A native Vermonter friend of mine is down visiting her friend Lisa in Charleston, SC for the week. She sent back this picture of Lisa’s gravel driveway, which is “maintained” by the landlord.

As you can see in the picture, “maintain” means dumping oyster shells over the stone base, to be crushed by the repeated passing over of cars.

Oyster shell driveways are not something you see everyday, particularly if you don’t live along the coast. They used to be a common practice in New England in the early 1900s, and the material is still used by homeowners looking to capture that seaboard essence. You can find bags of crushed oyster shells in some feed stores and home improvement stores, or online. Its uses range from chicken feed to bocce courts–and, apparently, as cheap fill-in for South Carolina driveways.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this particular scenario casts oyster shell driveways in the most flattering of lights. I’d be interested to see a more aesthetically appealing application of the recycled waste shells.

Do you have oyster shells as part of your landscape design? Tell us about it.