Ideas for landscaping around your driveway are limited only by your imagination and your budget. Driveways provide a wide variety of landscaping possibilities; they have nice, even edges to work with that contain straight lines or perhaps curves, and the concrete or asphalt provides a vast area that's easily enhanced with just about any kind of planting.
Make A Sketch
First off, what kind of impression do you want to make with your driveway landscaping? Do you want a grand entrance that welcomes guests with a splash of color? Or do you want subtle accents running the length of your driveway to your garage or entryway? Or maybe you want both! Regardless, the place to start is with a plan. A piece of graph paper, a pencil and your ideas are all you need. Sketch out your property on the graph paper. Don't worry about scale; you just want to get the positioning right.
Once you have your house, fences, patio, landscaping and driveway sketched out, you're ready to start adding landscaping to your driveway. Take the predominant colors of your property into consideration as you begin to imagine your new landscaping. If it's mostly green trees, grass and bushes, you have lots of options for color. If you're house is a bright color, such as pink or bright blue, you'll want to choose colors that complement your home.
Remember that good landscape design is always about focal points. If you plant too much along your driveway, you'll always be fighting with your main focal point. The two most obvious places for focal points are the entrance of your driveway and your intended final destination, either your garage or your front entrance. In some cases, there may be a third place that can serve as a focal point, such as the grassy center of a circular driveway, or the bend in a driveway that curves.
Whatever the case, your focal point should have something substantial within full view, such as a tree, large shrub or large expanse of flowers. You don't want to overdo the focal point, of course; visual balance is the key to creating a beautiful landscape that will be admired by family, friends and visitors. Do keep in mind that the entryway to your driveway is probably the major entryway to your yard: how you landscape around it will set the tone for the rest of your yard.
Another factor to take into account is your neighborhood. If it's filled with children, a delicate flowerbed at the entrance may not be the best idea. Kids have a tendency to walk where they want, as well as pick pretty flowers for their moms. You might consider hardscaping in this case; that is, employing a decorative fence, rock garden, or a rock wall. Also, think about established walk patterns in your neighborhood. Does your mail delivery person walk across your driveway? In this case you may want to provide a break in any landscaping to give a place to cross without trampling your plantings.
If budget is a concern, they you should probably put most of your money in the main focal points of your driveway, starting with the entrance, as this is the most noticed area. While plantings along the side of your driveway will look great, they'll be much less noticeable than the plantings and landscaping around the entrance to your driveway or the entrance to your house.
If you have a curved driveway, take advantage of the inside bend of the curve. Use this spot to make a small (or large) focal point. Consider putting in a water garden, a small tree, a birdbath, perhaps even a pond with a small footbridge.
Consider whether or not a hardscape or a softscape is the best choice for your landscaping. Hardscapes are things like driveways, patios, fences, rock gardens, anything hard. Softscapes involve soil, plants, mulched areas, bushes, trees, and so on. Advantages of a hardscape are that they are permanent and give you a "canvass" to work around with softscape items. Advantages of softscapes are the beauty of flowers and plant, as well as their versatility.
If you decide to go with a softscape that includes flowers, you'll also need to consider whether or not you want to plant perennials or annuals. Perennials are more expensive, but last longer. In some cases, they require more ongoing maintenance. Annuals only live one year, but they give you lots of flexibility in design over the years.
When landscaping your driveway, be sure to fully consider the multitude of options available to you.