More than Just Beauty – The Many Benefits of Landscaping
When people think about the value of landscaping, curb appeal is often the first thing that comes to mind.
In a previous post, we talked about how visual impact can influence real estate purchasing and rental decisions. In addition to providing that curb appeal, landscaping can enhance the safety and sustainability of your property. However, to realize these benefits, it’s important to consider layout, the types of soil and plantings you are using, and to maintain your landscaping on a regular basis. In our recent article for Facility Executive magazine we shared more in depth insights about the essential benefits of landscaping. We share a few other important considerations below.
Beyond beauty you will find safety and sustainability
There’s no question that a well-designed landscape can beautify a commercial property. Flowers and shrubs add a pop of color and variety while concealing functional but unsightly elements like air conditioning units, electricity meters, and water pipes. Shade trees provide cool, sheltered places to sit and walk, and lighting can provide a focal point for eye-catching design elements.
Many of the features that enhance curb appeal also perform important safety functions. Lighting reduces accidents by increasing visibility at night and directing the flow of traffic. A good landscape design improves access to emergency vehicles by providing open, drivable spaces as well as proper drainage and run-off to prevent standing water, which can attract bugs and increase the potential for slips and falls. Certain kinds of plants—like rosebushes—placed in strategic locations can even deter crime.
Landscaping also enhances the sustainability of your property. Shade trees reduce the need for air conditioning and prevent soil erosion, while a little organic mulch extends the life of your plants by retaining moisture. Microbes in certain kinds of soil reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Decreased energy consumption isn’t just good for the environment; it also lowers operating costs and offsets the expense involved in launching green initiatives.
Good planning and maintenance are important
For all the virtues of landscaping, there are some challenges that managers of commercial properties need to keep in mind. Before you invest in plants and design features, evaluate site conditions like the availability of water and sunlight and any local ordinances or other restrictions. Choosing the right plants and design makes a big difference in terms of drainage, pest control, and affordability, so you need to get a realistic assessment of your property’s features.
Even the best landscaping design won’t stay that way for long unless you properly maintain your plants. Removing leaf litter and debris is essential to keeping plants healthy, promoting good drainage and run-off, and preventing accidents. Inspecting trees for tell-tale signs of insect damage can stop an infestation from spreading to other trees. Regular inspections will also tell you whether your plants are receiving adequate sun and water. In addition, ongoing maintenance allows you to switch things up throughout the year to coincide with the holidays and other seasonal changes.
When looking for a landscaping vendor, it’s important to select a company that understands the unique requirements of your region in terms of climate, local ordinances, and other factors. Engaging a vendor that offers a full complement of facility services offers additional benefits, like consolidated billing, that can streamline property maintenance.
Managing a commercial property involves a lot of moving pieces. Investing in the right landscaping and finding a service provider who can maintain your investment is one important step you can take to increase the beauty, safety and sustainability of your property.
Click here to download a PDF with more information on landscaping services from RWS.