Before a client walks into your commercial property, their first impression has already been formed by just looking at the building’s external surroundings.

Even if the exterior of the building isn’t up to scratch, there are some simple steps you can take to help make it look a bit more appealing. The first step is choosing the correct plants to surround the outside of the property. Plants brighten up an area, create a sense of freshness and will ultimately make your property look more inviting and aesthetically appealing to clients.

Before you decide to give your commercial property an external make-over, here are some things to consider:

The type of look

It’s important to consider the type of look you are aiming for, as the type of plants you choose will depict this.

Perfected

If it’s a perfected look that you’re hoping to achieve for your commercial property’s landscape, the first thing to consider is the maintenance. To keep the landscape looking neat and manicured will be high-maintenance, and therefore could potentially be costly. To keep the manicured look requires more pruning and higher-water usage. However, having a perfected landscape may create the impression of a clean, tidy and organised business.

Natural

Unlike a perfected landscape, if it’s a more natural look you hope to achieve, then less pruning is required. A more natural look is ideal if your business is simply too busy or can’t afford to keep up with the upkeep. But it is still important not to forget to regularly keep up with maintenance to ensure the natural look doesn’t end up becoming overgrown and messy. A natural landscape could create an earthy authentic and laid-back impression.

The type of plants

Choosing the correct plans for your building can be difficult. Read this quick breakdown of the types of plants and discover what plants will suit your business best.

Perennial

Tickseed

Tickseed

Perennials tend to be strong plants that can last for two years or more and regrow every spring. The seeds which are usually sown in spring and left to bloom until autumn can be mixed among other plant types to create a colourful display. Perennial plants would be best for a natural landscape that requires less maintenance. In autumn, trimming can be done to improve the appearance and tidiness of the landscape. Although these are normally trustworthy plants, sometimes they can fail for what seems like no reason, but snails and slugs are likely possibilities.

Perennial plants include:

Blanket Flowers, Common Sage and Tickseed.

Groundcover

Plantain Lilies

Plantain Lilies

Groundcover plants are perfect for bringing some life to bare areas, such as under trees and other shaded areas where there’s no growth.  These types of plants are basically perennials that are known to spread out like a carpet of flowers. Not only is groundcover affordable, it’s environmentally friendly as it can be used to replace grassy lawns. Replacing lawns with groundcover means less watering with added toxic lawn herbicides and pesticides, which both negatively impact the environment. Another benefit of groundcover is that it helps supress weed growth, as it fills in the gaps where weeds are likely to grow.

Groundcover plants include:

Plantain Lilies and Northern Oak Fern.

Annual

Fuchsia

Fuchsia

Unlike perennials which can regrow, annual plants only grow for one season and then die. Annual plants must be replanted every year, which makes there more maintenance than others, as well as the variety and different growing conditions they require. Some types of annuals depend on the correct soil type, while others depend on a lot of pinching and feeding. However, they are arguably said to be the most colourful and show-off plants of the landscape. Although annual plants are most vibrant during the summer months, some of the most popular ones that can last throughout the year are marigolds, petunias and cosmos.

Annual plants include:

Marigold, Fuchsia and Begonia.

Biennial

holyhock

holyhock

Biennial plants are one of the longest types to live, taking two years to complete their lifecycle and can last up to three years or more. During the first year, they will grow their leaves, stems and roots. Growth is complete during its second year of lifecycle and flowers, fruit and seeds will grow. A great benefit of biennial plants is that they have a good tolerance to frost and cold, unlike many plants that can easily give up.  They can also be somewhat low maintenance, as they can provide a constant supply of plants without the worry of having to replant them.

Biennial plants include:

Foxgloves, Canterbury Bells and Hollyhock.

Screen plants

Screen plants are most commonly used for privacy, as these include hedges, shrubs and trees. These can be beneficial to your commercial property if there is a certain view or feature you’d like to hide from clients. In most cases, they even look better than a wall or fence. However, there can sometimes be legal considerations and consent needed if a new tree or hedge is planted adjacent to or nearby a public right of way. Screen plants are usually low maintenance, providing they are placed in an area with enough space to grow. Yearly trims may be necessary for hedges to keep them looking neat and tidy.

Plants are a simple yet effective way of improving the landscape of your commercial property. The surroundings and outside presentation of your building are one of the first things your client will make a judgement on – so make it a good one and don’t neglect your landscape.

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