Ideas for Planting Along a Driveway

Driveways can present their own unique set of problems for landscaping. The edges of concrete and asphalt may become too hot to grow heat-tender flowers. The plants themselves may cause problems as well; certain trees, shrubs and flowers may become too large for planting beside the driveway as they can hinder a vehicle's ability to move freely. If carefully planned, driveways can offer a place to create a stunning landscape.

Formal Hedging

Formal hedging can be allowed to grow either tall or be trimmed into short fencing. To break up monotony, certain plants can be trimmed into interesting shapes. Try creating matching swans or some other graceful creature at the end of the driveway to top off the look. Good plants to try are privet, purple plum and roses.

Seaside Pier

Sinking large poles into the ground and topping them off with a stout rope will give the illusion of a beach walkway. Try including garden ornaments in the arrangements that are likely to be found at a beach. Pelicans, seagulls and seashells cast in concrete will add lasting appeal to the plantings. If the budget allows, a pond can be added to one side of the driveway and landscaped to look like a beach. Planting seaside perennials and annuals will add impact to the overall beach effect. Good plants to try for this landscape are sea holly, Northern sea oats and saw grass.

Living Tunnel

A living tunnel can be created by training either vines or trees to cover the driveway. This driveway can even be extended to lead visitors to the front door. For variation, try planting different colored blooming plants to separate certain paths. Plants that would be suitable for this design include: honeysuckle, wisteria, golden chain tree, willows and bittersweet vine; there are many species to consider. This high maintenance planting will require being trimmed into shape often.

Succulents and Cacti

For a low maintenance approach to driveway landscaping, try planting succulents. There are many types of sedum, both large and tiny, that will add color and substance to the area. Creeping types of sedum that remain short require no trimming, as any that fall across the driveway will be cut off by passing tires. Try to include various cacti to the mix as well. They will add texture, and their different colored blossoms are nice as well. Topdressing the soil with natural pebbles will complete this look nicely.

Picket Fence and Wildflowers

The addition of a bright white picket fence can help people see the boundaries of the driveway on dark nights. This is especially helpful for new visitors that have never driven it. The picket fence can be as tall or short as you like. Planting wildflowers native to your area will not only add beauty but help wildlife as well. Choosing plants that stay low to the ground is helpful when planting next to the driveway. Plants can be taller the further away from driving area you get. Some plants to try include are poppies, dianthus, sedum, mosses, morning glories, violets and bittersweet vines.

Keywords: landscape a driveway, driveway plants, ugly driveway help

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on Suite101.com and Demand Studios.