Pretty Up Your Parking
Avoiding the Leapfrog Problem
No other area outside the front door gets more use than where you park your car. Shouldn't it look great and be efficient?
You've probably fallen prey to this situation: Someone parks behind you and blocks you in. To combat such frustrations, these homeowners addressed their driveway when it was time to spruce up the exterior of their Mountain Brook, Alabama, home. They looked to Ben Shepard and Darla Davis of Shepard and Davis Architects and landscape architect Chuck Kelly for help. Here's how the team satisfied the family's requests.
Create an Entrance
After removing the old concrete porch, they added a new stone terrace. Dividing it into two levels makes the hike from the parking area to the front door safer and less tiring. Split stairs offer access to the side driveway as well as to the patio in front of the home. Ingeniously placed, a sturdy bench takes on the role of a railing and gives little ones a spot to wait for rides.
A Safe Place to Play
With an elementary school just across the street, the house sees a lot of traffic. Not only was it important for the homeowners to keep guests' cars off the busy road; it was also imperative that the children have a protected area for having fun. So they sandwiched a stretch of asphalt between the stone retaining walls and fronted it with a planting bed to make it seem less apparent. The space makes a great hangout for kids to gather for after-school activities.
Terra-cotta containers that echo the colors of the stone are filled with plants that are changed out seasonally. The children love flowers; who doesn't? So the family puts them where they can see them every day―right by where they park. Bouquet-friendly seasonal options include daffodils, pansies, and violas.
With parking this attractive, you may find your neighbors green with envy, but encourage them just to be Green. The next time you're all headed to the same locale, ask them to come over and park it―you'll be happy to share the ride.