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Please help with ideas- design inside semi-circle driveway

13 years ago

We moved into our circa late 50's, painted brick ranch home about a year ago. We are in Charleston SC, in zone 8b with brutal summer humidity.

We have been gradually working on the landscaping. It was almost non-existent prior to our move in, except for grass and some basic foundation shrubbery. We have a functional concrete driveway to the far left end of the home leading to a side entry garage.

In addition, we have a semi-circular, graveled driveway in the very front of the house that was an add-on by the previous owners. This is where we need help with design layout and landscaping. The area has a southern exposure and gets hot sun - about 7 hours per day.

Right now, I need help with what to plant inside the driveway circle. Currently, there is almost nothing in it, except for grass, a preexisting concrete path down the middle leading to the front door, and a couple of small sago palms I planted (but can move). There is a drainage ditch that bisects the circle horizontally. The 2 halves of the circle lawn area slope inward, toward the ditch. It is almost like there are 4 quadrants to deal with, the way its currently cut up.

Can you suggest some plantings and/or planting placements? Both ends of the outside edge of the semi-circular driveway are flanked by palmetto trees. I really like flowering perennials, as well as lush tropical like plants. One goal would be to afford some privacy screening from the street - this area is completely open right now to everyone driving by, from way down the road. I am not thinking of a solid hedge type of screening  just something, maybe with some height, to help partially filter or screen. I believe there needs to be some height in some of the plantings, but there are limitations  the power lines run along the street just beyond the property edge, and the county voraciously butchers all tree limbs that even try to grow near them.

My ideas - I have thought about ripping out the sidewalk that runs down the middle of the semi-circle, covering up the ditch by adding pipes, building up the area into a mound, and then landscaping. However, I think that would be expensive. There might be some creative minds out there that can figure out how to make the existing hardscape work just as well, without the added expense. I have also considered using a smaller variety crape myrtle with interesting bark, some variety of palms, and/ or one or two brugmansias ((Angel Trumpets) in the circle, but I am really stumped.

I would also like to pave or coat the driveway with something, but I am not sure with what. Right now, the grey gravel is messy and ugly. Any ideas?

I am an avid gardener. No kid or pet issues. I do have built-in sprinklers, but they already need to be reconfigured also.

All suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!





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