Tag : driveways
Tag : driveways
Driveways and garages among the most utilitarian of landscape features are not necessarily the most attractive, but thoughtful design can make them downright beautiful as well as useful. If you are starting from scratch and can choose where to situate a driveway or garage, weigh the options very carefully you will live with these choices every day. Where possible, locating the garage close to the kitchen of your house makes it easy to move kids, groceries, and trash between buildings. If unattached, building a roofed connection between garage and house keeps the path between the two dry and safe, especially in winter. Consider the shape of your driveway a curved drive in front of the house can make the most of an underused front lawn, or straight shot down the side of the property can be tucked out of the way, with access to side and back doors.
If you don’t have the luxury of selecting the location of your driveway a nd garage, make the best of the existing plan by using plants to soften their appearance and make them part of the landscape. Add paths where needed to enhance access. The appearance of a garage can be altered with paint, different roofing material, or “jewelry” such as light fixtures, to better match your house and landscape. Driveways can be of varied materials. Look for waterpermeable options that reduce storm-water runoff; these can be among the most affordable paving options and include grass, gravel, stone, recycled plastic grid systems, permeable asphalt, pervious concrete, or good old-fashioned paving strips.
top right • Here, the clean flat roof and wide opening of the attached garage meld well with the attractive terrace-like paving of the driveway.
bottom right • A garage can double as a guest house or apartment under the eaves.
This one sits far enough from the mainhouse to enjoy privacy and views.
On this central Ottawa (Canada) property, the detached garage and unavoidably long driveway presented a design challenge. Designer John Szczepaniak solved the problem by integrating the garage into the garden with an attached arbor and seating area; thus, the garage takes on the appearance of a charming garden building rather than a purely utilitarian structure.
The interlocking pavers of the driveway were set in a pattern that highlights the entrances and walkway along the side of the house. A small footbridge was built to link the driveway with an existing deck and create a distinct entrance into the oasis-like back garden.
The paving pattern of the driveway and the railing of the footbridge mimic the design of a large window at the back of the house, marrying details of landscape and architecture.
below • The driveway elegantly mirrors architectural features of the house, with pavers laid in a pattern that marks entry zones. Also the artful plantings of grasses such as feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’) help to bring the driveway into the landscape.
below • An ornamental grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Autumn Light’)is repeated on each side of the garage, while low ground covers tickle the pavers. The arbor over the driveway allows a curtain to be drawn across it during parties, providing additional entertaining space in front of the garage.
below • The arbor attached to the side of the garage creates an intimate seating area perfect for viewing the garden and a water feature.
Like many once-common things whose modern-day replacements proved expensive or environmentally unsound, driveway paving strips are back in vogue.
Paving strips are bands of paving materials just wide enough for a car’s tires and can be made of recycled, poured, or dimensional concrete, thick stone pavers, cobblestones and brick, or gravel.
In addition, The strips surrounds can be planted in low, tough ground covers that can stand heavy foot traffic as people get in and out of vehicles. Best of all, these plantings act as pervious sponges so that water runoff doesn’t overwhelm storm drains in the street.
1. Pavers are interplanted with flowering moss (Sagina subulata) and periwinkle (Vinca minor) with its resilient darkgreen foliage and cornflower blue flowers. 2. Concrete paving stones and tidy grass planting strips complement this house’s neat lines. 3. Long slabs of poured concrete present a clean appearance when highlighted by mounding ground covers that surround stepping stones of recycled concrete. 4. Beachside communities use local crushed oyster shells as a sustainable path and driveway solution.