For those outside of the industry, commercial landscaping can seem to be something of a “cookie-cutter process.” In many places, one could stop by any random light industrial business park, for example, and probably see the same general landscaping themes. 

In fact, there often seems to be little, if anything, that sets one park apart from another when it comes to the landscaping.

Grassy knolls, box shrubs, and crepe myrtles. A few unimaginative variations on the same themes. Wood chips, gorilla hair mulch, and river rock for ground cover. Deodar cedars and shore junipers. Possibly a fountain or reflecting pond. 

The good news is that even commercial landscaping can be creative without being costly.


The Common Challenges of Commercial Landscaping Design

Oftentimes, the challenges of commercial landscaping tend to limit what a designer can come up with. Low maintenance is often a major requirement along with drought-resistant or low-water choices of plantings. 

In addition, many designs must be subtle yet attractive so as not to take away from the appeal of the architecture. And, sometimes, unfortunately, the architecture is either somewhat bland and non-descript, or it is older and in need of repairs. In those situations, the landscaping probably shouldn’t be too “creative” or else it will risk contrasting awkwardly with the structure.

Of course, there are other considerations such as budget, existing landscaping, and the actual space available to work with. In addition, what might work well and look good in, say, Florida, may not be a good fit for a property in California, for example. 


Five Creative Ideas for Your Commercial Landscaping Projects

Fortunately, creative landscaping ideas can still be incorporated into a design without violating any of these limitations. Here five great ideas that we’ve put together from a number of resources:

Using Potted Plants

Premier Concepts in the Seattle Area suggests incorporating potted plants into your commercial design. They especially work well in smaller or more confined spaces.

“They are small, and a perfect way to add warmth and color to the front of your commercial landscape. They can even be kept around the pool areas or signage to add a curb appeal to your commercial landscape design.”


Hardscapes and Structures

Another firm in Florida offers this hardscape and non-plant suggestion, 

“Meandering pathways to the front door create interest. You might also choose to add outdoor design elements that allow people to gather and relax. That includes tables and chairs, benches, and more.

Highlight your company name and sign by making it a centerpiece of your landscape design. At night, keep the focus on signage by adding aesthetic lighting. You might even choose alternating colored lights for a soothing sight.”


Building Green Walls

Adding greenery for visual impact in smaller commercial spaces can be easier than you think. PPM Tree Service out of Maryland notes that,

“Vertical gardens work for smaller or shared offices. If you don’t have much room for plant life, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate any. Vertical gardens can be installed on a porch, balcony, exterior wall, patio, or even an interior wall that gets enough natural light.”

These can be constructed in a number of ways such as using vertical garden containers and framing them with rugged wood on a wall or adding brackets to a wall, fence etc. to support hardy potted plants.


Creative Use of Water Features

Creative water features can figure into commercial landscape designs, as well. What can you use? Everything from multiple, small fountains to lilypad ponds built from galvanized steel agricultural water tanks. And keep in mind that part of the charm of well-placed water features is how they are incorporated into the greenery.

Unless you are working with a very large fountain or waterfall, most water feature structures can look a bit lost in the landscape without some flowers, shrubs or small trees planted close to them. 


Highlighting Entryways

Perhaps the central focus for a commercial space, even more so than signage, is an inviting and appealing entrance. Landscape elements can be used to create welcoming and distinct access to a property by using materials with different textures and colors, or creating unique pathways to the entrance, if possible. 

This is where both colorful flower or plant selections are important and, depending on the shape of the entryway, using trees to frame and accentuate the entrance. Just keep in mind that leaves and other organic debris can litter an entryway and detract from the visual appeal.


The Power and Value of Great Commercial Landscape Design

Most office buildings are often non-descript blocks of concrete, brick, and glass. The typical light industrial complex is even more drab and dreary looking. But great landscaping can bring vibrancy, warmth, and a sense of life to them. 

It can also add to the working environment with garden courtyards where employees can relax with a book or enjoy lunch surrounded by living things.

In addition, there is a strong visual impact that can come from creative landscaping for an office building. And this impact can make a critical impression on a potential tenant who has already seen a half dozen other sites, not to mention prospective customers who might otherwise pass right on by.


Your Source for Commercial Landscaping Design

Don’t hesitate to contact us for your commercial landscaping and design needs. We know that creating the best look of your commercial space is important to you and we’re ready to answer any questions you might have about your landscaping design.

Get ready to welcome visitors to your commercial property with an attractive and unique outdoor space and landscape design.

If you have questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation about your garden or landscaping project, contact the professional landscape designers and plant installers at Northview Landscaping today.