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11 Elements Of Best Commercial Landscape Design

11 Elements Of Best Commercial Landscape Design

What Makes The Best Commercial Landscape Design?

commercial landscapingEveryone’s heard the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” But the opposite of “out of sight” can have the same consequences. Too often, businesses under-appreciate the potential of commercial landscape design. This can be especially true during economic recessions. But the fact is, neglected landscaping or unimaginative commercial landscape design done on the cheap may do more harm than good to a business’s bottom line. To customers and clientele, neglected or poorly designed landscaping can stand out like a dirty face.


Of course, everyone knows that “cheap” is a very different thing from “good value.” The good news is that handsome, business-enhancing commercial landscape design doesn’t have to break the budget, no matter the economic client. Let’s take a look at ten elements every quality commercial landscaping company utilizes that pays off for their clients.

11 Elemental Tips For Best Commercial Landscape Design

Element 1. The Right Plan

Proper planning is one of biggest money savers when beginning a commercial landscape design. It’s worth the investment in both the short and long run, because a well designed plan that includes planting recommendations gives you not just an efficient course of action now, but a pathway on which to base any future modifications.

Element 2. Match The Landscape Theme To The Building’s Style

Connecting the theme of your commercial landscaping to the building’s architecture is critical to a design that is both beautiful and practical. The idea is to have the landscape design enhance the building. A planner’s vision shouldn’t bully or conflict with the building’s design but, rather, work with it.

Element 3. Create A Natural And Welcoming Flow To The Entrance

Very much related to the second element, an essential feature of well-designed commercial landscaping is making the business’s primary entrance as obvious and pleasing as possible. Successful designs that lead the eye toward the entrance makes use of vibrant color in flower beds, unique grass accents and seasonal plants. Using color, form and appropriate hardscaping for your commercial landscaping helps escort customers and clientele to the door and can even positively affect their mood as they approach.

Element 4. Making Landscaping Relatable To Clients

First impressions matter in landscaping as much as they do at a business meeting. Using focal points in your commercial landscape design draws attention to your location. A focal point can be created through a number of elements. Colorful flowers or plantings, hardscapes, art or topiary are just a few examples. Using a focal point to draw the eye and add curb appeal helps create interest in the business at the center of the landscaping. And focal points in your landscape design can also be used to enhance your brand by incorporating your business logo or colors. The key is engagement. The better the engagement, the greater the impression your business will make on potential customers.

Element 5. Visibility Of Your Building In The Long Run

The very best landscape designs take plant maturity into consideration. Ornamental trees and shrubbery have various life spans and maturity levels. If not properly planned, plantings can eventually become crowded or outgrow their place in the landscaping. The result is more than just untidy. This can potentially obscure the visibility of your company’s location or signage rather than enhance and highlight them. Overgrown landscaping can reduce the visibility of drive entrances and affect access-point safety.

This all ties back to Element 1, The Right Plan. Anticipating the future results of your planting selections will help assure that your landscape design will work for you, rather than against you, for the duration.

Element 6. Embrace The Seasons Instead Of Fighting Them

Coordinating plant color and seasonal variety that complement and enhance your building’s style and coloring keeps your company lively in your clientele’s eye and mind. It communicates a sense of health and robustness to your business. Think ahead for the winter months, by using plants that retain a positive visual feature even during their dormancy. Focusing on the use of plants that are natives to northern Illinois can help with this. With a little forethought, the plants themselves can have an intriguing sculpture-like effect. Add to this concept by changing out some plantings on a seasonal basis, and your commercial landscape design will retain a fresh and inviting appearance all year long.

Element 7. Make Landscape Lighting Practical And Safe As Well As Artful

Illinois winters have everyone going to and coming from work during dark hours. Your outdoor lighting can pull multiple duties by not only enhancing the appeal of your commercial landscape design, but also offering safe and practical lighting for your customers and your employees. Rim your walkways with energy saving illumination that directs people to and from your entrance. The lighting should offer low but clear wattage that doesn’t cause eye glare.

Element 8. Keeping Maintenance Costs Low

Of course, there’s no such thing as zero-maintenance landscaping. But you can keep your maintenance costs low by working with your landscape designer early in the planning process. Working out ahead of time what plantings will work best with the grounds surrounding your building, learning if new hardscaping would better serve your design and having a sense of what you want to communicate to your customers through your landscape design will go a long way in eliminating headaches, unexpected maintenance or repairs and costly do-overs.

At the beginning of your new commercial landscape design project, have your landscaper also draw up a maintenance plan that details precisely what kind of care your landscape will need, including how the maintenance may change with each season. Thinking ahead at this point in the process will give you a much clearer picture of what to expect and how to ensure that your landscape maintenance costs don’t exceed your budget.

Element 9. Choose Design With Your Clientele In Mind

While no one wants their business’s landscape to be drape and forgetful, neither does any company want their green spaces to make customers grimace or scoff. Commercial landscaping should reflect the services or products of your business and appeal to the general sensibilities of clientele you aim to serve.

Humor in commercial landscape design rarely has broad-reaching appeal. Whimsy may be incorporated, but the amount will depend on your business model. There are, of course, always exceptions to these rules. The trick is to know how to showcase the best elements of your business through landscape design. Experienced landscape designers are trained to do just that, with your guidance.

Element 10. Xeriscaping In Design

A xeriscape is a style of landscape design that requires little irrigation or other maintenance. In arid states, this can also mean landscapes that require no irrigation at all. But the advantages of xeriscaping are not confined to the more arid regions of the U.S. Xeriscaping can be just as valuable in our northern Illinois clime as well, in particularly when it comes to commercial landscape design.

Xeriscape-style landscaping can reduce watering regimens, save energy and keep maintenance low. And using xeriscaping in conjunction with additional water- and money-saving techniques will result in even more environmental and budget-saving benefits.

Xeriscaping may help a business qualify for LEED credits. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a popular green building certification program that not only helps the environment, but can help a business’s bottom line.

Element 11. The Life Span Of Your Landscape

Whether residential or commercial, a well-designed landscape will have a life span of approximately twenty years. While elements such as flowers or grasses can be changed out for seasonal variety, the basic structure –the “bones,” if you will- should have about two decades of longevity when properly planned and maintained. You’ll know when your landscape is nearing the end when your trees and plantings begin to look overgrown, brittle, tired and woody.

What To Look For In A Commercial Landscaper

The best landscape designers will use balance and proportion when working with you on your new commercial landscape design. The right style, amount and sizes of stone, hardscaping, water elements, pathways and lighting will be just an important to a well-trained designer as the trees and plantings. And it’s important to know that expertise does matter. Choose a designer that has experience with commercial landscaping. The elements of residential landscaping do not necessarily work for business landscape design. The experienced commercial landscape designer understands both the obvious differences and the subtle, along with the technical details of working with government or municipal permits and ordinances.

Choosing your landscape company wisely and working hand-in-hand with them will render an enduring and captivating commercial landscape design that will please your customers, your employees and your business’s budget.

Country Landscape and Supply is always happy to help you with any questions about commercial landscape design for your business. Call us at (630) 257-6800 or use our Contact Page.