When creating a beautiful garden, it is all too possible to overlook the driveway – after all, they are a functional and often drab necessity, and are viewed as nothing more than that by most people. However, the fact remains that a beautiful driveway can absolutely transform a house – they’re just as important as the rest, and with their own sets of challenges and rewards, driveway projects can be incredibly satisfying.
One of the main attractions to these projects is that the driveway is usually the first thing a visitor to your property sees, and is usually a strong centerpiece to the front garden. However, it can’t simply be made into a purely artistic thing: it has to be durable enough to survive having cars driving on it every day. Its width and shape dictate the accessibility of your home, and the material chosen must be able to withstand tiremarks, oil and deicing fluid. A unique balance of style and function has to be found, resulting in some ingenius and creative ways to use this available space.
Beautiful alternative paving materials such as patterned paving stones, either of naturally patterned stone like granite or slate, or of mosaic-style ceramic bricks are often used to complement the rest of the garden and the architectural style of the house, and are sometimes combined, as in the image above to create some really beautiful driveways.
Alternately, if you have the space or don’t want to spend the (sometimes huge) amounts needed for alternative materials, the rest of your garden can be made to work around the driveway to create a gorgeous entrance to your property. In the above photo, cherry blossom trees were planted on either side of the driveway, and in bloom they frame it and draw the eye. The end result is stunning.
Whatever you do, remember that it has to fit the feel of the rest of the property! If it really stands out against the house or the rest of the garden it may be a little too incongruous and fail to look good. Coordinating colours, designs and shapes will help keep everything in line – and if at a loss, keep it simple! An understated and elegant driveway will allow visitors to really take in the rest of the property, after all.
That said, don’t be afraid to get creative with materials, designs and integration of plants and features: often the most artistic solutions, like the two above, are those that were the most daring and creative.