Landscaping Ideas for Businesses


An inviting commercial space starts with its landscape.

Tips for Commercial Landscape Design

Commercial landscaping should reflect a business’s overall brand values and mission. Since the outside of your office or storefront is the first thing people see, you want to make the right impression at first glance.

Design that Aligns

What type of vibe are you trying to convey with your business? If you’re a wellness spa, you probably want your clients to approach your site and feel like they’re stepping out of their busy lives and into a serene hideaway, even if you’re located in a bustling downtown. If you’re an apparel brand focusing on sustainably sourced clothing, your landscaping should reflect your eco-friendly practices. A doctor’s office might want soothing water features to help put patients at ease as they approach the front doors.

Whatever your personal brand is, be sure your commercial landscaping reflects it. Meet with a designer to determine the color palette, textures, and any hardscaping that will align with your brand image and your budget

Design that Invites

Do you want patrons to stay and linger at your business? If so, create a space with plenty of ambiance. Besides vegetation, you might want to talk to a landscaper about incorporating some of the following on your property:

  • Low walls for extra seating
  • Pergolas for shade
  • Canvas sails for shade
  • Firepits
  • Water features (fountain, misters, pond)
  • Lighting
  • Fans

Even the smallest of spaces can be inviting with the right design. Utah’s Cottonwood Landscapes has tips for making the most of small outdoor spaces, including vertical and container planting. Read more HERE.

Define your entryway with inviting vegetation and lots of lighting. Invite your customers to the front door, a pickup window, or a seating area with landscaping that includes obvious pathways. You could also create photo spots for guests, such as a mural wall, or a backdrop of greenery.

Design that Enhances

Complement your building’s architectural details with landscaping. A hotel like Virgin Las Vegas in Nevada, for example, should plant vastly different vegetation than a hotel like Boston Park Plaza in Massachusetts. Not only is the climate different, but the architecture is as well. If you’re not sure what type of plants to install to enhance your building’s design, here are some suggestions.

Landscaping for Mid-Century Modern Design

Minimalism reigns supreme in a mid-century modern landscape.

  • Oversized, geometric pavers
  • Horizontal wood accents
  • Sharp angles (made with hardscapes or manicured hedges)
  • Evenly spaced plants
  • Wide, low planters
  • Tall grasses

Landscaping for Gothic Design

Gothic design is all about moody hues and a bit of the macabre.

  • Wrought iron
  • Gothic arches (doorways, gates, windows)
  • Black or deep purple blooms and foliage
  • Moss
  • “Weeping” plants (willows, draping vines)
  • Stone statues
  • Stained glass

Landscaping for Art Deco Design

The key in art deco design is lots of color and lots of shapes.

  • Gold and bronze tones (painted pots, metal accents)
  • Wood and metal features
  • Colored concrete
  • Colorful textiles (cushions, sunshades)
  • Circular sculptures and plants
  • Glass blocks

Landscaping for Victorian Design

There’s a bit of romance in a Victorian-inspired outdoor space.

  • Red and pink hues
  • Cast-iron furniture
  • Water fountains
  • Sundials
  • Manicured hedges
  • Arching trees (willow, mulberry)
  • Gravel pathways

Determine the style of architecture of your building and go from there to create a landscape gameplan with a designer. If your place of business is a strip mall with no real architectural aesthetic, you can embrace the freedom to add character to a blank slate.

Design that Flourishes

Running a business is enough work; don’t make your landscaping another item to add to your to-do list. Install low-maintenance, native vegetation to your outdoor space so it can flourish without constant care.

Part of your landscaping design and budget should take watering, mowing, and weeding into consideration. You may want to ditch traditional turf grass altogether and instead opt for plants that make a bigger impact while consuming less water. In some places prone to drought seasons installing grass is actually restricted, so check with local guidelines when considering your design.

To preserve your hard work and investment, be sure you have regular pest control services in place for your business. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, be sure none of your plants succumb to critters and creepy crawlers in your area. The experts at Lawngevity help customers identify the bugs they’re dealing with and the best way to eradicate them. A bonus is that Lawngevity also offers DIY kits that are ready for customers to apply themselves.

Design that Protects

Planting windbreaks is a common practice, and it can be applied to your business landscape. Just like a farmer who plants tall trees or hearty shrubs to shield crops from excessive wind, you can plant them to protect your establishment. Windbreaks can make your outdoor space more comfortable for customers, and can protect your building’s exterior from excessive wear. The type of windbreak you plant may vary based on your region, but here are some common plants used for windbreaks in landscaping:

  • Boxwood
  • Dogwood
  • Elderberry
  • Hazelnut
  • Lilac
  • Nanking Cherry
  • Spruce
  • Yew

The right plants can also reduce how hard your HVAC system has to work inside to keep things cool. Dense rows of shrubbery planted a foot from a building’s foundation can increase insulation, and planting vegetation in front of windows allows dappled light while still decreasing the heat transfer. You can also protect your office’s air conditioning unit from harsh sunlight with plants or a trellis, which will allow it to work more efficiently.

Not only will strategically placed vegetation and hardscaping keep your building and property cool, they can also protect paint from fading, and reduce erosion.

Design that’s Personal

You don’t have to follow hard and fast rules when it comes to landscaping your commercial space. Maybe you want to plant flowers that bloom to spell out your logo, or plant flowers that are the business founder’s favorite. Your landscaping can tell a story, or simply fit your budget and climate.

As long as your landscaping is well-maintained and easy to care for, you can’t go wrong.

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About the Author: Micky Aron

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