Look at your commercial landscape. What do you see? Walkways that lead to where people need to go and lighting to help them get there at night. Lots of nicely cut grass. Some shrubs here and there. Pretty flowers around the building entryway and the sign by the street. There’s not really much to designing it, right?
Wrong. With good landscape design, every plant, every feature aren’t merely there to be aesthetically pleasing. If done properly, every part of your landscape design has a specific function that makes your property safe, energy efficient, and beautiful and you won’t even know it.
There are many ways that your landscape keeps people safe, some more obvious than others. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to make a property safe. Lights should be strategically placed on walkways, doorways, signs, and around any access points to the building and have to be bright enough to light the way but not so bright that it’s a hindrance on people walking or driving. Well-lit areas reduce slips and falls and keep crime in check. However, it’s not just lighting that keeps criminals away. Criminals tend to assume that if a property is professional and well maintained, they have security cameras or security guards.
Shrubs and trees can line a walkway to keep people from walking in areas where they shouldn’t and can be used to camouflage things like air conditioning systems or other equipment that people should stay away from. They also need to be placed in such a way that doesn’t obstruct views, whether for drivers in the parking lots or people walking who may become a victim of a crime.
Good landscape design can actually save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Your landscape design should make your business part of its natural surroundings so business and environment are working together.
Planting trees in strategic places around your building and elsewhere on the property can cut heating and cooling by 20–50%. Trees remove CO2 and other toxins from the air and produce oxygen, cut the wind, their roots help to prevent soil erosion, and they help clean our water.
For commercial properties, conserving water is not only just of an environmental concern, it can be a big expense. Having a “smart” irrigation system will save money on watering. These systems have rain detectors so they don’t water when it’s raining and they give you greater control over watering times. Using plants that are native to an ecosystem not only thrive but they use less water and require less maintenance than non-native plants.
On some properties, excess water can be a problem. French drains and Bioretention areas provide a way to drain excess stormwater in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, requires little maintenance, and creates a natural way to prevent runoff.
It’s been proven that being in nature is beneficial to our physical health by reducing blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and improving sleep. For our mental health, nature relieves depression and stress. Having a green space for your employees will not only make them happier but they’ll be more creative, more productive, and have an increased memory. Sitting areas and walkways will encourage employees to get outside and relax or exercise, making them happier and healthier. If they’re happy, they’ll want to stay with your company which ultimately saves you money too.
Good For Business
Visually, your landscape design is a reflection of your company. A well-maintained landscape shows professionalism and no matter what businesses are on the property, a welcoming landscape will increase business. Color schemes for flowers can be vibrant to reflect an energetic business or have a more natural look (native plants) for a green or nature-related company. By having hardscapes like benches to create sitting or gathering places, passers-by (potential customers) will be encouraged to sit and enjoy the area. A good landscape design also increases your property value and improves your curb appeal which will bring in more customers too. Other hardscapes like fountains or statues are another way to show the world who you are.
A great painting is balanced and is designed so that your eyes go where the artist wants them to go. A good landscape designer will do the same. Using shrubs or flowers to show you where the entrance is, uplighting to show off architectural features, mulch to show off beautiful flowers, using scale, form, and texture, the landscape designer creates balance between nature and functionality and shows off the beauty of your landscape.
Now that you know more about the function of good landscape design, go back and look at your commercial landscape. Is it pleasing to the eye? Do its elements serve your property and provide safety, energy savings, and other functions? If answered “No” to either question, call Bluegrass today at (314)770-2828 and let our landscape designers show you how they create function out of their art!