Low-Maintenance Plants in Commercial Landscapes

If you are contemplating landscaping your commercial property, you’ll need to consider what types of plants to integrate into the final design. Plants add interest and variety to your landscape; however, it’s important, when designing your outdoor space, to look for low-maintenance options. Fussy varietals or plants not suited to local climate conditions can potentially add to your maintenance and watering costs over time.

What is a Low-Maintenance Plant?

A low-maintenance plant is typically a plant that has all, or a combination of, the following characteristics:

  • Easy to plant
  • Hard to kill
  • Generally drought-tolerant
  • Requires little hands-on care
  • Looks good all season/year long
  • Native to the area

The appeal of a low-maintenance plant is to make your commercial landscape as hands-off as possible to save your company the time and money it takes to maintain fussy plant varietals.

How Can You Do Low-Maintenance Landscaping Effectively?

When it comes to low-maintenance, setting yourself up for success at the beginning of the design and planting process will help your commercial landscape look great all year long and for seasons to come.

Consider these handy tips:

  1. Use ground covers. Look for plants that will spread horizontally across the ground. They’ll do the double duty of adding colour and texture while keeping the soil moist for neighbouring plants and actively choke out weeds.
  2. Select drought-tolerant plants. If your plants are drought-tolerant, they’ll hold up better against dry spells or heat reflected off of driveways and walkways.
  3. Mulch heavily. A heavy layer of mulch will keep the underlying ground moist, help retain water, and keeps weeds at bay. It also helps add nutrients into the soil to feed your plants year in and year out.
  4. Plant densely. Weeds are the enemy of a professional landscape, and placing plants close together will choke them out before they can even take root.
  5. Choose shrubs and trees carefully. Ask your landscaping professional which variety of trees or shrubs require the least amount of upkeep. Some grow fast and may require constant pruning. Others may grow more slowly. Evergreens will look great all year long, whereas deciduous options will shed their leaves annually. Discuss your otions to decide which may work best for your landscape.
  6. Automate your watering system. Even the most low-maintenance plants will need water eventually. You can save water and time by installing a sprinkler or drip-feed system. A professional landscaper can help you strategically design a water system that will lower your water bill.

Have questions about your commercial landscape or need advice on how to optimize your outdoor area? We’re here to help! Contact us today.

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.