Good residential landscaping can make a home look and function at its best, adding financial value and overall attractiveness to a property. Good commercial landscaping should absolutely meet that same set of criteria, but the needs of this type of landscaping are often a bit different than what you’ll find in the average neighborhood. Landscaping architects will certainly allow you to add value with landscaping on your commercial property, but it may also need to address cost-saving needs as well as increased security or the ability to help hundreds of people get from the parking lot to your office on the typical day. To that end, there are a few mistakes you’ll need to avoid with your commercial landscaping design so that your needs can truly be met. We’ve outlined three of them below.
MISTAKE: POOR LIGHTING
Landscape lighting isn’t necessarily a requirement for every home. But for businesses, it’s usually a must. For both your employees and your customers, it’s important to provide adequate lighting along walkways, stairs, and parking areas. Not only will this make their journeys much safer, but it’ll make your business look a lot more inviting. Keep in mind that this lighting can also act as a deterrent for criminals — but only if it’s placed correctly. Too much direct lighting can end up creating other darkened areas that aren’t safe. Be sure to work with a landscaper to ensure your lighting efforts actually pay off.
MISTAKE: WRONG PLANT CHOICE
When it comes to commercial landscaping, a bit of color can go a long way. It can add some much-needed visual interest and can even help you save on your monthly energy bills. For example, planting a tree that shades an outdoor AC unit can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%, which can ultimately reduce your utility payments. However, that’s not to say that any plants are preferable to no plants at all. Choosing trees and flowers that are ill-suited to your climate, soil, or amount of space can be disastrous. And if you don’t have the resources for proper care, your choice of plants could end up sending the opposite message than what was intended! That’s why it’s important to work with your commercial landscaping company to choose plants that will complement your offices, are easy to take care of, and that will thrive in your area.
MISTAKE: FORGETTING ABOUT DRAINAGE OR TRAFFIC
There are two very important factors to keep in mind when designing your landscaping plans: the foot traffic and the drainage needs. Whether you use a built-in sprinkler system or want to rely on rainstorms to help your garden grow, you need to factor in drainage to ensure your parking lot doesn’t end up looking like a pond. Not only would this inconvenience employees and customers, but it can actually be a health hazard and can lead to even more serious property damage. Traffic flow also needs to be taken into account. If your landscaping interrupts the natural flow of traffic and makes it more difficult to navigate the property, you might end up with frustrated or confused clientele. Make sure to consider both of these points before deciding on a final design.
Excellent commercial landscaping welcomes both customer and employee with open arms (or branches, as the case may be). It showcases your property in the best light and makes visitors instantly understand why they should work with you. But landscaping mistakes like these can make your best efforts totally backfire. You’ll want to avoid them — and always work with reputable landscaping companies — if you want your time, energy, and money to be well-spent.