The Basics of Successful Commercial Landscaping

November 7, 2018

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The commercial landscaping greenery and accessories that are outside of your office complex, retail center, or other such facility are as important as the building itself. Landscaping can enhance the appearance of your property and draw in customers, clients, and potential tenants; however, merely planting flowers is not enough to create a beautiful exterior, and some types of greenery are difficult to maintain! Your landscaping will also need to include a watering system, to ensure the lawn and flowers are always hearty and healthy, as well as edging to create contrast and keep flowerbeds well-watered.

Commercial Landscaping Cambridge, MA: Successful commercial landscaping will be easy to maintain while blending cohesively with the design and style of your building. The right landscaping features can even direct foot traffic and provide shade for a building, reducing your property's utility costs. Water conservation should also be considered when deciding on your property's landscaping design.

If you own or manage a commercial facility of any sort, no matter its size, style, or function, you need to consider its exterior landscaping features carefully. While a professional commercial landscaper can offer personalized advice for your property in particular, you might note some basics of successful landscaping design, so you know what to discuss and what to expect by way of suggestions!

Consider Commercial Landscape Maintenance

When deciding between your options for landscaping shrubbery, trees, flowers, and the like, you'll want to consider their expected maintenance carefully. The more maintenance needed for certain landscaping features, the more expensive your commercial landscaping services! The amount of care and upkeep plants and flowers need will often depend on a few critical factors:

  • Some flowers and shrubbery are hearty and thrive in virtually any weather and soil condition, whereas other varieties of greenery are naturally more delicate, needing a specific amount of sunlight and moisture in the soil to thrive.
  • Consider the direction that flowers and greens will face before choosing various species. The northern part of a Boston property won't get much sunlight, whereas southern spots are exposed to more light every day.
  • Note if flowers and shrubs will get shade from outdoor signage, overhead trees, and the like.
  • Some types of blooming plants will need consistent clipping or pruning to stay healthy or to grow and thrive.
  • Annuals are flowers and greenery that need replanting every year. Perennials bloom year after year, without having to be replanted.

Your landscaping expert can also suggest greenery, flowers, and other such features that are native to Boston and the northeastern part of the United States. These greens are more likely to thrive when exposed to northeastern weather and climate conditions.

Water Conservation for Commercial Building Landscaping

Another critical concern for choosing the right commercial building landscaping features is your expected water use, and how you can conserve as much water as possible. Some plants and flowers naturally need copious amounts of water to grow, whereas other types of greenery can thrive in drier or more arid conditions.

Conserving water with your landscaping decisions doesn't necessarily mean that you need to choose greenery that grows in arid conditions. A commercial landscaper can help with an underground irrigation system that collects rainwater coming from a building's downspouts and then directs that water to flowerbeds or areas of landscaping, so you don't need to use fresh water on those plants.

Your landscaping design should also include a plan for adequately watering all areas of your lot, not just special landscaping features while using the least amount of fresh water possible. For example, a sloped area of your property may not retain water very well, so opt for a species of lawn grass in that area that doesn't need much moisture.

Match the Commercial Building and Landscaping Ideas

Your landscaping features should match or coordinate with the overall style of your commercial building. As an example:

  • If your commercial building has a traditional red brick exterior, opt for rounded mums or hydrangeas for a strong splash of color and to offset the square shape of the brick.
  • For a stark grey or white building, choose a long row of impatiens to line walkways. These blooms provide a splash of color that isn't overwhelming but which won't blend into the grey backdrop.
  • Modern commercial buildings with clean, square lines are best adorned with boxwood hedges, as these greens can be manicured into a rectangular shape that matches the structure. Fountain grass also offers a bit of fullness and greenery, while still being compact enough to complement modern architecture.
  • Match the size of the building and your lot to the landscaping features. Avoid overly tall, mature trees next to a small office building or corner store. On the other hand, tall trees are an excellent choice for large complexes and strip malls, as the buildings and landscaping will then be in proportion.

Consider, too, any fencing around your commercial property and if you want to use that fence as a backdrop for landscaping, or use the landscaping to hide the fence. A white wood fence can act as a natural contrast to deep green shrubbery and bold flower colors, while tall topiaries can conceal a bland and industrial chain link fence, making your property seem less drab and dull.

Add Personality With Your Landscaping

It's also good to consider the type of business you operate and choose landscaping features accordingly. For example, a doctor's office might do well with a mixture of grasses, mums, and cabbage plants, as these can seem very comforting and relaxing. A travel agency might opt for tropical plants and trees, to evoke the feeling of a beach vacation you want your clients to purchase!

Landscaping colors can also add lots of personality to your commercial property. For example, you might opt for the colors of your company's logo when choosing blooming flowers; for example, plant blue and white hydrangeas in rows next to each other, if your logo uses blue and white. You might also celebrate the city of Boston itself with red flowers, such as zinnias or mums, planted in the shape of the Boston Red Sox logo!

Certain species of shrubbery can be trimmed to spell out your company name or initials. Flowers can also be planted to spell out certain words, such as the name of a car brand sold at a dealership or the phrase "Welcome Home" at an apartment complex. At the very least, consider planting different colors of the same flowers in rows next to each other, for contrast and visual interest. Commercial landscaping companies can help with planning this type of design for your property.

Landscaping Helps People Engage With the Property

Landscaping adds to the overall appearance of a property, but some outdoor greens, flowers, and other features can also help people to engage with the property. What does this mean?

  • If your building has several doorways, particularly lush and eye-catching plants and flowers can be placed around the main entrance, to help visitors find that door and not confuse it with an employee entrance or shipping area. You might even plant this greenery along a walkway from the parking lot to that main entrance, to signal the direction in which visitors need to go.
  • A store or strip mall that offers takeout food items might consider benches or stone borders around landscaping features, which customers can use to sit and linger while eating. This type of outdoor seating can boost business from patrons who may not have a place to eat a quick lunch but don't want to sit in their car or drive to a nearby park!
  • Office complexes with indoor or outdoor courtyards featuring lots of lush landscaping and seating areas might be desirable to potential tenants, who want to provide these areas for their employees, customers, or clients.
  • A bed of colorful flowers around an outdoor sign can draw the eyes in that direction, so potential customers and clients don't overlook your business name! Flowers or shrubs can also hide unsightly light fixtures under a business sign.

Practical Commercial Landscape Features

While landscaping is often meant to add visual interest to a property, greens and shrubs can also serve many practical purposes. For example, prickly bushes around a building's entryways, and especially a shipping area with large doors, can help prevent intruders from lingering in that area until a doorway is opened for them to use to sneak into the building.

Tall landscaping trees that cover windows can provide shade against hot summer sunshine. In turn, you might run the building's air conditioning far less often during summertime! These trees can also cut down on glare that workers might otherwise have on computer screens and elsewhere, reducing instances of eyestrain and fatigue.

Dense shrubbery around the building's perimeter can also deter potential trespassers from coming onto the property, and provide privacy against potential thieves that would otherwise monitor the comings and goings of your staff or delivery trucks. Commercial grade steel landscaping edging can also help to stop the flow of water from one area of the property to another, and protect the property from small landslides, soil erosion, and the like. Your commercial landscaping design is then beautiful as well as practical.

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