Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Driveway Choices – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Just because a driveway has to be functional doesn’t mean it can’t add creatively to your landscape. The driveway takes up a large portion of the front yard property and the overall look of your home. Get rid of that cracked asphalt and beautify your curb appeal. Check out these ideas on how to combine practicality with charm for a unique driveway design.


Concrete driveways are a popular choice and combine durability with low cost. Although they are less difficult to maintain, they can stain easily. So watch out for oil drops and spills. A concrete driveway can tidy up the front entrance of your home while creating a high quality appearance. If concrete makes the most sense for your budget, there are a few different ways to add value to it. Add sealing stains to get a different color, stamp them with decorative patterns, or impress them with texture.


While pavers are inherently more expensive than other materials, they can last for decades if installed correctly. Pavers are the most versatile design options and can significantly increase the attractiveness of the curb. The color, pattern, and size of the paving stones can complement many different types of architecture. Depending on the drainage situation, they can be permeable or sealed. Permeable cobblestones allow water to flow through the cracks in the cobblestones into an underground storage vault. Not only can pavers improve the presentation of your home, but they can also contribute to sustainability as maintenance and repair costs are minimal.


Gravel is one of the most budget-friendly options for a driveway, but it does require a maintenance re-evaluation every few years. It can be a smart choice for long driveways or country homes on large lots. There are some tradeoffs when it comes to gravel (like tracking around your home). So make sure you know how this will affect your living space.


One of the most common driveway hardscapes is asphalt. We’ve all seen the brand new tarmac driveway that looks clean and sharp, but after a few months and definitely a few years the tarmac starts to fade and crack. While this can be an inexpensive option, it usually requires resealing and a lot of maintenance over the years.

If space permits, designing the driveway in a circular or semi-circular arrangement can give your anterior tooth a convenient upgrade. It makes a much easier passage for vehicles and gives your entrance a cohesive design flow. What can be really noticeable is the combination of several of the above elements. In between the paving stones, you can add softscapes like artificial grass to soften the appearance and create a very inviting approach.

No matter what material is best for your budget and home, incorporate your driveway into your landscaping to give your residence an attractive and useful upgrade!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named Business of the Year 2020 by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several non-profit organizations across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

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