This garden was built in the winter of 1997 and divides very neatly into three different areas.

The Alpine Driveway

Jim wanted to do something about boring driveways. Many people have a small front garden that has been covered in gravel and slabs to provide parking space. Why not take that practicallity one step further by planting between the paving slabs with low growing plants?

Jim planted between the slabs with carpeting alpine plants. Over time, they have knitted together so that little or no gravel shows between the slabs. Such plants require very little maintenance. In fact, Jim uses the strimmer to deadhead the plants and the garden vac to hoover up the flower heads. Looks like some men do the hoovering after all.

Some low alpines that work well in this situation include:

The Shady Border

Due to the narrow shape of the Driveway Garden and the tall fence at one side, there is a border that is in shade most of the time. Carole took up the challenge of planting up a lovely border full of shade tolerant plants in 2004. She made one daring introduction by planting a tree fern in this border. We overwinter it outside, which is quite brave where we are as tree ferns are not particularly hardy. However, it gets well wrapped up and has done well over the past few years.

Some great plants for shady conditions include:
Ivy (Hedera sp.)
Evergreen ferns
Snowdrops (Galanthus sp.)
Winter Aconites (Eranthis hyemalis)
Snowflakes (Leucojum sp.)

Raised Border

On the sunny side of the Driveway Garden is another border raised up with railway sleepers. We use this border for a different display each year. We've used it for a display of sunflowers, antirrhinyms, foliage plants, hot colours and even a chocolate themed border. It is a lot of fun to have a space in the garden to experiment with different themes and plant combinations.


Many plants for the Shady Border were sourced from:
Fibrex Nurseries Ltd
Honeybourne Road
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 8XP
Tel: 01789 720788