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Take your driveway from eyesore to asset

By: Stephanie Polsley Bruner
Step onto something beautiful with this idea to widen your driveway and increase curb appeal.


Does your narrow driveway make you step out of your car and into your yard? Practical and pretty, this design is for that narrow strip of land that runs between your driveway and the next-door neighbor’s lot. It provides a surface to step on when getting out of the car, and it dresses up the front of the house, too!


Open view Low-growing plants won’t block the view when backing out of the driveway, but one large container adds a vertical accent at the end of the driveway.

Selective watering During a hot summer, you may need to give this garden a little extra water. Concentrate the irrigation away from the dianthus and hen and chicks — they prefer drier conditions.

Mulch matters Use decomposed granite or poultry grit between the pavers and as mulch under the plants. It won’t roll under foot or fall out into the neighbor’s yard like pea gravel would, and it creates a dry, well-drained surface for the hen and chicks and dianthus.

Walnut proof One end of this planting is anchored by an existing mature black walnut tree (Juglans nigra). Although it’s limbed up high enough that it leaves the planting in full sun, it poses a different challenge for these plants: Walnut trees give off the chemical juglone. Some plants’ growth is inhibited by this chemical, but the ones in this plan all tolerate juglone and won’t be hurt by their proximity to a walnut tree.

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Published: April 3, 2018
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