You may think that spiffing up the front yard landscape or backyard garden is about as far as you can go in terms of landscape plantings. However, these days, many homeowners are gardening along driveways by installing driveway gardens. What is a driveway garden and why plant a driveway garden? Read on for parking garden information, as well as ideas for driveway garden designs.
What is a Driveway Garden?
A driveway garden simply means bringing plants/nature into an area previously used as a driveway or parking area only. These gardens can take several different forms. For example, a driveway garden could be a patio area installed in an unused driveway. Gardening along driveways, or even down the center of a driveway, qualifies as a driveway garden design.
Why Plant a Driveway Garden?
A driveway garden brings plants and natural beauty into an area that was previously made just of cement. It is something different and creative to add into your landscape. That rejuvenation is reason enough to think about gardening along your driveway. Instead of a bland, dull place, the driveway is suddenly filled with life.
You might replace your “cement carpet” with two ribbons of concrete leading to the parking area or garage. This would allow you to install low-growing plants in a median strip you drive over. Consider plants like creeping thyme, echeveria, sedum, or dwarf daffodil varieties.
Parking Garden Information
If you don’t use the backside of your driveway or parking area for cars, you can convert the space into a garden or family get-together area. Block off the area you drive on with a row of planters, then transform the other part into a patio with bamboo, ferns, or other shrubs, plus a patio table with chairs.
You might prefer to turn the unused portion of the driveway into a winding path, with wide, lush beds of flowering perennials on either side. If you put in a gate, make it wooden and extra large so that it looks welcoming.
Another of the great driveway garden designs to try is to layer different types of foliage plants on either side. The look is lush and inviting but requires less work than flowering shrubs. Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), or cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) are good choices to consider.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.