Trees & Shrubs for Commercial Landscapes

Figuring out which trees and shrubs to use in your commercial landscaping is challenging. You want something that looks good but also fulfills various commercial criteria.

For instance, commercial trees and shrubs should be low maintenance. You don’t want to rely on employees or expensive third-party services to prune and water them continually.

You also want commercial plants to signal to customers that you are a business. Arriving on your premises should feel different from walking onto a property in suburbia.

Fortunately, various shrubs and trees are ideal for corporate landscaping. The following are our top picks:

8 Trees & Shrubs Ideal for Commercial Landscapes

Crape Myrtle

While the name might sound like it is straight from Dr. Seuss, crape myrtle is among the best choices of plants for commercial landscaping for those wanting to add color. These impressive trees flower in diverse shades of pink, white, and red yet require virtually no upkeep.

Furthermore, crape myrtle can grow in poor soils. That fact makes it ideal for placing next to parking lots or other areas that lack biodiversity.


Another bright, colorful, yet low-maintenance tree to consider is dogwood. This impressive plant flowers white and pink and produces red berries that offer additional pops of color in the fall.

Dogwood is straightforward to train into the shape you want. Thanks to its deer-resistant properties, it is also favored for commercial landscaping at the edge of town. (Deer will sometimes feed on these trees but not destroy them).


Another option is adding barberry to your commercial landscaping. This shrub is famous for producing small berries, the source of berberine. However, businesses love it because it is low-maintenance yet offers pops of yellow color as the seasons change.

Like crape myrtle, you can plant barberry bushes in virtually any soil, and the plant will thrive. It can also go a long time without water, making it suitable for exposed, dry locations. The only maintenance you need to do is pruning once or twice a year to ensure it maintains its shape. It should take professional gardeners an afternoon.


Another option is the enigmatically named coreopsis. This plant produces bright flowers throughout the summer and autumn, giving your landscaping a summery feel.

You can also choose colors that match your branding. Orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow are available. (No blue, unfortunately!) As a perennial plant, it will last for years (so you don’t need to keep planting new bulbs). And you can put it inside, too, thanks to its minimal sunlight requirements.


If you want something more vanilla, try boxwood. This shrub is perfect for businesses that want their landscaping to blend into the background yet still offer some presence.

Boxwood is slow-growing (unlike many evergreens), so you won’t have to battle to keep it down to size. It can also tolerate various soil conditions, making it highly versatile, similar to the other shrubs discussed.


Spirea is another popular option (though you must keep it under control). These plants have long-blooming flowers, meaning they can add pops of color to your landscaping throughout most of the year. Like the other shrubs on this list, they are hardy and will accept poor soil conditions.


If your business wants to make a statement with its landscaping in the summer, then hydrangea is another viable option. This plant produces large flowers that radiate from a central bud. It also comes in various colors and looks stunning in full bloom during the summer months.

However, hydrangea is temperamental compared to many other trees and shrubs on this list. Plants require partial shade and well-drained soils, which is why you often see them at the top of banks or beside wooded areas.

Maiden Grass

Finally, you might want to consider maiden grass, one of the toughest commercial landscaping species available. This plant can withstand pests, drought, disease, and pretty much anything else a business could throw at it.

However, because the species is so hardy, there are rules concerning where you can plant it. Not every city allows it, so check locally first before you start using it outside your premises.

Work With Experienced Commercial Landscapers in Northern Virginia

This article introduced you to various trees and shrubs that are ideal for commercial landscapes. Of course, there are many more – we just didn’t have space to mention them all here!

If you are considering adding trees or shrubs to your commercial exteriors, talk to our team here at State of the Art Landscape. We help companies like yours enhance their curb appeal with professional commercial landscaping services daily.

Contact us to get started!

Boost Your Store’s Curb Appeal with These 4 Landscaping Upgrades

Physical marketing has become an underrated method in recent years. Indeed, elements like commercial landscaping can feel like a lost art. But your business can benefit here, as the more you look after your company’s physical image, the stronger your customer traffic will become.

Consider your street side image for a moment. It’s what a customer sees when they look you up online, thanks to Google street view, and in reviews posted by previous customers. Your offline efforts have an online reach as well! So, if you want to appeal to a customer in every way possible, you shouldn’t forget about your business’ curb appeal.

4 Landscaping Upgrades for Your Storefront

Tidy Up the Pathway

This is the first job to tackle on a curb appeal renovation checklist. A tidy pathway is an easy way into your business, as it’s inviting to a potential customer. A tidy pathway is a welcome before any staff have even had the chance to greet them. It’s also the best way to catch the eye on a street that’s otherwise cluttered with competitors who don’t invest in their physical image.

Indeed, a tidy street also presents a much more professional image. Store fronts that are cluttered with discarded debris and weeds are always going to be at a disadvantage. If you don’t want your store to fall into that same trap, make sure you clear away any garbage, trim back lawn edges, and power spray dirt build ups away.

Light it Up

If a customer can’t see your store front, they’re not going to come in. That makes light a hugely important but largely forgotten element of commercial landscaping. Light provides plenty of illumination in spots where you need it, but it also adds a sense of depth to your business’ branding.

After all, light can make things look bigger or smaller, and adjust the perspective accordingly, allowing for a lot more creativity in signage and window displays. Installing exterior lights attached to the wall, or placing floor lights along the pathway, or using tiered light solutions within green areas, will all be winning curb appeal decisions.

Add Greenery

Greenery is the best color for outdoor work. Appealing to nature, supporting the environment, and ensuring your store front is here to stay is all brought to mind by the color green. That means your curb appeal should be dealt a hefty dose of grass and other plant life as soon as possible.

If you don’t already have a patch of lawn, you can rip up paving stones to create a mini garden, or simply use edged beds and window boxes. All you’re really trying to do here is create a sense of nature, and if there’s even just a bit of room for those earthy tones, your store is going to stand out like never before.

Hardscape Round the Entrance

If you’re not sure what hardscaping is, it’s an element of landscaping that involves ‘man made’ materials and items. Essentially it’s any work you do that doesn’t involve what’s come out of the ground.

And hardscaping is a great option for business entrances. You can add in things like retaining walls, a gazebo or awning covering, fit a new patio or a deck, and even install a fountain as a statement piece.

Each of these features can be woven together into a landscaping plan. All you need to do is ensure you’ve got the exact measurement, and then come up with a clear idea of what the feature’s purpose is going to be.

Work With Experienced Commercial Landscapers in Northern Virginia

The sales journey starts at the front door. As such, good landscaping does so much for a business. Why not invest in it this year? It can refresh your company image and make your store front a much more attractive option. For a customer, a business that looks good is also a business that feels good to be in.

But landscaping can be a hefty project, and sometimes it can get too expensive for your needs. However, you don’t need to give up on the plans just yet! If you’re not sure where to start, you can work with our experts at State of the Art Landscape. Our commercial landscaping services could be just right for your business. You can contact us very easily regarding your curb appeal ideas and we’ll come right out to have a look.

5 Tips for Designing a Beautiful, Yet Low-Maintenance Commercial Landscape

In the current highly competitive business environment, a beautifully landscaped property can be an effective way for property owners and managers to enhance property value and attract more customers. Beyond the immediate impact on aesthetics, a well-designed commercial landscape with thoughtfully selected plantings, well-trimmed hedges, and alluring walkways elevates the customer experience, leading to longer stays, increased spending, and repeat visits. 

Designing and maintaining a beautiful landscape around your property is easier than you may think. 

Five Smart Low-Maintenance Techniques To Elevate Your Commercial Landscape:

1. Tap Into Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping focuses on designing a landscape to minimize water usage. There are several ways to implement xeriscaping based on the property setup and specific design preferences which includes: 

  • Choosing plant drought-resistant greenery that includes grouping plants with similar water needs
  • Incorporating mulching and hard surfaces like rocks, paths, and retaining walls to cover unused areas that may sap moisture from intended plants
  • Plant your chosen species at the appropriate spacing to avoid overcrowding that often leads to competition.
  • Using porous materials for walkways and patios to allow rainwater to penetrate the soil, reducing runoff and recharging groundwater.
  • Regularly pruning and maintaining your plants to remove dead or diseased growth. This helps conserve water by ensuring that resources are directed toward healthy plant growth.

2. Choose Native Species

Compared to non-regional and exotic species, native plants and trees are generally low maintenance. Since the trees and greenery in your area have already acclimatized appropriately, they won’t require much upkeep to stay healthy when faced with adverse weather elements, including droughts. Carefully select various native plants and trees that complement each other aesthetically and symbiotically. 

3. Opt For Evergreens

Choosing perennial flowers that bloom year after year instead of annuals that require regular replanting effectively reduces the maintenance demands of your gardens. Plant evergreen trees such as the Eastern white pine, Colorado blue spruce, American holly, Southern magnolia, and Monterey pine to achieve a resilient green landscape with reliable shade throughout the year.

4. Consider Grass Alternatives

Maintaining a thriving, lush lawn often requires massive watering and other routine maintenance. To reduce these demands, consider using grass alternatives for your lawn based on your region’s climate and soil conditions. Examples of grass alternatives are:

  • Moss: Moss lawns are a unique and visually appealing alternative to grass. Mosses thrive in shaded and moist areas, making them ideal for damp or poorly drained parts of your yard. Moss requires virtually no mowing and can create a lush, carpet-like appearance.
  • Sedge: Sedge is a grass-like plant that can be used as a lawn alternative. It’s adaptable to various soil types, requires minimal watering, and has a fine texture that resembles traditional grass. Carex species offer various color and height options.
  • Buffalo grass: Buffalo grass is a native North American grass well-suited for low-maintenance lawns. It has a slow growth rate, requires infrequent mowing, and is drought-tolerant. Buffalo grass also has good heat tolerance.
  • Clover fields: Clover is another excellent alternative to traditional grass lawns. It’s drought-tolerant, requires minimal mowing, and fixes nitrogen in the soil, which benefits other plants in your garden. Clover’s dense growth also helps suppress weeds.

5. Incorporate Rocks and Stones

Apart from trees, flowers, and shrubs, rocks, too, are part of nature. You can use rocks and stones to naturally set up your outdoor area and substantially reduce your landscape maintenance budgets. Use rocks to highlight specific areas and retain the moisture levels of the greenery. Choose rocks and stones from your local area to further enhance the detail of native landscaping designs. 

Qualities of Beautifully Designed Commercial Landscape

Now that you are aware of the low-maintenance techniques to achieve a beautiful lawn with little effort, here are a few tips to enhance your commercial landscape design:

  • Incorporate common areas: Common areas create a sense of community in your property. They provide customers and workers with an ideal place to get some fresh area and enjoy your stunning landscape. Ensure the common areas have seating areas with chairs or benches, fountains, fire pits, and various plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Add lighting: Proper lighting helps highly vital landscape areas while enhancing overall safety. It is recommended that you add lighting to entrances, walking paths, shrubs, foliage, and signage.
  • Add walking trails: Walking trails encourage guests to exercise and take in some fresh air, ultimately enhancing their experience. Add pathways and walking trails in common areas or through your landscape.
  • Create shady areas: Shady areas lure customers, workers, and guests to sit and relax. Add trees, tents, and umbrellas to allow people to get spots to enjoy their stay away from the hot sun. 

Work With the Top Landscaping Experts in Northern Virginia

State of the Art Landscape specializes in creating beautiful property settings that make stellar first impressions for your customers, guests, and employees. We offer unmatched expertise in all aspects of commercial landscaping designs, including design-build, tailored landscaping, hardscaping, lawn maintenance, turf care and maintenance, and more, all at affordable rates. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

6 Hardscaping Ideas to Enhance Your Commercial Space

Hardscaping can be an excellent way to enhance your commercial space’s curb appeal and increase its value. Essentially, hardscaping involves the creation of structures using solid materials such as stones, wood, gravel, brick, pavers, and other non-plant materials. 

If you are looking for striking outdoor designs for your next landscaping project, here are a few ideas to try.

Enhance Your Commercial Space With These 6 Hardscaping Ideas

1. Create Flagstone Patios

Patios are highly functional and visually appealing structures that can boost your curb appeal. They create definite hangout places for your family, visitors, or clients. Consider creating patios with flagstone or travertine. Flagstones make a unique design statement in your commercial space while enhancing its curb appeal. These 100% all-natural materials offer unmatched color combinations and shapes, allowing you to play with multiple patterns. Flagstone materials are also highly durable and are least likely to crack or warp when exposed to elements. 

2. Add Stone Pathways

If you have multiple hardscape structures in your lawn, connect them with well-designed pathways. Installing stone pathways in your garden can effectively transform outdoor spaces and add to their aesthetic appeal. Stones add a natural and rustic look to your architecture which goes a long way in boosting its value. With various sizes, shapes, colors, and natural stone textures available, you are guaranteed a wide variety of designs to choose from. There are also other benefits of stone pathways, including greater durability, low maintenance, and multi-functionality.

3. Use Stunning Stone Steps On Walkways

Whether your property is old or modern, adding steps can significantly enhance its value. Steps provide easy entry and exit for your property while adding beauty to your commercial space. Add attractive stone pattern steps on all forms of landscapes, from porches to patios to gardens and even stairways. The following are a few styles to consider depending on our layout and overall preference:

  • Traditional slap steps

    If you love a more natural, old-fashioned appearance, use cut stone to create traditional-looking stairs of the same size and shape. Leave the edges of the steps in their natural texture to give the impression that the steps were carved out. Since this design is highly structured, it can fit seamlessly with multiple architectural designs in your commercial space.

  • Floating steps

    Floating steps can be an ideal design for a way to add safe pathways through water, such as a creek or shallow pool. Floating steps come with small invisible support columns beneath, which makes them appear to float above water.

  • Add cast lighting

    Adding light to your steps is a great way to eliminate hazards and add a unique beautification factor that sets the right mood and makes your property stand out. This is a lovely and practical way to light your outdoors while highlighting your beautiful hardscape design.

4. Add Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Set up fire pits and fireplaces to create a pleasant ambiance and space to gather around. Fire pits serve as beautiful focal points which sets a cheery tone while helping design your gathering space. The outdoor commercial space is an extension of your property, and when you furnish it with a fire pit, you help create a homey feel that enhances the style of your outdoors. When designed as the centerpiece of dining tables, coffee tables, or built-in grilling surfaces, outdoor fire pits act as functional outdoor cooking appliances. This could be useful for any events you may host at your commercial space… cue the s’mores!  

5. Use Retaining Walls

Well-designed retaining walls can be a great way to add character to your outdoor spaces. Retaining walls are elegant, aesthetically pleasing upgrades that boost your curb appeal. They are also quite flexible and can enable you to redesign eyesores in your drop-offs or create beautiful flower beds that add texture to your property. Retaining walls can also act as erosion control by providing much-needed structural support. 

6. Include a Pergola 

Pergolas are a practical design feature that adds more beauty to the entire outdoor space. A well-designed pergola adds visual interest to an outdoor space and can be used to support decorative lighting or climbing plants. You can also use a pergola to create more private outdoor spaces that block prying eyes from neighboring properties. They provide a shaded area for outdoor activities like working, dining, or relaxing. More importantly, pergolas add between 50% to 80% value to a property. 

Re-invent Your Commercial Space With Our Hardscaping Solutions.

Commercial properties that come with outdoor spaces are gems worth investing in. If you are trying to spruce up your outdoor commercial space, stunning hardscaping designs is an outstanding place to start. The few ideas we have shared are an easy way to level up your outdoor space and enhance its value.

If you have further questions or need help getting started, the design experts at State of the Art Landscape are ready to assist. We have over 60 years of combined experience creating beautiful outdoor environments in Northern Virginia, and throughout Washington, D.C. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Commercial Space with These 5 Tech Devices

New mobile phone apps, handheld devices, enhanced monitoring and sensor equipment, and intelligent controllers are radically changing the face of commercial landscaping. For instance, weather sensing and watering technology for a commercial property can now provide significant water-saving costs, which is always good for a business’s bottom line. So let’s look at how to upgrade your outdoor commercial space with tech devices for managing design, planning, lawn care, soil maintenance, and watering.

5 Tech Devices to Upgrade Your Outdoor Commercial Space

1. Landscape Design Apps and Software

Professional software with 3D modeling capability, video, 360-degree panoramic views, and easy sharing are transforming the partnership between landscapers and clients. These truly immersive landscaping plans with striking realistic visuals enable the business to come along for the ride as ideas develop. As a result, they can more easily influence the layout and plant selections and agree on design elements. In addition, the designer can make changes on the fly during meetings, speeding up the whole project.

Mobile apps make the initial design phase easier with site analysis, area measurement, plant identification, and sun-tracking capabilities. Analysis and planning tasks that used to take days and weeks are immensely compressed. It’s a boon for both the landscaper and the client.

2. Planning and Maintenance Tools for Commercial Landscaping

Get out the drones! From taking high-level overview images down to low-level intimate shots of plants, a drone is now an affordable tool for many landscaping firms. Progress of plant growth, early detection of insect infestations, animals causing damage, or severe weather damage can be obtained easily with little cost. Early damage mitigation can save many precious and expensive plants, reducing time and money costs.

Drone technology is branching out beyond flight-related photography. While mapping tasks are commonplace, there are exciting advancements in plant pollination, seeding, and even the application of fertilizers. One example is a project where drones fly low to ground suitable for planting trees and then fire small pods with enclosed seeds into the soil. The pods degrade as the seeds germinate and grow. It’s an excellent way to plant in hard-to-access terrain.

3. Robotics for Lawn Care

Yes, robotic equipment is now becoming entrenched in lawn maintenance practices. Able to be used in a ‘set and forget’ capacity, automatic lawnmowers can handle straightforward tasks. With a few touches on a mobile phone app, landscaping staff can send the mower off to do its job. The team can then focus on more complex tasks such as hand-weeding, pruning, and planting seedlings. It’s a win-win for everyone.

4. Smart Irrigation Technology for a Commercial Property

Intelligent watering systems can save businesses a small fortune in water costs. With the right irrigation system, overwatering can be practically eliminated. Gone are the pre-set schedules for automatic watering that could see sprinklers merrily watering away while rain poured down. Instead, smart sensors can now be used to monitor soil moisture levels and evaporation rates on-site. In addition, controller devices can adjust watering schedules to meet precise plant needs as the weather changes.

Intelligent irrigation systems bring greater flexibility to planning and design, as reliable, targeted, and precise watering allows a greater variety of plants to be included in green spaces. Drip irrigation systems can be set so that individual plants are only watered instead of the entire area. This, of course, still requires excellent irrigation system design and installation by professional landscapers.

5. Weather Forecasting Devices

Mobile phone apps and wireless weather stations assist in the most critical landscaping task — weather forecasting. Solar-powered weather stations enable accurate reading of what’s happening in landscaped sites and nearby surrounds. Knowing expected wind strength, cloud cover, and estimated rainfall ahead of time allows good landscape risk management. While not every contingency can be foreseen and mitigated, most severe weather events can be planned for.

Technology now enables weather data to be accessed from a mobile phone app reporting on the wireless weather station data being gathered. Alternatively, data can stream continuously to desktop and laptop computers. Forewarned is forearmed, and with up-to-date information, landscapers can plan to protect fragile plants. They can also determine the best days to carry out new plantings and reschedule staff around unsuitable weather conditions.

State of the Art for Your Commercial Landscaping in Northern Virginia

Undoubtedly, technology will continue to advance and upgrade the commercial landscaping space. Your commercial property needs a landscaping firm that stays up to date with trends and can advise you on benefits that can be achieved. At State of the Art Landscape, we’re committed to bringing the highest quality services to Northern Virginia commercial properties. Contact us today for a discussion on how we can enhance your business outdoor environment.

7 Tips for Finding the Right Luxury Landscaping Partner in Northern Virginia

Luxury landscaping greatly enhances commercial and residential properties. Your designers must have the technical expertise to draw specifications, plan and cost the installation, and manage all aspects of the project. They should also be personable, have excellent communication skills, and show how your vision will be brought to life. So, how do you choose the best landscape firm? See our seven tips for finding the right luxury landscaping partner in Northern Virginia.

7 Tips For Finding the Right Luxury Landscaping Partner in Northern Virginia

1. They Have an Inspiring Portfolio

As you start searching through local landscape architects and contracting firms, the most critical up-front issue is the depth and breadth of their previous projects. Online portfolios should have a strong gallery highlighting the best of their designs. The gallery should make you want to revisit it time and time again for inspiration and to gain a good grasp of the firm’s design and installation skills.

Another aspect you should be able to glean is whether the landscapers display the design sophistry you want. You need more than just functionality — you want to see the artistry that elevates outdoor living spaces beyond run-of-the-mill and what your neighbors are doing.

2. Their Service Set Stands Up to Examination

Next, look at the design company’s complete set of services. Are they primarily a design service, or do they provide the entire design, build and install experience for luxury landscaping projects?

One of the advantages of working with a highly experienced landscaping firm is that they will very likely have strong trade contacts and affiliations in place. So, for instance, if specialist contractors are required for a project, the firm will know how to find and line up their services. As a result, you will be less likely to experience delays and cost overruns.

3. Qualifications and Memberships Relevant to Luxury Landscaping

Peruse the qualifications of the executives of the landscape design company. Trade or university-level studies provide a good indicator of the company’s professionalism and depth of knowledge.

You should also check what mandatory licenses the landscaping firm should be holding. For example, a state-issued Class A BLD license allows a company to work on high-value contracts in Virginia. And they will be thoroughly familiar with government regulations, safety standards, and building codes.

If they are local to Northern Virginia, the odds are that your chosen landscapers will also understand the local environment, weather extremes, and the most suitable plants for your property.

4. Top Communication Skills

The design company you select should be consultative, friendly, and professional. You need a team that will carefully listen to all your needs and wants and combine them into the overall design. Timely, regular communication goes a long way toward ensuring miscommunication and confusion don’t happen.

Any agreements or contracts you enter into should detail the complete scope of the project and how any changes will be negotiated and agreed upon.

You can test whether the landscapers have the communication skills you need with a phone call or two and query emails. You should assess the following:

  • Did they respond with courtesy and appropriate detail?
  • Was a collaborative approach outlined?
  • Did they offer a follow-up to give you more information without becoming pushy?

5. Satisfied Customers Abound

Check online for any complaints and the quality of reviews about the intended landscape design firm. For instance, are they a five-star reviewed company with highly rated customer service? If so, they could be a good choice for you.

A ready supply of reviews is usually found on social media — Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, for example. Google Business listings are an important source of feedback as well.

6. Maintenance and After Sales Service

If you need your garden and landscape maintained at a high presentation level all year round, consider whether the landscaping firm can provide this service. You may not have time to keep lawns manicured, maintain swimming pools and hardscape surrounds, and perform garden pruning and planting. Who better than the design-build-install team to keep your property in showcase condition?

7. Are Their Quotes Value for Money?

If you can whittle your list of suitable landscaping firms down to three, you’re in a great spot to do the final assessment — quote comparisons. Then, once you have your quotes and all the other information, you should be able to make a sound choice.

Finding Your Luxury Landscaping Partner in Northern Virginia

State of the Art Landscape is a highly experienced team providing the full-service experience for commercial and residential clients. Holding both Virginian Class A BLD and Maryland Home Improvement Contractor licenses, we can design-build-install any landscaping dream you have. Let us show you how to turn your ideas into reality with an on-site appointment.

We service Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. areas.

Everything You Need to Know About Irrigation

Successful irrigation planning needs an in-depth understanding of soil and plant watering needs with the ability to identify suitable irrigation equipment. Planning inputs include your vision for the landscape while considering its unique features, vegetation, and local climate. Advice from seasoned commercial landscapers is invaluable when planning your watering needs. Here’s our quick guide on everything you need to know about irrigation for your commercial property.

What is the Best Type of Irrigation at Commercial Properties?

The size of gardens, lawns, and flower beds at most commercial properties rule out using widespread home irrigation methods — hand watering with a hose and using moveable sprinklers. Two major irrigation systems are used for commercial landscaping — drip or spray equipment. Whether one or the other, or a combination, is the best fit for your landscape depends on four things. These are the soil type, the landforms, the existing or planned plants, and the local climate.

Drip Irrigation for Commercial Landscaping

Drip irrigation is based on long thin tubes with small holes that allow water to drip slowly onto the ground. The term ‘trickle watering’ also describes this type of system. Drip irrigation at commercial properties can be laid on top of the soil or underground.


A significant benefit of drip watering is the water efficiency achieved. Regular moisture is directed to plant roots with the tubes placed directly by plants. In comparison to sprinkler systems, there is minimal loss from runoff.

Impacts from the weather are reduced as well. For example, there is less water evaporation on hot days, and loss from wind lessens. Plus, with little runoff, there is minimal soil erosion.


There are several parts to drip irrigation equipment:

  • Lengths of drip tubing are connected with elbows, tees, and joiners to a water source. These enable the tubing to be configured in shapes to reach any area of the site. Clamps or specialized fittings secure the connections.
  • End plugs stop water flow beyond the tubing.
  • Fitted water regulators keep the flow of water even.
  • Valves and gauges control water flow to specific parts of the landscape.
  • In-line filters prevent the tubes from silting up and blocking water flow, and
  • A programmable controller automates the time that the equipment runs.

So, many parts are involved in setting up a drip irrigation system for commercial landscaping. However, once set up, it’s mostly a set-and-forget exercise with the controller running the show.


Setting up a drip watering system can be complex and is often best left to experienced landscaping companies. In addition, with so many parts, repair and maintenance can be technical and time-consuming if anything goes wrong. Therefore, scheduling annual irrigation maintenance is worthwhile to reduce risks with the system.

Spray Irrigation for Commercial Landscaping

Spray irrigation systems center around spray nozzles inserted into tubing and pipes connected to a water source. Pop-up sprayers are often used, with the equipment only visible when operating.


A spray system can cover a large area entirely, such as an expanse of lawn. Grass requires complete water coverage; otherwise, there will be die-offs in areas not reached. On the other hand, a drip system is limited to the place where laid and is not practical for large open space watering.


Before laying any equipment, a trench system must be dug for the spray system. There are several parts to be installed:

  • Pipes are laid into the trenches.
  • The pipe system is configured using elbow joints and T-joints so that sprinkler heads can be set wherever desired.
  • Sprinklers are connected and secured to the pipes with fittings and clamps.
  • The spray heads are tested and adjusted to get the proper spray direction.
  • The trenches are filled back in, and
  • A controller is attached to the water source.


There can be high water loss in unfavorable weather conditions, such as high winds and hot days where evaporation rates are high. In addition, water pooling and runoff are common.

Water Controllers and Technology

Both drip and spray irrigation systems use controllers to automate water release and time operations. Continuing technical advancements are developing this equipment into ‘smart’ devices. For example, advanced controllers can now assess weather conditions and adjust watering schedules accordingly.

Install the Best Irrigation at Commercial Properties with State of the Art

State of the Art Landscape in Northern Virginia is highly experienced in all commercial landscaping areas and especially knows everything about irrigation. Contact us today for assistance with planning, installing, or maintaining irrigation systems. The complexity of watering systems requires experience and a professional approach to ensure no mistakes are made and that your equipment is long-lived.

5 Ways Landscaping Impacts a Business

How important is landscaping to the success of your business? If you have an outdoor dining establishment, for example, the ambiance created by well-designed plantings and accessories can be critical. An office-based business, on the other hand, may not seem to need pleasant views and spaces, but you may be surprised to find otherwise. Discover five ways that landscaping impacts a business and decide whether commercial landscaping can help improve your profits.

1. First Impressions Send Subjective Messages

If you have a small business selling goods and services from a physical storefront, you know that first impressions are always important. Harmonious and visually pleasing combinations of plants and accessible, easily traveled pathways give first-time potential customers or clients a positive image. Formal landscapes may suit corporate businesses, while more casual garden surrounds can match a relaxed dining style.

The style of your landscaping and its upkeep impacts your business by telling customers with a swift glance whether the business appears to be thriving or struggling. A positive first impression is crucial for companies to attract customers and entice them into the establishment. Unfortunately, neglected plantings, half-dead pot plants, or damaged garden surrounds can all send subliminal messages to people that the business is struggling or doesn’t care about attention to detail. That’s not the impression any business should want to impart.

2. Landscaping That Doesn’t Match Your Business Needs

If you’ve ever walked past a storefront with a bland exterior, little window dressing, and some neglected pot plants, you’ve probably just kept on walking. Mismatches in storefront presentation and landscaping with the needs of your business can make a severe dent in profits. Customers are primarily fickle and will readily turn to nearby competitors who provide pleasing business-aligned shopping or dining experiences.

Customers are extremely sensitive to environmental surroundings, often assessing where to shop or dine based on access to shade or sunlight depending on the weather. Other landscaping benefits that business owners don’t capitalize on include failure to provide accessible pathways. Outdated décor, lack of green space, and no benches or seating to rest are all negatives in competitive markets.

Commercial landscaping can assist customers’ physical and psychological needs as they interact with businesses. Landscaping benefits include the transformation of the blandest outdoor sites into customer-enticing showpieces.

3. Attract Customers with Seasonal Design and Greenery

Taking a seasonal approach to beautifying your business is challenging but can be very worthwhile. Refreshing plantings occasionally with blooming annuals and perennials is an artful way to attract customers. Just make sure you time this to coincide with peak shopping periods. This type of green maintenance and upgrade to your business can be readily addressed by scheduling commercial landscaping ahead of time.

4. Your Business’s Landscaping Can Impact Customer Safety

Every year many injuries are sustained by business customers due to unsafe environments. Problems arising outdoors mainly focus on faulty footpaths and a lack of flat walking or wheelchair-suitable areas. Many businesses present a challenge to the infirm, disabled, or elderly through failure to meet accessibility standards.

Installing or upgrading hardscape features is the key to resolving many accessibility problems and improving mobility through the outdoor environment. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘hardscaping,’ it refers to the hard, functional elements in business surroundings. These include ramps and steps, concrete, paved, or gravel walkways overhead shelter from the rain along paths and business frontages; and flexible overhead covers for dining areas.

5. The Positive Effect of Smart Landscape Architecture on Employees

As human beings, we crave being outdoors in gardens and other natural environments. This trend is reflected in contemporary housing, where large picture windows, sliding glass doors, and backyard patios all work to bring the outdoors in.

Employees working indoors for much of the day can find relaxation and respite from stressful environments in commercial landscaping. Benches set amongst the greenery, quiet private nooks set amongst trees and bushes, or corporate BBQ areas, are all outdoor elements that can enhance employee satisfaction with their workplace.

Outdoor breaks away from desks can enhance productivity by allowing staff time to reflect on issues and work through problems. The change in environment is refreshing to both mind and spirit, even in short breaks.

Need Commercial Landscaping in Northern Virginia?

If you need landscaping to improve the outdoor areas of your business, get in touch with us at State of the Art Landscape. We provide superior landscaping design, along with greening, hardscaping, lawn and turf maintenance, and numerous other outdoor enhancements. Our attention to detail is impeccable, and landscaping benefits for your business will be maximized.

Using Unique Commercial Landscaping to Enhance Business Appeal

What is it that makes certain examples of commercial landscaping distinctive and more eye-catching than others? Is it the bold reimagining of traditional gardens and park-like features? Perhaps it’s the artful blending of nature with the architectural elements of a business facade. Or could it be the way the placement, colors, and textures of the site surround draw buyers to an enticing entrance? See our take on using unique commercial landscaping to enhance your business appeal to clients and customers.

Focus on Function and Purpose First

Inspiration for original combinations of plantings, structural features, paving, seating, and water features can come from anywhere. Local surroundings, natural features, art installations, interior design trends, and landscape design awards are just a few inspiration sources. The creative mindset of landscapers is unlimited, though restricted by the practicalities of a client’s budget.

However, function and purpose are the drivers for any take on unique designs by professional landscaping firms.

For Example Herb Garden

Thus, an herb garden developed for a pharmaceutical client may focus on the historical background of using herbs as medicines. Inspiration may be drawn from old designs of monastery gardens, for instance.

In contrast, an herb garden developed for a senior care home could focus on plantings of fragrant herbs known to calm the senses, such as chamomile, lavender, and rosemary. The design would feature plenty of seating areas and wide flat paths for comfort and safety purposes.

Using Unique Commercial Landscaping to Enhance Business Appeal

Professional landscapers tend to work with a set of natural and artificial features. These include water features, lawns, plantings of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Structural design elements are incorporated, such as bridges, fences, and walls. Seating, walkways, and decorative sculptural elements encourage potential customers and curious passersby to visit, generating foot traffic for businesses.

Countless combinations of pleasing and exciting landscapes can be made with standard features alone. However, choices of shapes, colors, plant varieties, and hardscape materials that can complement business facades and location qualities can be hard to settle on. Even so, experienced designers know how to create unique designs that meet not only landscape values but other values.

Can Commercial Landscaping Address Cultural and Environmental Concerns?

Environmental, historical, and heritage overlays relevant to a business’s location, can be addressed in landscape design. For instance, planting pollination gardens can address environmental concerns about shrinking honeybee populations. These gardens are full of annual and perennial flowering plants that strongly attract bees and provide nectar for the hives.

Heritage values can be referenced via markers, explanatory plaques, memorial benches, and sculptures, telling of historical events and important people.

What Values Do You Want to Convey?

Of course, the type of image you want to convey depends upon your target customer groups. But with environmental concerns at the forefront of many consumers, using commercial landscape features to show your green credentials can be worthwhile. Using hardy native plants or water-wise ornamentals, and putting water-recycling systems behind water features, may be valuable for your business in more ways than one.

Seek Inspiration for Unique Designs from Award Winners

The unique designs of contemporary landscaping design award winners provide a feast of new ideas for the landscaping industry. The American Society of Landscape Architects gives an annual award for several landscaping categories, including general, residential, and urban.

Many award winners have examined issues like climate resilience, land preservation, flood recovery, and community needs. Commercial landscaping features are turned to grappling with urban problems. For instance, they have built a forest of trees over an underground car park, providing much-needed outdoor space while retaining access to motor vehicles.

For Example Singapore Garden by the Bay

International landscaping sites can provide a wholly different perspective. Singapore Garden by the Bay has a Supertree Grove where 18 towering structures that look like alien trees dominate the skyline. Each tree structure is actually a vertical garden that makes a spectacular light show at night and is powered by solar panels.

Create or Reinvent Your Business Landscaping with State of the Art

If you’re setting up your new business or think it’s time to revamp the outdoor space, look for assistance from seasoned commercial landscapers. Servicing Northern Virginia and its surrounds, State of the Art Landscape will plan and design-build your new landscape with you, tailoring it to increase your business appeal to passersby.

With our wealth of experience in design and installation, we will create a one-of-a-kind space sure to impress everyone who visits. We can handle everything from small retail frontages to large business exteriors. So contact us for a free on-site appointment, and let’s get your project going.

7 Tips for Eco-Friendly Commercial Landscape Design

Sustainable landscapes are finally having their moment to shine. Everywhere we turn, there are more companies and owners wanting to make their properties environmentally friendly.

And, not only do these upgrades have a significant impact on the landscape around them but it actually saves the owner’s money, requires less maintenance, and protects the area from ruin.

So, if you’re thinking of making some green upgrades consider giving our tips below a try.

1. Use Pollinators

Create a robust ecosystem around your landscape by using pollinators in the garden and flower beds. That’s because insects such as moths, bees, and butterflies rely on these types of plants as a food source. So, it’s important these animals have access to them to prevent species decline. Additionally, pollinators are a great way to support crops and produce growth as a tonne of flowering plants rely on them to produce seeds. 

2. Choose Native Plants

If there are trees or plants on your property, it’s best to choose ones that are native to the area. That’s because, native plants support local wildlife, and are acclimated to the weather, climate, and rainfall patterns. Meaning, that they will require less maintenance as they won’t need as much fertilizer, pesticides, or water to stay alive. In turn, making a smaller eco-footprint.

3. Consider Synthetics

There are many different types of hardscapes and synthetic materials available instead of plants, trees, and grass. Installing something like artificial grass over an area actually requires less maintenance, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and water. Making its impact on the surrounding environment much less harmful.

4. Mulch

Another idea to make a landscape more environmentally friendly is to use mulch. Any type of organic mulch such as wood chips, leaves, pine needles, and bark helps to keep the environment intact by regulating soil temperature. In turn, working to keep plants alive and healthy for much longer. It does this by breaking down over time and releasing nutrients back into the soil.

This makes it the perfect material to place at the root areas of the trees and plants as they will keep them healthy.

5. Harvest Rainwater

One of the simplest ways to give back to your landscape is to harvest rainwater. When rainwater is used on things like plants, flowers, and vegetable gardens, it will greatly reduce the amount of water used to maintain the property.

So, consider capturing rainwater from places like roofs and gutters. Both of which also prevent pollution from entering the water supply. To do this, consider the use of cisterns, rain chains, or barrels. Even some decorative items like watering cans can be used to capture it.

6. Green Roofs

There’s no reason to stop at the landscape when it comes to upgrading a property’s green space. For owners that really want an eco-friendly upgrade, consider installing a green roof. A green roof is a great option for owners who might be short on space but want to maximize what they have. That’s because an eco-friendly roof reduces the energy use of a property by adding insulation. This insulation keeps cool and warm air inside. In turn, requiring less energy throughout the year to maintain.

Additionally, a green roof minimizes water runoff. Water runoff can be harmful to the surrounding environment seeing as it could contain harmful pesticides and herbicides. But, with the help of a green roof, this risk is minimized.                                                                                                             

7. Use Natural Products

Making a space ‘green’ doesn’t stop at what is planted and installed. It extends to the maintenance and products that are used for it throughout the year. That’s why it’s important to only use natural pest control and herbicide options.

Otherwise, products that are full of chemicals can be detrimental to both the environment, local wildlife, and a person’s health. Certain products have been known to cause adverse reactions, especially to things like insects and bees. So be sure to use natural sprays, or techniques (such as hand-removal of weeds) to ensure your space remains eco-friendly.

Eco-Friendly Commercial Landscape Design

At State of the Art Landscaping, we know how important it is to take care of your outdoor space. That’s why we believe in using eco-friendly methods and designs. We can assess, customize, and build you the outdoor green space you and the environment deserve.

So, if you’re interested in seeing how your property can be upgraded with eco-friendly designs consider getting in touch with a member of our team today by contacting us today.