Landscaping for Commercial Driveways and Entrances

While many businesses focus their energy on landscaping around a building or right at the front door, it’s also possible to extend your landscaping out further to help elevate your driveways and entrances. Not only do landscaped driveways help break up the monotony of an extensive lawn, but they also set the stage for the rest of the exterior of a commercial building, and are one of the first elements a client will notice. To effectively landscape a commercial driveway or entrance, a few important items should be considered to ensure the longevity of the investment.

Choose Low-Maintenance Vegetation

Driveways and entrances are by their very nature high-traffic areas, so when planning your landscaping, look for plants (like shrubs) that require very little maintenance and look great all year long. You don’t want to be blocking driveways and paths with constant gardening and upkeep. At the end of the day, low maintenance options help keep your entrance looking great without too much fuss.

Consider Heat-Resistant Plants

If you are lining your driveway or entrances, consider the temperatures your plants will face being so close to heat islands like asphalt and concrete. You’ll want to look for options that are hearty and heat tolerant in the summer months.

Be Strategic With Your Watering 

You don’t want to lose half of the water you use in daily waterings to a sprinkler system that gives your driveway more moisture than your vegetation. Consider installing a drip irrigation system so the water gets right to the roots and doesn’t trickle away or evaporate on concrete and asphalt.

Use Vegetation to Frame Your Signage

Your entryway or driveway will be the first impression your clients and customers have of your business, and having a well-placed sign at the forefront will help you brand the space and make your business easy to find. Use greenery to your advantage by utilizing striking plants and bold colours to help frame your signage.

Don’t Forget About Pedestrians

Chances are, not everyone is driving up to your business. There may be pedestrians that will need to access your commercial property as well. Make them feel welcome and help direct foot traffic by adding in walkways and using vegetation or landscape elements such as shrubs, flower boxes, or low walls.

Add Lighting Elements 

Your business can look beautiful day or night if you invest a little bit into nightscape elements. Lighting is great for highlighting signage and casting onto buildings (to show off architectural elements). It will also be invaluable in helping guide visitors along driveways and pedestrian walkways in the evenings.

By being strategic before you begin, and by planning a design before breaking ground, you’ll be able to make your driveway and entrance both eye-catching and functional.
If you need help with your commercial landscaping project, we’re here to assist. Contact us today and receive a free estimate!

Environmentally-Friendly Landscaping Ideas for Commercial Properties

Owners of commercial buildings such as condominium or office complexes understand that the exterior appeal of their properties can be just as important as the interior when it comes to attracting new tenants.

Green areas that surround the building and separate it from neighbouring lots offer up an excellent way to boost curb appeal and entice renters or prospective buyers. However, lush landscaping and perfectly manicured grounds can come at a high cost if not designed and executed correctly. Landscaping doesn’t have to break the bank; it just has to be well thought out. Being smart about the elements you are adding – and their placement – will help you save money and ensure your landscaping is eco-friendly.

Here are a few things to consider when designing your landscaping around cost-saving and the environment.

Use Landscape Design to Save on Water

Divide your landscape zones into groups that have similar water requirements. This will ensure that the plants are watered appropriately without wasting water on landscape areas with lower water needs.

Install Smart Sprinklers

Install an automatic system that has rain sensors so you aren’t using water when you don’t have to. Make sure your sprinkler system is set to water early in the day so your watering efforts aren’t lost to evaporation. Look for low volume irrigation solutions for flower beds, ornamental borders, and container gardens. This ensures water is delivered directly to the root system and not lost to evaporation at ground level.

Look for Low Maintenance Greenery Solutions

Choose plants that are native to the area and appropriate for the environment they are being planted in. Low maintenance options such as trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses add greenery without too much more workload for individuals who will ultimately have to take care of the grounds. Add some ground cover, such as mulch, around plants and flower beds to help retain moisture (so you’ll spend less money on water) and reduce both erosion and weed growth.

Get Smart About Lighting

Use energy-efficient landscape lighting. Whether you are lighting pathways or the outside facade of the building, adding a lighting element to the landscape will add interest to the building when the sun goes down. To save money and the environment, make sure you choose lighting options that have energy-savings built-in. If you already have existing lighting, consider converting to LED. This will allow you to lower your overall carbon footprint.

Embrace Hardscapes

Consider adding hardscapes to your landscape. While you don’t want to skimp on plants, adding an eye-catching hardscape feature will become an attractive focal point to your overall design. Whether it’s paving stone walkways, a large patio, a stone wall with a border, or communal areas for outdoor seating, a hardscape is not only functional, it’s low maintenance and requires no watering.

Ensure that your landscaping dollars are well spent with landscape design services from Okanagan Yard Works. Give us a call today to see how we can transform the landscape of your commercial property.

Increasing Occupancy and Retention Through Landscaping

Landscapes are powerful visual cues that reflect a building’s accessibility and openness. When a potential tenant comes to visit a home or apartment for the first time, the exterior landscape will be their first impression. Having an inviting landscape will help people envision what it would be like to live in the building and can create a powerful incentive for them when it comes to whether they wish to buy or rent the apartment.

Paying attention to a condo or apartment’s exterior is just as important as ensuring the interior is move-in ready and inviting. Here are a few ways to boost your curb appeal in a sustainable way.

Make the Entrance Inviting

The entrance to an apartment or condo is the front door for everyone in the complex. Make sure it’s inviting, appealing, and safe. Soften an imposing entrance with trees and shrubs. They also buffer sound in noisier neighbourhoods or buildings set close to streets. Flowerbeds and flowering shrubs add colour, visual interest, and natural beauty. Consider adding large containers of colourful annuals that can flank the doors and welcome visitors.

If there is a walkway leading up to the entrance, make sure it is well designed and well-lit to add security and visual appeal. Use the lighting to do double duty as an element of safety and to highlight the building’s best features.

Add Colour and Visual Interest with Plants

Often, a large apartment complex will naturally have long expanses of brick or wood. Use flowering shrubs to break up the landscape. They will grow larger and more eye-catching as years pass. Look for native plants that will take to the environment easily and will be hardier and less susceptible to the elements.

Plant trees and flower beds as well to break up the monotony in the space. If there are parking lots, use natural elements as a means to direct traffic. Place shrubs or trees in areas in or around parking lots and flower beds around walls or near the sides of buildings. These elements won’t just add visual interest, they’ll also encourage native wildlife such as birds and butterflies to move into the neighbourhood.

Encourage Community with Common Areas

While apartment dwellers give up the notion of having a backyard, offering a common area might be the next best thing. Shared outdoor areas can be anything from an expanse of lawn to a hardscape with seating areas for communal gathering and relaxing. You could even consider adding recreational elements such as tennis courts or basketball courts if space allows for it.

Communal areas are also natural places for water features such as ponds or fountains that can bring a sense of calm to the landscape and break up the monotony of concrete or manicured lawns.

Ensure that your landscaping dollars are well spent with landscape design services from Okanagan Yard Works.  Give us a call today to see how we can turn your dream property into a reality!

6 Landscaping Ideas to Update Your Commercial Property

If you are updating your commercial property’s landscape or designing it for the first time, you know how important it is to make an impression on those that are visiting your organization. The landscape surrounding your building is one of the first impressions people have. That’s why it’s necessary to consider how you can use your landscape to reflect how you want your organization wants to be perceived.

Here are a few tips to help you use landscaping to reflect your brand.

Beautify Your Signage

If you have an entry sign or roadside sign, use landscaping that will accentuate and elevate it. This will catch the eye of passers-by, making sure your business stands out and your clients find you easily. As it’s most likely the first thing that visitors will see, make sure it’s big, visible and attractively highlighted within the landscape.

Choose Colours That are On-brand

If you have signature colours, adding a few splashes throughout your flower beds is a great way to connect the landscape to your brand. It will also help you stand out from your neighbours. Be sure to choose flowers that not only fit with your brand colours, but also your soil and light conditions so they look great all season.

Use Design to Draw Traffic

Your landscape is a great way to naturally direct traffic coming onto your property. Use it to direct visitors to your main entrance, for example, or to guest parking areas. An easy way to direct traffic with landscape elements is to plant shrubs or trees in rows that lead the eye (and the visitor) to their proper destination, whether that’s a parking lot of the front door. You can also use retaining walls or hedges to draw visitors away from areas you don’t want them to go, or for areas that are for employees only.

Work With the Existing Architecture

Make sure your overall design compliments your building. For example, if you have a wide entranceway or statement windows, use the landscaping to highlight these features. if you have a modern, sleek and minimal design, avoid intricate elements that will compete for attention. Allow your landscape to accentuate your building’s best features and avoid creating landscaping elements that will compete with them.

Consider Your Company’s Values

When designing for your commercial landscape, ask yourself how you want it to reflect the company’s values. If you want to promote your organization as environmentally friendly, select native sustainable plants and incorporate green features like rainwater reclamation or solar panels. If you are trying to reflect professionalism, ensure lawns and flower beds are professionally maintained and well-groomed.

Your commercial landscaping dollars are well spent when you choose landscape design services from Okanagan Yard Works. Give us a call today to see how we can work with your team to ensure your commercial real estate makes a statement.

Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space with Professional Landscape Design

You’ve finally decided to go ahead and make over your property, turning it into the resort-style space you’ve always dreamed of for the ultimate in stay-cation appeal.  That’s great news! So, how do you make sure you end up with a living space that hits all of your high points that is functional AND on budget?  Make sure you start with professional landscape design for results that won’t disappoint.

How Can Professional Landscape Design Improve Your Project?

  • Taking your plan from idea to reality includes many steps in between. A landscape designer will work from your initial consultation to provide drawings and realistic timelines for your backyard renovation.  Experienced project management ensures your ultimate satisfaction with your finished space.
  • You have lots of ideas on how to make your yard great, but we can help you look at your remodel from a practical standpoint. Knowing what materials will work best in your space and understanding techniques that will give you the results you are looking for are key to a professional look and feel when your project is complete.
  • Landscape designers can offer suggestions on special features such as a pergola or a waterfall that can make your home stand out. Unique details such as these can become focal points in your yard that might otherwise have been overlooked.
  • Managing budget is another consideration. Landscape designers are familiar with costs for hard and soft scape materials and labour, and can help keep your project on budget and on time.
  • Setting realistic goals can also fall to the landscape designer. If your vision and budget don’t necessarily align, they can help to plan and budget your project in stages to be completed over several years, without having your yard appear unfinished in between.

What To Expect At Your Initial Consultation

To get your project started, you simply need to set up a meeting with a member of our landscape team who will be happy to get the ball rolling.  Come prepared with your ideas, and expect to hear some new ones that you may not have considered.  Key points of discussion at the beginning of any project include:

  • How you intend to use your space
  • Colour schemes or palettes that you want to incorporate
  • Any must-have features such as a fire pit or a pond
  • Potential material selections
  • Proposed layout of your remodeled space
  • Budget and timeline

Ensure that your landscaping dollars are well spent with landscape design services from Okanagan Yard Works.  Give us a call today to see how we can turn your dream property into a reality!

Creating Privacy in your Backyard Oasis

Most of us like our neighbours well enough, but sometimes, you just want to be alone.  Whether it’s a private dinner for two al fresco, or a family barbecue for 20,  there’s no need to feel like you’re in a fish bowl.  If you’ve got privacy issues in your yard, Okanagan Yard Works is here to help with suggestions and ideas to create a more secluded space for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

Build a Privacy Fence

Chain link fences do the trick when it comes to separating property lines, but don’t help much in terms of privacy.  Consider building a solid wood fence that will keep prying eyes at bay.  Choose from an unlimited selection of materials and colours to match your style and vibe.

Construct a Gazebo

A gazebo is a great way to create a separate space within your yard, and can be draped with curtains or adorned with plants in order to add even more privacy while also adding interest and colour.  Add some built in furniture or a water feature for a perfect escape.

Hedges and Shrubs

Hedges and shrubs can help to block the view of nosey neighbours and also add a great touch of green in your yard.  Be sure to choose varieties that will not grow too big for your space, and leave enough room in between them for them to spread out over the years.

Plant Trees

Planting full sized trees can be costly, but if you have a little patience, plant a row of fast-growing trees and give them a couple of years to thrive.  You’ll find there’s nothing better for a privacy screen than a beautiful birch or evergreen swaying in the wind.

Construct a Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens can grow literally anywhere, and can feature whatever type of greenery and plant life you’d like.  Add beauty and interest in your space while also blocking out your neighbour’s view of your yard.

Build a Lattice Wall

Much like the vertical garden, a lattice wall can be installed anywhere that you feel could use a little extra privacy – perhaps behind your hot tub or by your favourite reading nook.  A simple solution with instant results.

If you’re looking for smart ideas for added privacy on your property, call the pros at Okanagan Yard Works for a consultation.  We can help with everything from design to installation, making your backyard the secluded oasis you always wanted.

Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space This Year!

If your yard feels uninspired, and doesn’t provide the welcoming retreat you’ve always hoped for, make 2019 the year you take your backyard from drab to fab!  Spring is just around the corner, so now is the time to plan some great upgrades to make your property more enjoyable for you and your guests.  The pros at Okanagan Yard Works have a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Install a Pergola. Pergolas provide a great deal of shade for hot summer days and they provide shelter as well.  Add some flowy curtains for colour and privacy, and complete your newly defined space with some comfortable seating or an outdoor dining set.  Creating a brand new entertainment area is as simple as that!
  2. Build a Deck. A new deck can invigorate your yard by providing entertaining areas and making good use of your space.  Multi-level decks can add functionality for hot tubs or above-ground pools – or even just to add interest to your property.  Decks can be built in all shapes and sizes to suit your needs and preferences, and there are many options for types of wood and stain to create the perfect look for your home.  Many homeowners choose to go with pine, but redwood, oak and even composite decking are all excellent choices as well.
  3. Create an Outdoor Kitchen. Outdoor kitchens are becoming really popular as homeowners realize the value of being able to prep and serve an entire meal al fresco without ever needing to leave their backyard oasis.  These features can be built with brick or stone, and can encompass both work space and entertaining.  Imagine a fully functioning barbecue area complete with counter space, a bar fridge and seating for simple and relaxed entertaining in style.

If want to get your family outside this summer to enjoy the full benefit of your property, give us a call for ideas and suggestions that can enhance your outdoor living space and beautify your home.  Our professional landscape team can help you transform your boring backyard into a decadent retreat.

4 Reasons You Should Hire A Professional Landscape Company

If you’ve made the decision to invest in your property by improving your landscaping, don’t make the mistake of trying to do it yourself.  Take advantage of the skills and experience of a professional landscape company in order to get the most out of your budget.  You can actually save time and money by counting on the experts.  Here’s how:

  1. Thoughtful design. Having a well thought out design for your space will ensure that you will get adequate sunlight and drainage for your plants, as well as properly integrated seating and entertainment areas for your family and friends.  Experience plays an important role in making sure all of your features work well together, and that you end up with an outdoor area that is both beautiful and functional.
  2. Choosing the right materials. Our experts know what plants and materials will work in your climate and environment.  Not only will this help your yard to look its best, but it will also save you the replacement costs for stonework or greenery that simply doesn’t work in your yard.  Add to that the fact that professional landscapers often have access to volume discounts and a wider variety of inventory, and you’ll find that you’re likely coming out ahead on costs.
  3. Count on proper installation. Many outdoor renovations can seem like a relatively simple DIY project for homeowners, but unless you have experience or happen to be exceptionally handy, it’s best to leave the landscaping to the pros.  We have the knowledge and expertise to install your plants, stonework and features to exacting standards that will look great and last a lifetime.  The cost of materials is a definite investment, so don’t leave the results to chance.  Trust our team to make sure your yard project turns out just the way you want.
  4. Benefit from a set timeline. Many homeowners begin a home improvement project, but simply don’t have the time to devote to completing it.  In many cases, these landscape renos end up dragging on for weeks and months on end, to the frustration of all involved.  Using a professional means you will have a set timeline for completion, and you will get to keep your free time for things you actually want to do – like enjoying your newly revitalized outdoor space.

Get the job done right, on time and on budget with the friendly and talented team at Okanagan Yard Works.  Contact us for a free consultation today!

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Plan your Backyard Makeover!

It’s hard to imagine that summer is over.  The leaves are falling and the air is colder, meaning it will be months before we get out to enjoy our backyards again.  If bidding adieu to your outdoor space until next spring doesn’t make you just a little bit sad, perhaps it’s time to consider a landscape makeover to turn your property into your own summer oasis by next year.

Fall is the perfect time to plan and execute a backyard makeover:

  1. You are using your outdoor space less, so landscapers won’t be in the way of your day to day life.
  2. Landscape professionals are generally less busy in the fall and early winter, so you may have more success with availability than you would in the summer months.
  3. Many bulbs and plants require planting in fall in order to flower in spring – allowing you to have colour and vitality in your gardens from the very beginning of the season.
  4. Complete stonework, retaining walls and structures with plenty of time to allow grass and greenery to grow.

How do I plan my revitalized yard space?

In order to design the perfect outdoor entertainment area, it’s important to think about how you would like to use your yard.  Do you like to have friends over in the afternoons for barbeques, or for late-night cocktails on the patio?  Do you have small children who need space to play, or pets who may damage grass and foliage?  Are you looking for a water feature for ambience or a fire table for sipping hot cocoa on a cool evening?  All of these are important considerations that help to shape the look and feel you are after for your yard.

Armed with your ideas and our expertise, we can help you to design the ideal space to entertain, relax in and enjoy.  We will advise you on feature placement and materials, plant choices and irrigation systems to ensure that your final product is everything you wanted- and more.

Get ready for spring by planning your backyard getaway this fall!  Give us a call to book your free consultation.

Tips to Improve Curb Appeal for the Real Estate Market

If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, chances are you’ll do some repairs indoors, probably add a fresh coat of paint, and maybe even have the house staged to look its very best.  Many homeowners focus solely on the interior of their home, and give barely a second thought to the home’s exterior.  This can be a costly mistake, since the curb appeal of the home is the first impression a potential buyer gets of your house.  It’s what sets the tone and makes them imagine their own family living at that address.

There are lots of great ways to improve your home’s curb appeal – and its value – with just a few easy steps:

Update Your Front Walkway and Driveway

Take a look at your yard and see if your walkway and driveway are showing signs of wear and tear.  Cracks or stains will do nothing to help you sell your home.  Consider having some new stonework installed to add texture and colour to your home’s exterior, and bring new life to your yard.

Add Flowers and Plants

Nothing makes a home seem more inviting than carefully tended flower beds.  Adding flowers and greenery can go a long way towards improving the overall appeal of your yard.  Introducing a few well-placed urns on the porch or entryway is another way to bring out the best in your home and add vibrancy to your space.

Have Your Yard Professionally Maintained

A one-time professional maintenance appointment is a great investment in your property sale.  Ensuring that the grass is cut, the edges are trimmed, debris is removed and trees are pruned is an affordable way to display your home in immaculate condition.  Adding sod as needed to replace dead grass, or creating focal areas in your yard are also good solutions that make buyers take notice.

First Impressions Count

Get top dollar for your home by improving curb appeal.  Sprucing up the exterior of your home is a smart way to use your staging dollars, and can bring buyers right to your door.  Make your house stand out from the rest by hiring a professional to get your yard in tip-top shape.  Call the experts at Okanagan Yard Works for a consultation to see what we can do to help you sell your home.