As is so often the case with driveway design and installation, the emphasis is on providing more space and scope for car parking with plants and borders taking a subordinate role. Space permitting, the scope and results can be so much better.
Here as well as satisfying the immediate and obvious criteria for practical car use, easy access to and from house was also a very important requirement. Retaining the well established and mature Grisellinia hedge was also important to provide privacy as well as a buffer from nearby busy road noise. Planted areas featured at opposite ends of the large area, one primarily as ornamental to enhance both sides of the double fronted bay windowed house and at the opposite end to provide a screen to disguise a waste bin storage area. Although much of the area was finished in a very attractive chipped stone (providing an attractive and cost effective surface finish for car parking), granite paving, setts and kerbing were also very much evident from entrance, access path and across the house frontage.
The silver grey granite provided a refined and refreshing complement to the stone chippings and for added impacted mid grey toned granite setts were selected for a more distinctive border trim as well as entrance area. A rather unique and appealing finish was the machined (flat) surface finish to the setts which match the flat finishing of the calibrated granite paving. Granite provides an enduring and easily maintained natural stone surface finish for the driveway area, and a wonderful complement to brick fronted properties.
The planting around the house entrance, reflected a symmetrical layout, to complement the distinctive brick archway and featured two stunning variegated mature Holly Standards (Lollipops). The planted borders were edged with a synthetic boxwood hedge, providing a durable and maintenance free planted finish to frame the seasonal planting of Agapanthus Snow Storms and Hydrangea Limelights. The use of synthetic box hedging is a very cunning and savvy solution to solving the requirements for an all year ‘looking good’ planted border solution. These high quality (practically identical looking to the natural alternative but without any of the not insignificant maintenance and/or risk of box blight etc) manmade plants are being used increasingly in environments where real plants are neither practical, desirable or cost effective. Used in conjunction with real plants, the results are stunning, longer lasting and with dramatic reductions in tedious maintenance requirements.
To conceal the visibility of the ‘Bin Bay’ area, a selection of mature shrubs were planted including Acuba, Viburnum, Pieris and Pittosporum.