July 07, 2016
As the saying goes: "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." If you think about it, your home's driveway is the first impression people get from your house, and a landscape contractor can help you make it a great one. However, your driveway is not only about the looks, it is generally an area with heavy foot and tire traffic, so it also needs to be a sturdy one.
There are many different ways a landscape contractor can go about organizing your front yard depending on what you like, what you need, what is appropriate for the area you live in, and your budget. Landscaping involves both softscape and hardscape. While softscape is related to the living elements of landscaping, hardscape refers to the manmade structures incorporated into the environment to complement the scenery, such as paved areas, sleeper walls, stairs, walkways, and driveways. The work combines different disciplines such as horticulture, arboriculture, and architecture to make any outdoor area look beautiful. Softscape, hardscape, or a combination of both are options when organizing your driveway. There are also many factors that need to be taken into account when deciding on how a driveway will be designed. Among these are the style of your home, the neighboring landscape, how accessible you want your home to look, the size or space available for the driveway, the materials to be used, and even the weather.
From the functional perspective, a well-designed driveway will take into account factors such as extreme weather, appropriate access for pedestrians, enough space for overhang, and car protection. From the ornamental perspective, proper care must be taken when selecting the plants to be used, considering the factors mentioned before as well as factors pertaining to vegetation physiology and ecology, and if they adapt to local environmental conditions - light range, soil moisture, soil texture, and more.
A driveway's design can range from minimalistic to luxurious depending on your taste and budget. It all starts with the driveway's layout. The layout can be straight, circular or curved. A straight layout suits best those homes with a small front yard, where the car does not need to travel a long way from the street to the garage. When the opposite occurs, i.e. the distance from the street to the house is long, and you want an estate-looking entrance, a straight driveway with siding trees is the perfect welcome. A circular driveway is both stylish and functional, with separate entrance and exit lanes. It is very popular because people don't need to back out or turn around to get back to the road. This type of driveway requires extra space, so they are not a good option for homes with small front yards. On the other hand, curved driveways are best suited to homes where the street does not line up with your home, when there are already trees, boulders, or other elements that you want to preserve, or if you want to add an extra element of interest to your home.
A minimalistic design can be as simple as covering the areas surrounding the pavement with grass. A well maintained sod can go a long way, making your home look fresh, clean, and beautiful. If you prefer a more complex design, you can ask your landscape contractor to include walls, fences, gates, etc. that, combined with the right array of vegetation, will turn your "way home" into a beautiful scene that visitors can enjoy.
Florida has tropical and sub-tropical weather - as such, plants used for landscaping should be tolerant to high temperatures, drought, and in some cases, even salt. You are probably wondering why! This is because Florida has a huge estuarine area where there are many residential developments, so some of the water contained in the soil might be brackish.
Florida's weather favors a high diversity of gorgeous ornamental plants that can be used in landscaping. And, what better way to decorate your driveway than with Florida natives? The benefit of using native plants is that they are perfectly adapted to local environmental conditions, so once they have taken root or reached a certain stage of development, they require little care. Additionally, according to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, "By planting natives, you will support and attract Florida's essential insects, birds and countless other animals that lay their eggs on, or consume, only native plants," helping preserve the state's natural biodiversity. Some examples of native plants are the Tampa Mock Vervain (Glandularia tampensis), which can be used as ground cover, has purplish-pink and white flowers during summer, a high tolerance to drought and it attracts butterflies. The Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) can grow up to 21 ft. in height, and it has white, fragrant flowers all year round. It is good for screens and hedges, and has no pest problems. Also, Walter's Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) has white flowers through winter and spring. Both trees can be used as shrubs or trees and provide an area for wildlife to thrive. You can read more about Florida native plants at the Florida-Friendly Landscaping website.
If you are ready to turn your driveway into beautiful, movie-like scenery, don't hesitate to contact us at (786) 308-8156 or fill out the form below. One of our representatives will be happy to answer any query you may have.