Time to give your driveway a makeover? Here are 5 driveway entrance ideas to spruce up your home’s curb appeal and create a positive statement as you welcome visitors to your home.
1. Add Lighting
Lighting is the first area of improvement when it comes to driveway entrance ideas to implement. Good driveway lights guide the way and act as your home’s welcome beacon in twilight and into the evening. Good entrance lighting also improves the safety of your driveway by illuminating dark corners and making the driveway area visible to drivers.
In addition to main entrance lights, you can also add accent lighting to the driveway entrance area. Adjacent trees, perennials, and ornamental grasses are given new life with gentle lighting in the evening hours. They’ll not only look lovely from the driveway, but also from indoors if the driveway is within sight.
Entrance lighting is most often powered with plug-in electric exterior lights, although solar options are expanding at quite a quick rate. Lights with cords are more labour-intensive to install, but are then generally quite reliable. Solar powered lights may not have the same schedule controls, but also are easier to install and there are no cords to deal with (unless the solar panel is separate from the light fixture).
2. Create a Perennial Garden Bed
For all of the use they get, landscaping around driveways is often ignored (or at least, relegated to the end of the to-do list). It really is worth the effort to “green up” the corridor. You’ll not only increase curb appeal, but also quite possibly bring a smile to your own face when you return home after a long day.
A perennial garden bed (or beds) is one way to highlight your driveway’s entrance without adding too much regular maintenance work. We’re not talking about a giant flower border – this is often more of a low-key area. Easy, tall, reliable perennials like ornamental grasses really shine in this application. Even an above-ground whiskey barrel container garden or two will really give things a facelift.
Here are some ideas for easy perennial plants for a driveway entrance to consider adding to your landscape:
- Karl Foerster Feather Reed Ornamental Grass
- English or French Lavender
- Globe Allium
- Asiatic Lily
- Russian Sage
3. Add a Foot Path
Another driveway entrance idea is to add a pathway or foot-walk to accompany the vehicle access driveway. This can be done in many creative ways, and it depends on your preference. Some types of commercial landscaping can provide wonderful inspiration for adding pathways adjacent to a drive. Look to open-air malls and other places that tie together a driving surface, landscaped pockets, and walking paths.
If you have a large driveway, you can create a pathway of different dimensions, a zigzag pathway, surround it with flowers, bushes, plants, or stepping stones. These little details can emphasize the wildflowers and meadow grasses, especially in the summer. It wouldn’t hurt to add solar pathway lights to guide the way.
4. Install Gates, Wall, Hedges, or Fences
For a grand driveway entrance, install a gate, wall, fence, hedge, or all of the above. While these are expensive upgrades from an aesthetic perspective, they offer practical improvements to your entire property – not just the driveway. This particular driveway entrance idea will likely also provide increased privacy, safety, and a feeling of seclusion by beefing up the perimeter entrance to your home.
Estate gates are generally made of metal, and come with automatic gate openers that can be opened with a push of a button from inside your vehicle. Privacy fences are most often wood (preferably cedar – like this privacy fence), or with wrought iron or stone. Evergreens like yew, cedar, and boxwood make elegant hedges.
Once these hardscaping structures are installed, their look can be softened with climbing plants like clematis, wisteria, roses, euonymus, hydrangea, ivy, or honeysuckle. Some greenery against the vertical services will add texture, class, and possibly fragrance to the entrance. After all, your home is your castle! Let’s make it feel like one.
5. Bring in Stones and Gravels
Stonework and decorative gravel is a natural addition to the driveway area. An old dirt driveway can be revived with a fresh grading and application of new ornamental gravel. Stone borders can be laid around the driveway or around perennial beds. It is even possible to create entire xeriscaped perennial beds surfaced with stones.
Many of the aforementioned driveway entrance ideas can be improved even further with some well-chosen landscaping rock. From boulders to crushed rock and natural washed river stones, there are many different looks to choose from.
Further Reading: A Guide to Landscaping with Pea Gravel
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