A Half Driveway I’m Going to Call a Parking Court

Now that it’s officially broken into the 40’s here temperature wise, my family has thoroughly started to enjoy the mud that our driveway has to offer. We have the luxury of having a detached garage (we had one for years in the city too, so it wasn’t a transition), that is pretty far from the house, but then we also have a weird ‘other’ driveway.


On the left hand side you can see our real driveway leading to our garage, and then on the right you can see our ‘other’ driveway that is merely 3 feet from the road, then just dirt for about 10 feet tapering off to grass. The woman that owned the house prior to us owned horses, and this was the way she used to get the trailer out of the barn. Well, we don’t own horses, but we do park here, especially when it’s -30 out in the winter, and our poor babies are crying because the air alone hurts their face. You can see on the right a short stone retaining wall. It’s beautiful, and then more fencing. There are actually wild strawberries that grow at the bottom of the fencing. The nearest entrance into the house; however, is another 25 feet from that retaining wall. There is literally no way to create a porte-cochere  (roofed structure that would shelter this ground and connect the garage) unless the garage was literally relocated closer on leveled ground and directly after the ‘other’ driveway:


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That just sounds ridiculously expensive and those pine trees don’t have money on them. Now that picture above is on a beautiful sunny day and I really believe that was taken when the old woman who lived in the home NEVER used that ‘other’ driveway, because it looks something like this from us using it:



Obviously just a representation, but so realistic it’s scary. I’m pretty sure this little runway was only meant for one car, but out of sheer laziness, we’ve fit two. This massively wide mud pit is hard to walk in, hard to back up in and out of, nothing will grow over it and I’m pretty sure our dog poops in there now. I’ve been looking into ways to incorporate some sort of architectural design (besides paving) so we don’t have these two parallel driveways (stupid), and I discovered, that the posh call this a “parking court” typically used for guests so that they can park closer to the house:



The common features that we would need to include besides obviously just freaking paving it (please!) would be to outline with something either landscaping or pavers to define the space:







And then since the cars when you pull in face the barn and it would be awkward, I feel, to just put a low paver wall (see photo above), we would need to put either a gate, or pillars to create the feeling of a walkway to the property/barn in the back. I don’t want to actually put in a walkway, but I want to separate the spaces of the parking court and the back property. Even creating an arched retaining wall or adding shrubs would do it!

gated parking court








The property next to us just sold, and I was pretty upset about it, but the more I think about what sort of work our neighbors will be doing to build their home next to us, the more I think about how we can entice the workers and construction people to just hop over for a couple bucks on their lunch break. Until then, I keep the Swifer by the door.


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