All Season Eco-friendly Driveway
by Franke James
Views of our Green Driveway in all seasons:
In the Spring of 2007 we decided to rip up our interlocking brick driveway which spanned the entire 34 ft of our property and replace it with a 10 ft. wide permeable driveway, and have trees and plants in the remaining area. Of course first we had to work through a maze of bylaws and get permission from the City of Toronto. You can read about our adventure in The Green Driveway Articles.
Above and below are photos of the transformation of our front landscape:
1. Spring 2007: Interlocking brick for the full 34 foot width. Photo by Michael Stuparyk, Toronto Star.
2. Fall 2007: Green driveway planted with drought-tolerant Eco-Lawn grass. Load-bearing PermaTurf underneath provides a solid base for vehicles to drive on without crushing the grass.
3. Winter 2008: Snow-covered green driveway is on the right hand side edged with boxwood. There is a foot path up the middle of it. (The opposite of old-fashioned driveways which commonly had concrete on the sides and a strip of grass up the middle.)
The view from our front door is more aesthetically pleasing now. The row of Hornbeam trees gives us privacy from the street. In the future it will provide natural shade, and cooling.
Many people ask us if we shovel our green driveway.
We could… but we don’t usually. (See My SUV and Me Say Goodbye)
But if you want a green driveway and want to keep shoveling through the winter, go ahead. You can do it! It’s okay to shovel the grass because the roots are protected by the PermaTurf, and cannot be damaged. PermaTurf is located in New Hampshire, which gets lots of snow. They tell me they have many customers who regularly shovel their green driveways. (See who helped us build our green driveway)
Of course, grass is not the only way to go. There are other materials which will provide permeability, and allow rainwater to soak into the ground rather than being diverted into the sewers. You will need to research permeable materials that are acceptable in your area as they vary quite a bit.
Our green driveway has met all of our expectations and requirements. The trade-off of more exercise from walking versus shoveling is one we are very happy with.