Page 27 - B2B Spring19
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In 2016, studies indicated that nationwide, for every $1 a business spends on landscaping, it gets
a return of $1.42. Dennis Flynn, owner of Valley Farms, has observed a number of real estate agents in Helena who regularly frequent his nursery to purchase hanging baskets, shrubs or other plants to add color and visual street appeal to a home they are showing. Dennis offers several insights into landscaping for businesses.
• Put in only what you can maintain. A poorly maintained landscape can have a negative impact on the business’s overall impression. Keeping the area well maintained is important, even if it means ripping out a messy area and replacing it.
• Stay away from lawns – they require more maintenance and water. To be environmentally conscious, Dennis suggests using landscaping bark, which is inexpensive and easy to maintain. Gravel is  ne, too, but is actually more conducive to weed growth than bark.
• Dennis recommends well-placed shrubs, colorful annuals, long-blooming perennials, and ornamental pots. Using robust color makes the greatest visual impact, and annuals are
an ideal way to add color to your landscape.
He suggests keeping trees to a minimum; they can overwhelm a landscape. If trees are a desired piece of the landscaping, they should be columnar trees that are not too big.
• Use a drip system for watering. Drip systems are an easy, inexpensive way to ensure your plants receive a regular supply of water.
• Limit large areas of turf; instead, do some mounding with shrubs,  ll in an area with bark, or create a rock garden. Proper selection of perennials and shrubs in landscaping can bring highly appealing results.
• Dennis stresses two things: use color, and focus on maintaining the landscaping you choose for your business.
“Consumers are willing to pay higher prices, travel further to, and shop longer in a store that they perceive to be a quality establishment. Adding  owers or shrubs to the exterior of a business can boost sales and widen the consumer base to include more customers.”
— Charles R. Hall and
Madeline W. Dickson,
Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University
Mae Clark, Nursery Manager at Gardenwerks, explains how a business can use landscaping to make an impression on customers. One of the easiest ways to create a welcoming environment for customers through landscaping is with  ower containers, whether it’s hanging baskets from railings or placing containers by a front door
or on a patio. Containers are self-sustaining, they don’t require you
to change existing landscape, and you can maintain them from late spring through the summer, change them for the fall, and even extend them into the winter. For businesses located in a heavily paved area, containers and baskets are ideal.
For businesses with an area that can be landscaped, there are more options, including incorporating a raised bed system, which is a more permanent structure to plant in. If the default landscaping is grass, Mae suggests converting it to a garden with native plants, which are self-sustaining and match the levels of precipitation, which in turn conserves water. Mae recommends, as a  rst step, a consultation with a landscaping professional to discuss the existing site conditions,
the goals and vision for the landscaping, and to advise the business owner in developing the plan, hiring professionals to do the work, and phasing the project through to completion. It would be helpful for the business owner to spend some time walking or driving through Helena’s neighborhoods, formulating ideas and creating a vision
in advance.
According to Mae, there are a number of bene ts to well designed commercial landscaping. A business can attract and retain customers with a good  rst impression, create unique experiences for clients, improve the work experience for employees, and increase the value of its property. A business can commit to environmentally conscious stewardship through its landscaping by planting trees for shade, which can lower the temperatures inside the business; reducing soil erosion; promoting onsite in ltration of rainfall and storm water; conserving water and water quality through native landscaping; and designing with wildlife in mind, including pollinators. A business could use a thoughtfully planned landscape to provide the calming bene ts of nature to its employees and customers. ■
Mae Clark, Gardenwerks Nursery Manager
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