus conferta "Blue Pacific"), which is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, bears blue, needlelike leaves on low, spreading branches and grows 1/2 to 1 foot tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Both shrubs require well-drained sites.

Pick Perennials

Understated planting at a driveway entrance can include perennials with unusual foliage. Lamb's ear "Big Ears" (Stachys byzantina "Big Ears") grows 6 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide in rosettes of thick, soft, velvety, silvery-green leaves. Rarely flowering, this perennial grows in USDA zones 4 through 9 and is evergreen in warm climates. English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a woody perennial that bears tiny gray-green leaves on its thin, spreading branches. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, it grows 6 to 12 inches tall and wide. English thyme and "Big Ears" tolerate exhaust fumes well.

Have a Heart for Hardscaping

Wood, gravel, brick, pavers, stone and other hardscaping materials offer a durable, low maintenance alternative to plants at a driveway entrance. Select hardscaping materials that provide a contrast to the driveway but harmonize with the house's style. Natural wood has a rustic effect, or can be painted to complement house colors. Gravel is available in different colors and sizes but must be contained within edging material. Recycled brick suits an informal or traditional style, while new brick and pavers create a formal effect. Stone has a natural look and tolerates foot traffic well.



Writer Bio

A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.


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