Gravel Driveways – 6 Ways

Gravel driveways evoke earlier times and country settings.  They’re less formal than other driveways and work particularly well when there’s some distance between the street and the home or garage. Compared to other, harder surface driveways like concrete or asphalt, gravel driveways have a lower installation cost, and require less maintenance. They don’t crack and heave in cold weather, but do need a little special care when they’re plowed – the plow should be raised a bit to avoid spreading the gravel outside the bounds of the drive.

For all of the above reasons, plus the fact several of the other older homes in our neighborhood have gravel driveways, we’re considering one for our home. It was built in 1900 and apparently never had one, just a small makeshift parking area near the curb.

I’ve been scanning photos on the web, and collecting some ideas.

ba9883c8e0bc315db7ca7dce09cfce7f markdsykes.com

The two images above show ribbon style gravel driveways that allow for tire tracks and little else, with green space in between. The very top photo also features large pavers along the driveway bands. Both examples depict a relaxed, natural look with no hard edges, so to speak.

Below are two more examples of gravel driveways. The top shows a tall hedge border on one side, and what appears to be brick on the opposite side.  The photo below shows a gravel driveway with a cobblestone edging. Both have nice clean lines, and a little more formality. The_inner_driveway,_Brackenborough_Hall_-_geograph.org.uk_-_876871 geograph.org.uk Driveway with Hedge Howard Slatkin

Stone walls, and plantings are also nice alternatives for making tidy edges and containing gravel.

SONY DSC 663highland Wikimedia Commons

gravel driveway welke.nl welke.nl

For our place, I think we might settle on something a little less formal,  and something that maintains as much lawn as possible, along with a little room for perennial borders.   Instead of a ribbon design, a single strip of gravel with a wider area in back for parking near the barn might work best. And for edging, brick might be a good option since we plan to use it in the patio area and walkways, and it would help create a unifying element throughout the landscape.

One thing we’ll have to get used to is the crunching sound as tires hit gravel.  I think I could get used to that, perhaps even like it.

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George Sherwood Sculpture a Hit at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

American sculptor George Sherwood’s works are a perfect fit for the sprawling, colorful, ever changing seaside gardens at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. They enhance the garden visitors’ experience without overpowering, although some of the sculptures are so massive, they could easily do so. But the magic of Sherwood’s art lies in its ability to blend with its surroundings,  move with the wind, transform with the changing light and reflect the beauty of the environment.   george sherwood “Wind Orchid”

The exhibit, “George Sherwood: Wind, Waves, and Light,” features five large pieces and several smaller ones, spread throughout the 270-acre grounds. They were previously featured in an exhibit in Hudson Park, New York last year.  george sherwood george sherwood “Memory of Water”

George Sherwood grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut and now lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He holds degrees in both art and engineering, which is reflected in his work, which, according to his bio, “explores aesthetic systems of space, time, and the dynamic relationships of objects in motion.”  His sculpture has alternately been called “kinetic art.” george sherwood “Flock of Birds” coastal maine 187 coastal maine 186-002 “Wave Cloud”
george sherwood “Memory of Fibonacci”

Indeed, Sherwood’s sculptures seem to be in constant motion, changing not only with the elements of nature but also with every step of the onlooker, much like a kaleidoscope changes with every slight change of position or light.  Made mostly of stainless steel, they’re also quite durable, and stand up well to the sometimes harsh coastal weather.

George Sherwood’s “Wind, Waves, and Light” continues at CMBG through October 12.  Don’t miss the experience.

If You Go:

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U-Pick Raspberries at Fairwinds Farm

Fairwinds Farm is our family’s choice for annual berry-picking in Maine. The farm is located in Bowdoinham on the banks of Merrymeeting Bay, where six rivers – the Androscoggin, Kennebec, Cathance, Eastern, Abagadasset and Muddy rivers – converge.  A unique ecosystem,  Merrymeeting is not really a bay at all since it is some 17 miles from the ocean, and not a true estuary because of its low level salinity, according to the conservation group, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay. The region has alternately been called a “tidal riverine” because it does have  a tidal surge, and an “inland delta” because of the wide areas of rich sediment. Fairwinds is one of several farms in Bowdoinham, and they all are rich producers. Fairwinds Farm fairwinds farm Fairwinds Farm is known for its u-pick strawberries, but farmers Cathy and Pete Karonis have expanded their u-pick offerings this year to blueberries and raspberries.  Both crops have been robust, likely due to a combination of nutrient-laden delta soil and near perfect summer weather.
fairwinds farm fairwinds farm I picked six pints of plump raspberries the size of strawberries, if you can believe, and made them into jam.  I can also attest to the quality of the blueberries.

Fairwinds is based in Topsham, but most of its u-pick fields are in Bowdoinham.  Hours for picking are posted on the farm’s Facebook page, and it appears berry picking will continue for at least a couple more weeks. If you go, wear a hat and sunscreen; the raspberry patch can get quite hot. It also helps to wear gloves or at least a long sleeve shirt since the raspberry canes have small thorns that can scrape or cut.

If You Go:

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