Landscaping Around Your Driveway

by Grace Motley

Since your driveway is also part of your landscape, you will want to choose the right plants to complement its borders. Any plants you select should be slow-growing and not prone to spreading. They should also be hardy, since they will have to withstand lower nutrients and heavy foot traffic. Most of the plants you choose should be relatively short so that they don't block driver's views. At the same time, you will want plants that enhance your driveway's appearance and that of your home.

How to Choose Trees

Trees planted near a driveway can be an excellent source of shade for both vehicles and drivers. However, if you plant your trees too close to the driveway, their root systems might disturb or damage the driveway surface. For any tree you're considering planting next to your driveway, find out from an expert like American Lawn and Tree Specialists Inc what the maximum radius will be for the mature root system. Then plant your trees at least this far away from the driveway. You should also choose trees that won't drop seeds, cones or leaves onto the parked cars.

How to Choose Shrubs

It's important that the shrubs you select and plant next to a driveway are low growing and don't spread out to the surface. Any weeping shrubs or spreading vines will be damaged by the cars coming in and out. Excellent shrub selections for this use include shrub roses and boxwood shrubs.

How to Choose Groundcover

If you choose groundcover plants that have a habit of spreading, you may find over time that they will take over your driveway. Groundcover plants that can be effective next to a driveway include lamb's ear, sage and sedum. Any ornamental grasses you use should be low growing and hardy, while still adding visual interest to your driveway borders.

How to Choose Flowers

A bright selection of flowers can also work well to complement your driveway entrance. Again though, it's important to make the right choice when selecting these plants. It's best to choose low growing annuals that won't need a great deal of maintenance. Good selections for this purpose include geraniums, marigolds, phlox and dahlias. You might also want to add a few flowering herbs, such as sage or lavender.

How to Choose Entranceway Plants

The right plants can also act as a symbolic entranceway into your driveway. To create this entranceway, you might want to select two tall plants to be this focal point in your landscape. These plants can either be in the ground or in pots. Small evergreens or flowering shrubs would work well for this purpose.