What continues to delight and amaze me about our driveway project is how it all fits together so smoothly. When you look at the edges of the pavers fitted against these big boulders, it looks like an easy project. You somehow think maybe those rocks were just dropped into the correct openings — except that the largest boulder weighed about 9 tons. This was a big, complex project that visually flows seamlessly. The incredible amount of preparation, the rain and mud and big equipment and piles of material are just memories now.
Check out how the pavers just follow the curve of the rocks with planting pockets left for me to fill here and there.
Look at the way these two huge rocks abut each other like hand and glove, as though Matt just picked them up and gently aligned them! it's one of my favorite examples of his craftsmanship.
Matt picked out a number of rocks with special features like indentations that will hold water for the birds.
Or that are just quirky and unlike anything I've seen.
The boulders were dug out of farm fields not long before they were delivered to our house. As a result they have moss and lichens on them.
Mark and I saw a contemporary artwork by Andy Goldsworthy at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo when we visited the museum at the beginning of the summer. "Rising Stone" is a 15 ton boulder almost entirely buried below grade so only the top of it is visible. As part of our driveway project Matt placed this boulder (below right) to give the same effect.
Ours looks like all but the top of it is buried like Goldsworthy's, but ours is really a shallow stone that is not much deeper than what you can see in this picture. However, both our stone and Goldsworthy's in Buffalo are glacial erratics. I also think ours will make a great platform to stand on to talk to garden visitors!
To the right of the stone in the foreground of the picture above is a gravel path that leads across the front of the garden by the street. We always make sure we have an accessible walkway for those who might need it — and to get wheelbarrows around the garden. Across the gravel path from it is this dramatic stone next to our Bur Oak tree.
Mark designed the driveway wall with this cut in area so we can park next to this area and still open the car door. When this was just a grassy slope you could never park right next to it because you couldn't open your car door.
I am calling this area with the new steps and planting beds "the dooryard garden" since it is right outside the front door.
These plants all came from the holding beds where we stockpiled everything that had to be moved out of the way before construction began.
We also bought a few shrubs including yews that we will prune into balls to match the ones across the driveway.
We're not putting any large scale plants in here in order to maintain the more open feeling that's the result of this re-design. The daylily is a miniature.
This large rock is the original boulder that was in the front garden. It's been joined by two more rocks. This long side of the driveway is where most of the plants were temporarily removed.
The trees and shrubs in this border give a sense of what the other side of the driveway will look like down the road.
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If you want to see this how this complex driveway project unfolded from start to finish CLICK HERE. Remember that the most recent post is always at the top. If you want to start from the beginning and follow along in the correct chronological order, you must scroll down to the "last" post in this entire group — which is actually the first segment I put on line. It is well worth looking at these pictures so you understand the stages of a job like this and also see the care with which Matt Wieneke does his work.