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Carpenter Costin's Blog

Creative Driveway Alternatives

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Mar 30, 2012 1:44:00 PM

Consider a paver, crushed stone, or crushed oyster shell driveway to add appeal to your property.

Your driveway needs to be a functional part of your property, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be attractive. Creative driveway solutions using pavers, crushed stones, or crushed shells can add attractiveness without jeopardizing functionality and durability.

Paver Driveways

If you’d like to make your driveway appealing, but worry about durability, then pavers are your best bet. A paver driveway is extremely durable and functional, yet it is still way more attractive than your standard concrete or blacktop driveway. Pavers can add both color and shapes or patterns to your driveway, and the durability is greater than that of concrete.

Crushed Stone Driveways

Constructing a crushed stone driveway is an inexpensive way to add appeal to your property. Crushed stone is very durable, and is more pleasing to look at than blacktop. When installed correctly, a crushed stone driveway is a wonderful addition to your property.

Crushed Oyster Shell Driveways

Crushed oyster shells were used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago to harden their muddy paths each spring. The oysters were consumed, and then the shells were crushed and placed on paths which provided a permeable, yet sturdy passage way. Crushed shells are a great addition to a coastal house; or a great way to add coastal appeal to your house. The shells are durable and extremely attractive, and they even provide an enjoyable sound when walked and driven on.

Don’t let your blacktop or concrete driveway hold you back. There are ways to make your driveway attractive without losing durability and functionality. Take advantage of our free consultations and meet with a Landscape Architect to discuss how you can make your driveway beautiful.

consult-with-a-landscape-architect

paver driveway

Pavers are very durable, yet still add plenty of appeal.

crushed stone driveway

Crushed stone is great for driveways and walkways.

crushed oyster shell driveway

Oyster shells are great for coastal homes, or homes looking to have a "coastal feel."

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Topics: hardscape design, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction, Coastal Landscape

Coastal New England Planting

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Sep 8, 2011 4:05:00 PM

Beware and prepare for nature's harmful effects.

It's wonderful to live on the beautiful New England coast, but the nature of coastal living can provide a harsh environment for trees, shrubs, and plants. Salt spray, high winds, sandy soil, and saltwater overwash can limit the type of plants that can be grown on coastal properties.

Salt in the air and in the soil acts as an herbicide, effectively burning and killing the leaves, twigs, and roots that it touches. This is what creates that "wind-blown" shape of trees that we often see along the coastline.

Careful landscape planning can help reduce the exposure to wind and salt spray and promote the livelihood of your coastal landscape. Planting a screen of rugged Rosa Rugosa or Bayberry can act as an outer defense to salt damage. Once the screen is established it will help shield less tolerant trees and plants. Hydrangea walls and Rose of Sharon are tolerant to these environments as well.

Soil preparation is also critical to the success of coastal plantings. Sandy soils require the addition of organic material to increase the ability of the soil to retain water and nutrients. In addition to soil preparation, we also encourage using native plants whenever possible. Native plants usually require less maintenance and are also a great means of controlling erosion.

The fall is a great time to revive a coastal landsape, or any landscape for that matter. We recommend requesting a free consultation with one of our Landscape Architects to discuss any of your planting needs.

consult-with-a-landscape-architect

coastal new england planting

Left to Right: Hydrangea wall, Rose of Sharon, Rosa Rugosa

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Topics: shrub planting, Landscape Design, landscape tips, Coastal Landscape