Landscape Your Driveway
by Carlisle Homes
Maximise your home’s kerb appeal and make a good first impression. Here’s how.
Once you’ve settled on the look of your home, it’s time to turn your attention to the design of your boundary line and the area around your driveway. First impressions count, so you’ll want to landscape these areas with care in order to maximise your home’s kerb appeal.
Read on to discover the six steps to designing a frontage to suit your architecture and lifestyle, while creating a welcoming look that you and your guests will love.
Consider your needs
The first thing to ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? If you want privacy, choose between a hardscaped privacy fence and a plant-based boundary. Landscaping will give you a softer look, while a fence offers more security and is ideal if you have children or pets that need to be contained. A hedge is the closest thing to a living fence and will give you both privacy and security, but it will require regular pruning to maintain its shape and appearance.
Ensure it suits your lifestyle
A lush and leafy front garden creates a great first impression, but before you commit, consider whether you really want to spend your weekends tending to greenery. If you’re prepared to put in the time, nothing compares with a lush front lawn. But it will require consistent upkeep; water deeply and early in the morning before it gets hot, mow weekly, and fertilise in early spring, early summer and winter, and mid to late autumn.
Enhance a front lawn with a shrub border. Edging plants such as aranda, grey box or sweet mist create a pleasing sense of a contrast beside grass. A shrub border can also be used to soften the look of a driveway. Finish off your border with decorative mulch such as wood chips or pebbles for a neat and tailored look (and to reduce water wastage).
If you’d prefer to boost your kerb appeal with low-maintenance landscaping, consider installing a rock garden border (you could include low-maintenance succulents or shrubs for a touch of green), or a pebbled front garden or border – they will look great year-round and require little to no upkeep. Or, if you love the look of a lush green lawn but don’t want the upkeep that usually comes with it, consider a quality artificial turf solution. Child and pet friendly, artificial grass is designed for harsh Australian conditions and will save you time and money.
Choose a look that suits your home
The landscaping you select should complement your home’s style and colour palette. Accent a contemporary home with lots of angular lines, for example, with succulents or spiky-leafed native plants. For a traditional or Hamptons-style exterior, consider softer landscaping with flowering plants such as magnolia, star jasmine and wisteria. Whatever landscaping style you opt for, take a tip from the gardening experts and include at least one feature plant or tree within the design to create a focal point.
Choose plant sizes that are relative to the size of your home, with taller plants giving your front garden an established look. Ideally, you’ll want a mix of short, medium and tall plants to create visual interest, with taller plants placed between windows so they won’t block your view.
Also consider the colours on your facade when choosing plants and flowers – seek out cooler plant colours for a cool-coloured exterior and deeper plant colours for a warm or brightly coloured facade.
And remember, less is generally more when it comes to frontage landscaping. In general, mass planting of a few plants looks more lush and impactful than mixing a little bit of everything. Symmetry can also be very effective; consider balancing your frontage with matching plants or trees on either side of your front door.
Choose plants to suit the location
To encourage healthy growth, make sure your greenery suits your home’s location and that you plant it in the right spots. Read the plant label or ask the nursery how big the plant is expected to grow, how much space it will need once fully grown, and its soil, light, watering and shade requirements.
Select the right fence
There’s a wide range of front fences to choose from, and what you select will largely be determined by how much privacy and security you require, and your home’s style. In general, the taller and more solid the fence, the more security it will provide.
An open steel fence is the perfect complement to a contemporary home. It offers privacy and security, while allowing light and views into your garden. For an upmarket look, consider a combination of render, brick and steel. Alternatively, soften the look by combining render with timber slats.
A picket fence is a perennial favourite that works a treat with traditional and Hamptons-style. White isn’t your only option; for a modern edge, consider painting a picket fence in charcoal.
For superior privacy and security, consider a stone fence. These generally cost more than other types of front fences, but add a sense of luxury to your home, while providing the ultimate peace of mind. A stone-veneer fence is a budget-friendly alternative, giving you the look of the natural material for a fraction of the cost.
Accessorise it right
Landscape lighting – which can be as simple as popping a few solar lights along your front path and border – creates a warm welcome at night and helps guests find their way to your front door. Then look to install porch lighting to illuminate your entry – ideally on timers so that it comes on automatically when someone arrives at your home. Add potted plants either side of the front door to create a neat and curated finish.
An eye-catching letterbox and some beautiful house numbers provide the perfect finishing touches to your facade.