Commercial landscaping refers to landscaping services and designs for business properties rather than residential homes. It encompasses a wide range of services from basic lawn care and maintenance to large-scale installation projects. Commercial landscapers work with business owners, property managers, architects and developers to enhance the aesthetics, functionality and sustainability of corporate properties and public spaces.
Key Differences from Residential Landscaping
Commercial landscaping differs from residential in terms of scale, needs, and design objectives. Some key differences include:
- Commercial properties like office parks, hotels, and apartment complexes can be dozens of times larger than the average home landscape. This requires more equipment, materials and manpower.
More Diverse Needs
- Commercial sites need to accommodate many uses including employees, customers, events, traffic flow, parking, infrastructure access, etc. Landscaping must enhance the property’s core functions.
Emphasis on First Impressions [#]
- For many businesses, curb appeal is extremely important for attracting customers. A professional design with bold planting beds, lighting and signage can amplify branding.
Focus on Low Maintenance
- Commercial clients want landscaping that stays looking immaculate with minimal effort. This means selecting low-maintenance plants and efficient irrigation.
- Hardscaping like plazas, retaining walls, benches and sidewalks are often key components in commercial designs. This requires masonry, construction skills beyond basic planting and lawn care.
Compliance with Codes
- Commercial sites must adhere to various zoning codes, ordinances, accessibility regulations, and development plans. Landscapers collaborate with architects and builders to meet these.
Main Services Offered
Commercial landscaping encompasses a diverse array of services to meet business needs. While specific offerings vary by company, main services include:
- Large-scale tree, shrub and groundcover planting
- Lawn installation – sod, hydroseeding, artificial turf
- Hardscaping – plazas, retaining walls, walkways, parking areas
- Water features – fountains, ponds, lakes, streams
- Outdoor structures – pergolas, trellises, shade sails, event tents
- Drainage and erosion control solutions
- Irrigation and lighting systems
- Signage and architectural elements
- Lawn care – mowing, fertilization, aeration, overseeding, pest/weed control
- Tree and shrub care – pruning, fertilization, pest management
- Seasonal color from flowers and ornamental plants
- Irrigation maintenance and repair
- Hardscape cleaning and upkeep
- Snow and ice removal
- Seasonal enhancements – holiday lighting, banners, summer flowers
- Renovations and upgrades to existing landscaping
- Sustainable solutions – rain gardens, native plants, composting
Site Planning and Design
- Conceptual design plans for new construction or renovation projects
- 3D renderings and imaging to visualize plans
- Budgeting, estimating materials and labor costs
- Project management from design to completion
Benefits for Businesses
Thoughtfully designed and maintained landscaping offers many benefits for commercial properties:
Curb Appeal and Branding
- Attractive designs with bold planting beds, lighting and signage amplify a business’ brand image. This powerful first impression entices customers to learn more.
- Smart placement of trees and shrubs can direct foot traffic, frame best views, define entryways, and conceal infrastructure like HVAC units.
Enhanced Workplace Environment
- Employees respond positively to being surrounded by pleasing natural elements like plants, water and outdoor seating areas. This is linked to increased productivity and satisfaction.
- Certain landscape elements like shade trees, wind breaks, and efficient irrigation systems can directly reduce a facility’s energy bills and water usage.
Increased Property Value
- Commercial sites with professional landscaping typically garner higher rents and make properties more attractive for buyers or leasers. This directly boosts ROI.
- Attractive business landscapes contribute to the overall appearance, pride and economic health of the surrounding community which is good for branding.
Key Elements in Commercial Designs
Well-designed commercial landscapes integrate a range of elements to enhance aesthetics and functionality:
- Plaza spaces, retaining walls, sidewalks, parking areas, etc. that complement buildings and direct flow.
- Carefully arranged trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers for visual interest.
- Fountains, pools or ponds that provide relaxing ambience.
- Spaces like courtyards or patios framed with plants to create “outdoor rooms” for people to gather.
Parking Lot Landscaping
- Trees, planters and islands to break up large paved areas.
- Path lights, spotlights and creative fixtures to showcase plants and architectural features at night.
- Sod, artificial turf or native grasses to create gathering spaces while reducing water usage.
- Native plants, rain gardens, permeable hardscapes, compost, etc. that benefit the environment.
- Flowers, foliage and holiday decorations change look throughout the year.
Signage and Art
- Banners, logos, sculptures or art that reinforce branding.
Working With Commercial Landscaping Professionals
For most businesses, it makes sense to partner with professional commercial landscaping firms rather than attempt large-scale projects in-house. Benefits of hiring specialists include:
☑ Expertise – They understand horticulture, design principles, project management, sustainability and required compliance codes. This enables executing complex projects with great outcomes.
☑ Efficiency – With robust equipment and skilled teams, pro landscapers complete installs and handle maintenance far faster than DIY efforts. Their efficiency also keeps labor costs in check.
☑ Risk Reduction – Reputable firms carry all required licenses, insurance and bonds to protect clients from liabilities associated with landscape projects and workers on-site.
☑ Single Point of Contact – Rather than coordinating various separate contractors, clients can go through one company for design, installation and ongoing maintenance.
☑ Money Savings – The right landscapers bring cost-saving insights on plant selection, maintenance practices, water management, etc. along with bulk buying power for materials.
When selecting a commercial landscaping firm, look for demonstrated experience with similar business properties, professional staff credentials, memberships in industry associations, safety track records, and client references. Establishing a partnership built on frequent communication leads to the best outcomes meeting a business’ unique needs and expectations.
Key Takeaways on Commercial Landscaping
- It involves designing, installing and maintaining landscaping for corporate properties rather than residential homes.
- Key differences include larger scale, more diverse needs, compliance with codes and emphasis on functionality over decoration.
- Main services range from lawn care and planting to hardscaping, lighting, seasonal enhancements and long-term maintenance.
- Benefits for businesses include improved aesthetics, functionality, branding, workplace satisfaction and cost efficiencies.
- Working with professional landscaping firms is recommended for their expertise, resources and risk mitigation.
- With the right provider, commercial landscaping can become a valuable investment that pays dividends.
Carefully planned and maintained commercial landscaping invests back into a business by enhancing image and function. Partnering with experienced professional firms ensures excellent outcomes meeting unique needs. With some vision and expertise, a company can unlock their property’s full potential.