The entrance to the driveway of your home should be viewed at as the first "welcome mat" your visitors encounter, but it is often overlooked by a homeowner. The entrance to your driveway does not need to be grandiose or expensive, but it does need to fit and blend with the style of your home and the rest of the property.
Using flowering plants and ornamental grasses at the entrance to a driveway is an inexpensive yet stunning look. Designate an area on both sides of the entrance where the small garden will be. Plants can be planted at ground level, in a raised bed or on a low berm you build up.
Select plants that are low maintenance, with long-lasting flowers and those that are fairly drought-tolerant. Annual flowering plants will usually have a longer flowering time than a perennial plants, and annuals generally have more vibrant flowers. Mulch the planting area with bark chips to keep weeds down and moisture in.
Shrubs are another excellent, low-maintenance choice to add interest to the driveway entrance. Selecting an evergreen variety, like juniper holly, or hardy boxwood, will provide a green look year-round. Broadleaf evergreens may have flower blooms in the spring and bright berries in the fall for a splash of color. With shrubs, you can create a formal look by pruning and shaping them or keep a more natural look.
Consider trees at a driveway entrance with care, so you don't block any entrance or exit view and comply with any local ordinances concerning setbacks and driveways. Always check ordinances before undertaking planting trees close to public roadways.
There are many flowering trees like crabapple or crape myrtle that give a spectacular display of color when they flower and are fast growing. But they, also, lose their leaves in winter and you may prefer an evergreen tree.
Alternative to Ground Planting
If you want a less permanent solution to a bare driveway, consider using pots.
Plant flowering plants in one large pot or several small pots of varying sizes. Consider staggering the height of the pots by using wood or cinderblocks. You can also plant shrubs in pots. You can even plant smaller trees in large pots and put them on either side of the driveway. This method gives you the ability to somewhat control the growth and size of the tree.
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