The 4 Most Common Commercial Landscaping Mistakes We See On Retail Properties

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Jun 23, 2021 11:09:00 AM

When you invest in commercial landscaping services, you deserve to feel confident that you’re getting the most possible value for your investment.

Unfortunately, landscaping mistakes can take away from the overall aesthetic appeal or even the functionality of your landscape. While you might think that landscape mistakes are most common with a DIY approach, we’ve seen plenty of landscape “pros” make some of the very mistakes we’re talking about today.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that we see and some ideas about how you avoid them at your property.Commercial property landscaping

1. Failing to Think About Trash and Debris

One of the biggest landscaping mistakes that we see is when commercial properties invest in professional landscape services but then fail to think about trash and debris removal.

Trash dropped or discarded in your parking lots or in the planting beds at your property can quickly detract from even the most beautiful landscapes. We always recommend budgeting enough money for trash removal frequencies that are greater than landscape visits.

Sometimes this is handled by in-house custodial services. You might even have someone on your property who is already handling this task.

Another common option we see is that many commercial landscaping companies offer portering services which include trash removal. This is something that we offer at Yellowstone Landscape to many of our retail clients, because they’ve realized that policing the grounds for trash and debris makes their center far more desirable to shoppers and new tenants.

2. Not Investing Enough in the Entranceway

Another landscaping mistake that we sometimes see is a failure to invest enough in the property’s entrances. First impressions are everything.
Hotel entrance annual plantings
Whether you are an HOA or you are a hotel property, you know that the first impression residents, potential residents, and guests make about your property will stick with them and impact how they feel overall.

There’s no getting around it, your entryway landscaping is the gateway that sets the tone and expectations for the entire property. You want your entrance to provide that “wow factor” that impresses people.

Adding Color

Even just a pop of color can enhance the look of your front entrance. An annual rotation with some bright and beautiful colors is incredibly appealing. In addition to flowers, landscape lighting can also help to brighten up your sign and ensure it’s visible no matter what the hour.Annual flowers at the entrance

Incorporating Native Plants

Also keep in mind that plants added to the front entrance need not only be annuals. Native plants can make excellent choices. They’re lower maintenance and won’t need to be changed out seasonally.

Using Stone

While flowers are the key element that come to mind with entrances, incorporating natural stone boulders can also add appeal without maintenance. Boulders can help a front entranceway to look more “full” without adding plants that will need to be cared for.
Incorporate stone into your landscape
Decomposed granite can have the same benefits. Patterns of different sizes and color decomposed granite can be a really interesting way to add a wow factor to your entranceway without having to add more maintenance.

One of the big benefits of using rock in your entrance design is the fact that it will never go out of style. Rock is always going to look like a natural and appealing addition to your entrance design.

3. Not Paying Attention to the Smaller Details

While you’ve likely heard the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” with landscaping we’d beg to differ. Oftentimes, when small details are overlooked, it can set a negative tone for the property as a whole.

That’s why another one of the landscaping mistakes we see made is when commercial properties don’t think about the little details around their property.

Sometimes, it’s failing to think about lesser-visited areas of the property such as the side parking areas or even the back of the center’s delivery areas. While these won’t get the same visibility as the front entrance, if you leave them completely untended, it can show neglect.

Other times, failing to think about details could mean poor trimming—such as not properly cutting back branches around signs. It might seem like a small detail at the time but if the foliage ends up overgrowing the signage, it could mean drivers can’t see it! That can end up being a big deal.

Another “seemingly small” detail is with the landscape lighting around a sign. Many times plants and flowers are installed in front of the lighting in a way that casts a huge shadow over the sign. This isn’t thought about until the evening hours when the sign loses its nighttime appeal. Now that plant material needs to be torn out and replaced in a better layout (a point that we’ll cover in more detail next).

4. Wrong Plant, Wrong Place

Finally, another common mistake is what plants are chosen and where they are installed. There is a saying in our industry - “right plant, right place.” But one of the more common landscaping mistakes that we see is choosing the wrong plant for the wrong place.

There’s more to choosing landscape plants for your commercial property than picking ones that “look nice.” And beyond that, you have to remember that even within the confines of your own property, there are going to be areas where certain plants are better-suited than others.

This means that even if you’ve chosen a plant that generally performs well in our region, if you (or your landscape professional) does not pay attention to its specific condition needs (and plant it in the right place), it could still fail. A shade-loving plant that’s planted in the full sun is always going to perform poorly.

This might seem like a landscaping mistake that wouldn’t be made by a professional but we see it happen more commonly than you’d imagine. A lot of landscapers just don’t have the horticultural expertise that is required to make the best choices.

Of course, sometimes it’s not even about the plant’s needs. Sometimes poor choices are made from an aesthetic standpoint. There is an eye for design when it comes to landscaping and you can tell the difference between landscaping pros that have it—and those that don’t.

There are also long-term considerations that should come into play. You deserve a landscaping professional that is going to consider the big picture. Maybe the place where they’re installing a tree looks okay now, but what about 5 to 10 years down the road? When the tree reaches full maturity will its branches be too close to a building? Will it block signage? Or, will the roots suddenly become problematic?

There’s a lot to consider!

You need a landscaping professional that will help you feel confident and will make the best decisions for your property.

Choosing a Commercial Landscape Contractor Who Won’t Make Landscaping Mistakes

While no one is perfect in every decision they make, you want to choose a professional that you know will be thoughtful, pay close attention to details, and will help guide you toward the best choices for your property. That is, a company that does “sweat the small stuff.” One who thinks about the little things that could become big things later—and saves you from hassles and headaches as a result.
Commercial mowing and planting
At Yellowstone Landscape, we understand the magnitude of the task involved in choosing a commercial landscaping company to partner with your commercial property. We care deeply about guiding our clients toward the best choices and helping them achieve their landscaping goals. We also care about guiding you toward making the best choice in landscaping companies, even if it’s not us. That’s why we’ve provided helpful content which will help you better understand the companies you’re considering.

At the end of the day, we want you to have peace of mind that you’re going to get the most possible value out of your investment and avoid detrimental mistakes. We believe if you’re putting in all of this time to research, you deserve nothing less than the best at your commercial property.

Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice for commercial landscaping? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.