Side of Driveway Landscaping Ideas

Are you looking to spruce up the side of your driveway with some landscaping ideas? The often neglected space alongside the driveway holds immense potential for creative and efficient landscaping. In this article, we will explore various ways to maximize the space, choose the right plants, add hardscaping elements, create appealing borders and boundaries, enhance with lighting and decoration, and keep the landscaping neat and tidy.

The narrow strip of land beside the driveway can be utilized efficiently with the right landscaping ideas. From plant selection to hardscaping options and decorative elements, there are numerous ways to transform this overlooked space into a visually appealing and functional area.

Choosing the right plants for a narrow and often shaded area is essential for successful landscaping. We will also explore hardscaping options such as pathways, borders, and retaining walls that can enhance the side of the driveway.

Additionally, we will discuss creative edging ideas to create visually appealing borders and boundaries, as well as tips for maintenance to keep the landscaping looking neat and tidy. So let’s dive into how you can make the most of this often overlooked space.

Maximizing Space

When it comes to landscaping the side of the driveway, maximizing space is key. These narrow strips of land are often overlooked, but with the right approach, they can become an attractive and functional part of your outdoor space. By utilizing efficient landscaping techniques, you can make the most of this often underutilized area.

Vertical Gardening

One fantastic way to maximize space on the side of the driveway is by incorporating vertical gardening. This technique involves growing plants upward, using trellises, hanging baskets, or wall-mounted planters. Vertical gardening not only saves space but also adds visual interest to an otherwise unused area.


Layering plants in a tiered fashion can also help make the most of the limited space on the side of the driveway. By selecting plants with varying heights and arranging them in layers, you can create a lush and dynamic landscape that maximizes every inch of available land.

Multipurpose Features

Consider incorporating multipurpose features into your landscaping design for the side of the driveway. For example, a low retaining wall can double as both a boundary for your landscaping and additional seating when topped with a wide capstone. By thinking creatively about how each element serves multiple functions, you can ensure that no space goes to waste.

By implementing these strategies and thinking outside the box, you can transform the narrow strip beside your driveway into a beautiful and useful part of your outdoor living space. Whether it’s vertical gardening, layering plants, or incorporating multipurpose features, there are countless ways to maximize space when landscaping this often overlooked area.

Plant Selection

When it comes to landscaping the side of the driveway, choosing the right plants is crucial for the success of your project. The limited space and potential shade from nearby structures or trees can present challenges, but with careful selection, you can create a beautiful and thriving garden. Here are some plant selection ideas to consider for this narrow and often shaded area:

  • Shade-Loving Perennials: Opt for plants like ferns, hostas, or astilbes that thrive in shady conditions. These low-maintenance options will add texture and greenery to the side of your driveway.
  • Evergreen Shrubs: Incorporating evergreen shrubs such as boxwoods or hollies can provide year-round interest and structure to your landscaping. They are also well-suited for narrow spaces.
  • Climbing Vines: Vertical gardening with climbing vines like jasmine, ivy, or climbing hydrangea can add a touch of elegance and soften hardscape elements such as walls or fences along the driveway.

In addition to these suggestions, it’s important to consider the specific growing conditions of your site, such as soil type and moisture levels. Choosing plants that are suitable for your local climate and have similar light requirements will also contribute to the overall success of your side of driveway landscaping.

Ultimately, by carefully selecting the right plants for a narrow and often shaded area, you can create a lush and inviting landscape that enhances the visual appeal of your property while also providing habitat for wildlife and contributing to a healthier environment.

Hardscaping Options

When looking to enhance the side of the driveway with hardscaping, there are several options to consider. Here are some ideas for adding pathways, borders, or retaining walls to make the most of this often overlooked space:

  • Pathways: One way to add visual interest and functionality to the side of the driveway is by installing a pathway. This can be done using a variety of materials such as pavers, gravel, or stepping stones. A well-designed pathway can not only help define the space but also provide a safe and appealing walkway from the driveway to the front yard or backyard.
  • Borders: Adding borders along the side of the driveway can help create a clean and polished look. This can be achieved by using edging materials such as bricks, stones, or even low-maintenance plants like boxwoods or ornamental grasses. Borders can also help prevent mulch and soil from spilling over onto the driveway, keeping it neat and tidy.
  • Retaining Walls: In cases where there are sloped areas along the side of the driveway, retaining walls can be a practical and visually appealing solution. These walls not only help prevent erosion but also create different levels for planting and landscaping. Retaining walls can be built using various materials including stone, concrete blocks, or railroad ties.
Landscape Ideas Around a Deck

By incorporating these hardscaping options into your side of driveway landscaping project, you can transform a neglected area into a functional and attractive part of your outdoor space.

Remember to carefully consider measures for proper installation and any potential drainage issues before starting any hardscaping project on this narrow strip alongside your driveway.

Creative Edging

When it comes to landscaping the side of the driveway, creative edging can make a significant impact on the overall look and feel of the space. By effectively creating visually appealing borders and boundaries, you can enhance the aesthetic appeal of this often neglected area. Here are some ideas for creative edging that can transform the side of your driveway into a beautiful and cohesive part of your landscape design.

Natural Stone Borders

One popular option for creating visually appealing borders is to use natural stone. Whether it’s large boulders or small stones, natural materials can add a rustic and organic feel to the side of the driveway. You can use them to define the edges of flower beds or create a clear boundary between the driveway and the adjacent lawn. Natural stone borders are not only visually striking but also durable, making them a long-lasting option for edging.

Low Maintenance Options

For those looking for low-maintenance edging options, consider using materials like rubber or plastic landscape edging. These options are easy to install and require minimal upkeep, making them perfect for busy homeowners. They can be used to separate different sections of landscaping on the side of the driveway, such as gravel paths or mulch beds, providing a clean and tidy look without constant maintenance.

Living Edges

Another creative idea for edging the side of the driveway is to incorporate living elements such as hedges or ornamental grasses. This not only defines the boundary but also adds greenery and texture to the space. For example, planting a row of boxwood shrubs along the edge of the driveway can create a formal and elegant border, while ornamental grasses can add movement and softness to the landscape.

By exploring these creative edging ideas, you can elevate the visual appeal of your driveway’s perimeter while incorporating functional boundaries that define your landscaping features with style. Remember that when choosing an edging option, it should complement your overall aesthetic while serving its practical purpose in maintaining separation between different areas within your side-of-driveway landscaping design.

Lighting and Decoration

When it comes to landscaping, the addition of lighting and decorative elements can truly transform the side of a driveway. The strategic placement of lighting can not only illuminate the area for safety and security but also create a beautiful ambiance. Solar-powered lights are a popular choice for driveway landscaping, as they are easy to install and eco-friendly. Additionally, decorative elements such as statues, birdbaths, or fountains can add visual interest to the space.

One effective way to enhance the side of a driveway is by incorporating outdoor wall sconces or lanterns. These fixtures not only provide necessary illumination but also serve as decorative accents that complement the overall landscaping design. Pathway lights are another excellent option for adding both functionality and style to the area, guiding visitors along the driveway while creating a welcoming atmosphere.

In terms of decoration, consider adding potted plants or hanging baskets along the side of the driveway. This can bring a pop of color and greenery to an otherwise overlooked area. Another creative idea is to install trellises or arbors and let climbing plants like jasmine or ivy grow along them, adding natural beauty and charm to the space.

Landscaping ElementBenefit
Solar-powered lightsEasy to install and eco-friendly
Outdoor wall sconces or lanternsProvide illumination and serve as decorative accents
Pathway lightsAdd functionality and style while guiding visitors

Maintenance Tips

Once you’ve put in the effort to transform the often neglected side of your driveway into a beautiful and functional space, it’s important to keep up with maintenance to ensure it stays neat and tidy. One key aspect of maintaining the side of driveway landscaping is regular weeding. Since this area may be narrow and shaded, it’s important to keep an eye out for any unwanted growth that can detract from the overall look of the space.

In addition to weeding, regular pruning is essential for keeping plants healthy and maintaining the desired shape and size. Since the side of the driveway may have limited space, overgrown plants can quickly make the area feel cluttered and messy. Proper pruning techniques will not only keep your plants looking their best but also encourage healthy growth in the long run.

Another important maintenance task is keeping pathways clear and free of debris. Leaves, twigs, or dirt can quickly accumulate on paths along the side of the driveway, creating an unkempt appearance. Regular sweeping or hosing down these pathways will help maintain a tidy and inviting look for your landscaping.

Landscape Ideas Before and After

Finally, regular inspection and upkeep of any hardscaping elements such as borders or retaining walls are essential. These features can deteriorate over time due to weather or wear and tear, so checking for any damage or signs of deterioration will allow you to address these issues promptly before they become more extensive problems.

Maintenance TaskDescription
WeedingRegularly check for and remove unwanted growth that can detract from the overall look.
PruningKeep plants healthy by regularly pruning them to maintain their shape and size.
Pathway MaintenanceSweep or hose down pathways regularly to keep them clear from debris.
Hardscaping InspectionCheck borders, retaining walls, or other hardscaping elements for any signs of damage or deterioration.

Before and After Inspiration

The side of the driveway is often an overlooked and underutilized space when it comes to landscaping. However, with some creativity and effort, this narrow strip can be transformed into a beautiful and functional area that enhances the overall curb appeal of your property. Looking for inspiration? Here are some real-life examples of successful side of driveway landscaping transformations that showcase the potential of this often neglected space.

In one example, a homeowner utilized the side of their driveway to create a lush and vibrant garden. By choosing plants that thrive in shaded areas, such as hostas, ferns, and astilbe, they were able to turn the narrow strip into a visually appealing green space. The addition of a gravel pathway and decorative stepping stones not only added functionality but also enhanced the overall aesthetic of the area.

Another inspiring transformation involved the installation of a retaining wall along the side of the driveway. This not only helped to define the space but also provided an opportunity for vertical gardening. The homeowner planted cascading vines and flowering plants in the pockets of the retaining wall, creating a stunning display of color and texture. To complete the look, they added solar-powered lights along the edge of the pathway for a magical nighttime ambiance.

Lastly, a before-and-after example showcased how creative edging can make a significant impact on the side of the driveway. By replacing traditional edging materials with stacked natural stones, one homeowner was able to give their landscaping a more polished and upscale look. The addition of low-voltage landscape lighting along the edges highlighted their new landscaping features even after dark.

These real-life examples demonstrate that with careful planning and thoughtful design, the side of the driveway can be transformed into a beautiful and inviting space that complements your home’s exterior.


In conclusion, the often neglected side of the driveway offers a wealth of potential for creative and efficient landscaping. By maximizing space, choosing the right plants, and incorporating hardscaping options such as pathways and retaining walls, homeowners can transform this narrow strip into a beautiful and functional outdoor space. Creative edging and decorative elements further enhance the visual appeal of the side of the driveway, while proper lighting can add ambiance and safety.

It’s important to keep in mind that maintenance is key to keeping the side of the driveway landscaping looking neat and tidy. Regular weeding, pruning, and mulching will help ensure that the area remains an attractive feature of your property. Before and after inspiration from real-life examples demonstrates just how much potential there is for creating stunning transformations on the side of the driveway.

In essence, landscaping the side of the driveway not only adds curb appeal but also increases the overall aesthetic value of your property. With some creativity, patience, and proper maintenance, this often overlooked area can become a defining feature of your outdoor space. So next time you pass by your neglected side of driveway, consider all these possibilities for turning it into a beautiful landscape that complements your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Put on the Side of a Driveway?

The side of a driveway can be adorned with various landscaping elements such as decorative rocks or stones, colorful flowers, shrubs, or even small trees. These options not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the driveway but also provide a natural barrier and define the space.

How Do You Landscape Next to a Driveway?

Landscaping next to a driveway requires careful planning and consideration of the existing layout. One approach is to create a border using low-maintenance plants or hedges that complement the overall design of the driveway. Incorporating mulch, edging, or decorative borders can further enhance the appearance and functionality of the area.

What Should I Plant Next to My Driveway?

When choosing plants to place next to a driveway, it’s important to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions, and space availability. Opt for plants that are resilient to vehicle emissions and foot traffic, such as ornamental grasses, flowering perennials, or evergreen shrubs. Additionally, using native plants can provide environmental benefits while minimizing maintenance requirements.
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