Driveways are often ignored in landscaping and outdoor design but have the potential to be a showpiece. As you plan driveway ideas, look for options that complement the design and style of your property. Often a plain driveway can be turned into a dramatic focal point that enhances the overall visual impact of your home.
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Stone driveways give your home a sense of style and add a touch of texture and colour to an otherwise ordinary space. Choose a stone that fits the style of your house. A brick driveway complements a traditional home, for example, while cobblestones increase the old world atmosphere of a Victorian house. If you have a more modern home, use asymmetrical flagstones in varying shades to pave your driveway; this type of design can also add drama to a home with a simple exterior. If you cannot modify the structure of your driveway, or if you do not want the expense, create a similar effect by using the stone for a border.
For a long driveway, few things create the sense of drama and style as a tree border, particularly if the road is straight. Plant trees along the side of your driveway, putting enough space between each to accommodate future growth of branches. Tall evergreens or cypress trees, when planted at regular intervals, lend a stately, formal feeling to your driveway. For a softer, natural feeling, choose trees that will grow to create a tunnel with a roof of branches and leaves, like oak, birch or maple. To minimise upkeep and maintenance, look for trees that grow naturally in your area and that will not require fertilisers or extensive care.
Lush landscaping can give your driveway the feeling of a hidden drive, particularly if it obscures the front of your home. Choose a blend of thick foliage plants in a variety of heights and types. Plant taller trees and bushes near the front of your house and along the front of the yard to hide the house and frame the entrance. In between, use plants that have thick blooms or leaves to hide the ground and create the impression that the driveway leads to a hidden garden or secret spot. Add texture by placing one or two boulders along the side of the drive to contrast with the plants.
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