What Are the Common Driveway Paving Options? Do You Have the Right One for Your Home?

Interlocking Pavers

Your driveway is the first thing you see as you turn your car into your home and the last thing you see in the mirror as you drive away. It is also the first thing visitors see and its appearance will have a major impact on the impression your home creates on them. Using the right paving material is important not just because of the look you want to create but also in terms of being durable and budget-friendly.

Concrete

This is among the most common paving materials. It is popular because it is tough and durable and requires little or no maintenance. On the downside, it is quite expensive and for many people, is not the most attractive material. Concrete is also not environmentally friendly as it blocks the essential passage of rainwater into the ground and instead causes it to flow into drains and sewers.

Paver Installation Near Me San Jose

Asphalt

Asphalt is a combination of rock, sand and cement and is another common driveway material. If installed correctly, it can give a smooth, clean look to the driveway. Since it is flexible, it is less prone to weather or stress-related cracking. It is also cheaper than concrete. However, asphalt can become very hot in summer and will need to be resealed every few years. It is the least environmentally friendly option.

Gravel

Gravel is a cost-effective paving option. If properly compacted it creates a stable surface but depending on the amount of traffic it carries, it usually has to be regraded every few years. In coldclimates with winter snow, clearing the driveway can be difficult because the gravel tends to stick to the snow being removed. Comprising of crushed stones and rocks, this is an environmentally friendly option that also allows rainwater to sink into the soil.

Also Read: Why Should You Hire an Expert When Installing Interlocking Stones?

Brick

This is a common paving material that is known for its durability and easy installation. However, bricks start to show dirt and wear after a few months and need to be pressure washed to remove the stains. After the washing, the surface has to be resealed. This is a hassle and can be expensive. Bricks are environmentally friendly and if properly laid, rainwater runoff will not be a problem.

Paving Stones

Paving stones can last for a century and the variety of shapes, colors and styles available makes interlocking pavers the best choice for driveways. Made of granite and other tough stones, they can add immensely to the curb appeal of a home. They are impervious to rain, snow and heat damage and cleaning paving stones is easy. Being natural stones taken from quarries, these are very environmentally friendly. Knowing which material to use for a driveway requires expert knowledge of the materials, climate and soil conditions. The person best qualified to give you the best advice and also carry out expert installation is a landscaping professional. Search for paver installation near me to get started on installing the right driveway for your home.

Getting Your Garden Ready for Summer

Summer is around the corner, and it is time to enjoy the sunshine and cool evening out in the open; start getting your garden ready. It is not difficult, and it gives you a chance to get started on all the landscaping plans you made during the winter. Remember, even with COVID 19 vaccinations and other precautions, the home is still the safest place to be and if you want to entertain, the garden is the place to do it.

  • Tidy Things Up: It normal to tidy up a house (or even a man cave!) before guests arrive. So why not do the same for the garden? Neatly edged flowerbeds, trimmed shrubs, the absence of leaves and twigs lying around all go into creating the impression of a garden that has been cared for.
  • Clean Up the Lawn: Remove any weeds that may have found their way into the grass. Check the lawnmower to ensure the blades are sharp, and the grass will be cut neatly. Do not trim the grass too short so that the next mowing will be due later. A mowing height of 2 to 3 inches will allow the grass to develop stronger roots and make the lawn more drought-resistant.
  • Add Color: The first impression that a person gets about a garden is from the colors that the eye beholds. The brighter and more different the colors, the more the optical senses are excited, and this, in turn, leads to the beginning of the “Wow” factor. Besides refreshing the flower beds, think about hanging baskets around the patio or other places where people will be spending time.
  • Fragrance: It is easy to overlook the importance of fragrance in landscaping. Scent may not make the same kind of immediate impact as sight, but it can be as influential in affecting the perception of beauty and creating a higher level of peace and comfort. Aromatherapy is not pseudoscience. Research proves that it plays an important role in our appreciation of the world around us.
  • Create a Fresh, Interesting Landscape: The landscape is a way to show your personal style to the world. Besides the foliage, you can use statues, large urns, benches, driftwood, retaining walls, walkways, lighting, water features, and much more to create an outdoor world that is your own.
  • Do Not Forget The Patio: This is the multi-function area of the garden. It is where you can chill out, exercise, entertain, barbeque, or just do nothing. Patio landscaping is not easy – the patio must be functional while still adding to the beauty of the overall landscape.

Also Read: 5 Common Patio Landscape Mistake to Avoid

You can do a lot to build the perfect open-air environment this summer. However, keep in mind that the best results require more than just your green thumb. Knowledge of soil and climatic conditions, irrigation needs, artistic sensibilities, maintenance needs, and experience in landscaping all come together to provide the platform for a great garden. It is for this reason that the best landscapes, the ones where people love to spend time out in the open, are those that are created by a professional landscaping service.

Different Types of Landscaping Services

The increased amount of time that most people spent in their houses in 2020 made them more aware of both the comforts of the home and its limitations. One of the biggest problems was the feeling of being cooped up indoors. The yard offered a welcome change but it was rarely enough to counter the negative impact of the lockdown. Even though the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines means that the end of the pandemic is in sight, the importance of having a yard to spend time in remains. Landscaping plays a key role in making the yard inviting and relaxing. A top-quality landscape that truly offers the benefits of being outdoors requires professional landscaping.

If you area rookie, here is a basic summary of what a professional landscape service must offer you.

  • Design: A great landscape combines beauty and functionality. A qualified and experienced landscaper will be able to understand your sensibilities, the kind of landscape you want, your budget and how your yard will be used. With all this in mind, he will create designs for you and work with you to give you the perfect landscape.
  • Creation: Once you have decided on a design you like, the landscaping company will bring the design to life for you.

However, this is not the end of it. A yard, with all its flowers, plants, shrubs and foliage is a living organism. This means it needs to be cared for to keep it looking its best. This care and maintenance involves:

  • Bed Maintenance and Detailing: Your flower beds need to be weeded, trimmed, pruned and cleaned regularly. Done properly, they will remain a thing of beauty. If neglected, they will become an eyesore.
  • Pruning and Hedging: Plants grow at different rates and need pruning at different times. Many also have specific times of the year when they need to be pruned to remain healthy. If this is not done, the yard will look unkempt and the plants will become sick and straggly.
  • Seasonal Clean-up: With the change in seasons, the yard will need to be deep cleaned to remove any accumulated dirt and debris that could damage the plants.
  • Soil Supplements: The turf cannot be ignored. It needs supplements to keep it healthy and to make it fertile for the plants. Special treatment may be required to ensure that no fungal growth damages the plants.
  • Pest Control: Healthy plants attract all kinds of pests and if they are not dealt with, they will kill the plant. The type of pest control is important – it needs to get rid of the pests without damaging the plants.
  • Irrigation: Depending on the soil, the climatic conditions and the types of plants in the yard, irrigation may be required. Only a professional landscaping service will be able to design and put in place an irrigation system that will be effective.
  • Walkways and Patios: These can add character to a landscape. Paver installation, if not done correctly, will be ugly, uneven and awkward to walk on. Patio landscaping is a special talent because it must blend the deck with the landscape while making it a place for the outdoor activities the family enjoys.
  • Lighting: A beautiful yard is for both, the day and the night. With the right landscape lighting, it can become a place to spend time in after sunset, either to relax or to entertain.

Using a professional landscaper is the right way to create and maintain a yard in which the whole family will love to spend time.

Adding Health and Value to Your Home

A home should be as welcoming outside as it is on the inside. When you turn into your street, the beautiful façade of your home should lift your spirits and bring a smile to your lips. The external appearance or curb appeal of a house affects the mood and attitude of all those who enter it, even if they are occupants who have lived there for years. It also plays an important part when you are planning to sell the house, as the exterior of your home is what a potential buyer will see first. That could influence their interest in the house.

Landscape plays an essential part in the way the exterior of your home looks. Here are some smart landscaping tips that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Focal point

Using a prop or part of the façade as a focal point is a great way to draw the eye. It could be an addition like a bench, a porch swing, or a fountain, or it could be something that already exists, like the front door or a tree. Use that as the centerpiece and arrange plants to complement the piece.

Pathways

An exciting pathway is an excellent addition to your exterior. It could be part of your drive, it could run through your garden, or it could lead to the front door. Make it enjoyable by choosing materials and plants that complement each other.

Plant walls

This is becoming increasingly popular. You can use an already existing wall, picket fence, or trellis as the base for your new plant wall. Depending on how high or long your wall is, you can decorate it with climbing vines, colorful planters, and interesting wrought-iron bric-a-bracs.

Curb appeal is not something to think about only when selling a home. It is an integral part of making a house a happier place to live in.When adding to the exterior of your home, remember that your imagination only limits you. Landscaping is the right way to enhance the beauty of a house and make it a place where both occupants and visitors are eager to enter.

Staying Outdoors While at Home

Although the COVID-19 lock down is being lifted, in the future we will all be spending a lot more time at home. While this has its benefits, it can also become a source of stress and tension for a family. Creating a landscaped yard enables everyone to spend time outdoors without leaving the security of the home.

COVID-19 forced us all to spend far more time at home than we ever did before. The lock down restrictions are now slowly being eased and going out and resuming some semblance of “normal” life can be anticipated. However, the “new normal” and the way we will live will be different from what it was in pre-pandemic times. How things will pan out remains to be seen, but one thing all the experts agree on is that we will be spending much more time at home.

Being stuck indoors for long periods can be very stressful, especially if it looks like the walls will be a major part of your life in the future. This is where the phrase “climbing the walls” came from. There is a way out – literally. The solution is to spend more time outdoors without actually leaving the house. Taking a chair and placing it in the back yard will not work. The family needs an open area that is calm, soothing, relaxing and appealing so that spending time there will not be just to escape the confines of the house but to actually enjoy the ambience of the place. Creating a beautiful garden/yard is not a luxury. It is an investment in the well-being of the family while increasing the home’s curb appeal and adding to its value. Here are a few ideas for you to think about.

Landscaping Concepts to Think About

  • Put in an arbour or a pergola. Small landscapes benefit from this because it creates a focal point which adds depth to the vista.
  • Break up the open area into smaller spaces using shrubs, trees, plants, etc. This will make the landscape appear larger.
  • Create a small cozy space for those who want a little alone time. It will be a place where they can read, listen to music or just unwind.
  • Use retaining walls to create multiple levels. This will not only add to the appeal of the landscape but it will also give it more depth.
  • Use lighting to give the landscape a different look and feel after sunset.
  • Add more color and variety to the landscape by going vertical. This means using plants and shrubs that are slim and tall so that more can be planted in a limited area without making it look overcrowded.
  • But also make sure that you do not get carried away with these and other concepts you come across. Adding features to a landscape increases its beauty and appeal, but if overdone, it can create the impression of messiness and clutter.
  • Think about maintenance. A beautiful landscape needs to be kept that way. Think about how much time you will be able to devote to caring for it and what your budget will be.

A landscaping professional will be able to create a landscape which will give you the peace, tranquillity and freedom that you need at home. In addition, you will be free from maintenance worries and will be able to enjoy your beautiful landscape in peace.

The Essentials of Landscape Maintenance

Creating a beautiful landscape is not easy. It requires a high degree of aesthetic sensibility, artistic talent, detailed knowledge of horticulture, local climatic and soil conditions and the ability to translate a concept into reality. It is the right combination of all these that make a great landscape designer and creator. What is often overlooked in the excitement of creating the perfect landscape is the matter of maintaining it. In the long run, the quality of maintenance is as important as the quality of the initial creation.

Landscapes Need Care
When a landscape is designed and created, the amount and type of maintenance that it will require to continue to look its best is part of the planning process. A landscaping professional will consult with the client about future maintenance needs and incorporate this into the finished landscape.
A typical maintenance program will include:

  • A general clean-up at regular intervals. The frequency and type of cleaning will depend on the type of landscape and environmental factors.
  • Lawn mowing at fixed intervals
  • Flower bed weeding
  • Tidying up the edges of flower beds
  • Seasonal garden bed planting
  • Tree and shrub trimming
  • Fertilizing 
  • New plantings as may be required
  • Maintenance of the irrigation system
  • Snow removal
  • Cleaning and maintenance of pavers, lighting fixtures and so on

Some activities may not be required, and others may be added, depending on the specific requirement of each case. Contingencies such as what to do during drought conditions are not generally part of a maintenance agreement, but if such a situation should arise, a landscape expert will be able to do what is required to protect the garden.


Professional Care Is Essential
Investing in a beautiful garden is always a good idea. It adds to the beauty of the house and the enjoyment that the occupants derive from living in the home. It is also an expression of the personality of the family that lives in the home. The addition to the curb appeal and value of the home should not be forgotten. However, if maintenance is not up to the mark, the overall image of the home will suffer, as will the happiness of the occupants and the curb appeal.


Spending money to create a great garden but not planning on its maintenance is a recipe for disaster. It is easy to think that the care and upkeep is something the homeowner can do himself, but it requires far more expert knowledge, experience and equipment than people realize. What often happens is that homeowners try to do their own landscape maintenance and it is only after they find that the work is beyond them, that they call in a professional. By that time, more damage would have occurred and the cost of repairs before starting regular maintenance will push up costs.


A good professional landscape specialist will discuss maintenance needs as part of the client briefing so that a plan and budget for maintenance can be created. The professional will work with the client to tailor the maintenance according to the client’s needs so that the client is happy, and the landscape continues to look its best.

Source: http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2020/03/the-essentials-of-landscape-maintenance.html