So the new driveway is done. It’s an improvement. I failed to take a “before” picture and even looked for an older photo without success. Among the thousands of pictures we’ve taken of the front garden there was  not a single one that showed what the driveway looked like. That in itself should tell you something.


The driveway went back to the original construction of the house. Most of it consisted of two long concrete tracks with rectangular beds of mud or unhappy grass in-between. The tracks had many fractures, plus they weren’t quite wide enough so there were deep tire prints on one side. So when a trench had to be dug anyway to fix the sewer, we bit the bullet and decided to have the whole driveway replaced, along with the path to the front steps.


We went with pavers. They are more costly, but they look better with the garden, don’t they? Also they are somewhat more for rainwater.

The crew removed the pavers on one side that made the Driveway Border a raised bed. I do intend to put them back. Honestly, I’m not quite sure if I gained or lost space for the flowers here. The construction work affected a wider area than what you see because there’s a brace on either side that takes up another 4 inches.


Before construction, I removed some of the plants likely to be damaged: Catmint (Nepeta ‘Kit Kat’), Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum), Wild Bergamont (Monarda fistulosa). Most of these will be put back.


But it also seems I had some unanticipated losses. The most distressing is the Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). I’ll probably buy new plants, but they take a while to get established. Fortunately, I have some nice patches of Butterflyweed elsewhere.

Of course, as many friends have pointed out, this is also an opportunity to make some changes with new plants! I have plans, believe me, which I will be sharing in the near future.

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There had been a long, narrow triangle of a bed in front of the shrub rose ‘Cassie’. This has been shortened and squared off. Makes it easier to put my containers here.

Well, I’ve got to go. Lot’s of work to do!

51 Comments on “New Driveway is Done

  1. Those pavers were a good decision. They’re interesting without being obtrusive, and to my untrained eye, they seem to pull the two sides of the garden together, rather than separating them.

  2. Looks really great. We had to bite that bullet because of water coming into the basement. It was that AND a sump pump. We went with the conventional cement…boringly functional.

  3. That is some kind of drive. Fabulous. You will have fun getting things all put back to rights.

  4. As with every home improvement you ever make, one lovely new thing ends up highlighting something else that needs doing. Just look at that garage door! *shudder*

  5. This is great! Did you do this yourself or get a contractor? I did a little work with bricks this summer, and it was BRUTAL hard work!!!

  6. Very nice! I think the pavers and your garden are going to look as though they’ve always been there together.

  7. It looks fabulous! I’d say I remember what the old driveway looked like, but I was more focused on your plants when we all visited. I’m not saying the new driveway will steal the show from your plants, but it might steal some of the limelight. 😉

  8. Your driveway (and walkway) looks pretty darn awesome! I bet it will be easier to shovel in the winter as well. The garden area beside the driveway/walkway actually looks a lot better than I would have expected – looks as if the workers actually took care not to do minimal damage to the plants.

  9. Oh my but it does look splendid, doesn’t it?! All pristine and precise. And as Judy says, it also highlights other areas needing attention. Time to power wash the front steps and garage door? I really do think pavers look so nice with the gardens. Excellent choice!

  10. Haha, I think Judy has ideas on what the next project will be!
    Congrats, looks great. They did a good job avoiding total destruction to the plants which run right along the sides, I’m usually much harder on my plants whenever something gets done here.
    Don’t write off the butterfly weed so quickly. If there are roots, there is hope. I have it growing in the lawn and even after I start regular mowing in late August it still comes back in May like nobody’s business.

  11. Spiffy! Are they permeable pavers?

    Maybe the butterfly weed will come back from a root fragment; I’ve been amazed at what some plants have managed, given time.

    Happy planning!

  12. Love It! So is it permeable paving without mortar between the bricks? I ask because I had a similar, smaller — just decorative installation in my back garden about 20 years ago. I have to be persistent with the weed eater between the cracks or “intruders” pop up like uninvited guests.

    • Same here with our back patio. Yes it is sand between the pavers, and I’m sure I’ll have to apply the weed whacker before too long. Though pouring boiling water on the weeds will prevent them from growing back.

  13. The driveway looks great … a work of art compared with some I’ve seen! It is going to be fun seeing your surrounding garden changing..& you get to buy new plants!

  14. Looks great! We have an old asphalt driveway, and it needs to be replaced. My husband talks about pavers. How beautiful it would be! Unfortunately for the budget and a reality check, our drive is several hundred feet long, so that won’t be happening! I think your new drive uplifts the whole garden. Congratulations!

  15. Great choice! I love the way the plants pop against the red of the pavers. Did you even notice the green of the garage door before? When we power wash our driveway, all of a sudden our garage door screams out…clean me! Funny how that works!

  16. Your driveway looks so pretty! Were you doing this improvement on your own or was there a company rented? Next spring my mother is also going to recreate it. Now, on our driveway there are a few concrete blocks which are mostly covered by grass but as there is a downgrade it is sometimes hard to drive by car because the ground gets slippy, soggy and muddy after the rain. My mum has plans for our driveway. She also wants pavings and along it she wants a small fence and marigolds from . She was growing them last year and she decided that they will make our yard look more adorable!

  17. It is nice, but it looks a bit too nice. I sort of like old concrete. It is unfortunate that it eventually gets too old and deteriorated to function.

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