How Could A Driveway Take So Much Work?

drive.planting2Back in June I posted an article that was to start a series on a project by East Coast Landscape.  Alan Goodell, one of the company owners, invited me to this special home on a lake. In the first article we saw how visitors were greeted at the entrance to the long winding drive.

This exceptionally long driveway took a tremendous amount of time and resources to build.  The layout had to wind through terrain that was not very accommodating.  As you’d expect in a woodland surrounding a lake, there were rock outcroppings, large trees and “radically changing” topography.  By combining the use of their heavy excavating equipment and landscape expertise, East Coast built a drive that harmonizes beautifully with the surroundings.

Utilizing the native boulders, they built up and retained areas where the grade had to be raised.  It was critical to make the drive descend in a gradual, consistent way.  Each boulder was placed to resemble the look of existing rock outcroppings so nothing would look man-made.

Plantings were selected and arranged to give the homeowner a “finished look”, but appear as an extension of the woodland.

Subtle, indirect lighting was also installed at points along the way.  Not only does the lighting guide you, but I’m sure it’s also comforting to have on a woodland drive like this.  Lions and tigers and bears…drive.planting1There is no lawn on this homesite, yet look how they introduce neutral expanses of space.  Swaths of different groundcovers are a low maintenance answer when you’re just looking for a neutral cover.  The woody trees and shrubs are chosen and placed carefully to just give enough “weight” where it’s needed.  Not overdone at all.  Notice the mix of textures and the balanced use of deciduous and evergreen.

We could go on and point out the specific design strategies (and I assure you careful thought went into every element), but in the end, “It just looks right”.  Everything just seems to belong, as if it happened naturally.

A native stone was used as natural curbing to further integrate the driveway as it approached the home. This is installed on a concrete footing with motared joints.  A “chip & tar” surface adds to the organic look and just sounds great as you’re pulling up.

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