Rethink the driveway

Add beauty, function, and abundant warmth to your front yard with 3 smart solutions

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Adjacent planting beds soften the grid of concrete squares that makes up the patio. Lemon thyme, sea pink, and sedum warm the area below a majestic Italian stone pine.

Berkeley sedge, 'Carman's Japanese' rush, and pheasant's tail grass ( Stipa arundinacea) ― along with a fragment of a basalt column ― add interest near the front door.

Though the owners have more garden space than they did before, they have fewer chores. "It's now a garden to be in, not work in," Rick says. "There's not an ounce of adrenaline in it."

PROBLEM

Because the front yard was too small for a separate garden, the new outdoor living area had to blend in with the rest of the entry landscaping. Yet the space needed privacy too.

Solution 1: Glamorize the firepit A rustic design that evokes a campfire is fun in some settings, but this landscape called for something bolder. The custom, L-shaped concrete firepit is clean and sculptural, especially with a layer of bright gold glass to disguise its function.

Aside from hiding the gas burners, the glass mulch (made from recycled Chardonnay bottles) adds a touch of theater. When the burners are lit, the glass glows "like a fire jewel," O'Donnell says.

 

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