Tag Archive for: landscape

Exotic Landscape Designs You Thought Were Only in the Magazines

Tropical plants, serene settings, and tropical designs; sound like a vacation? Well, it doesn’t have to be. That’s because there are plenty of things you can do to your own garden to make it feel like an exotic escape year-round.

At State of Art Landscaping, we understand how important it is to have a unique outdoor space. That’s why we’re here with our most impactful design tips that will make your garden feel like a beachside resort.

Tropical Plants

The most obvious way to transform any outdoor area from ‘basic’ to ‘exotic’ is to use tropical plants. Of course, these plants will need to be able to survive in the climate and soil type you live in so just be sure to double-check that the ones you are interested in will be able to thrive.

Some examples of plants to add are Tropical Hibiscus, Majesty Palm’s, black-eyed Susan Vine, or Red Dipladenia. Alternatively, try potting tropical-looking plants (especially palms) which can add quite an ‘exotic’ statement. But, just be sure to bring them back inside before the first frost as they are likely not to survive it.

Use Plenty of Linens

Another trick to making an area appear more ‘exotic’ is to use plenty of linens in the space. For example, it can be something as simple as hanging curtains from a pergola to give it a beachy cabana feel.

Also, consider placing a rug under a table, or on the patio, to make the space appear more welcoming. Depending on the look you want to achieve for the space, consider adding a pop of color with a bright yellow, blue, or orange one. Or, opt for a more calming effect by choosing something softer like gray or cream.

Regardless of what you decide, all of these linen features will need to be UV-resistant and specifically made for the outdoors to avoid getting stained or damaged.

Just be sure to have plenty of pillows and cushions on all the furniture so that sitting outside is comfortable.

Use Natural Materials

Whether you’re looking to add a table, pergola, waterfall, or other backyard addition you should use natural materials to achieve an exotic look. That’s because materials such as wood and stone will give off a more natural and earthier feel as opposed to man-made ones which tend to come off as ‘modern’.

Consider Adding a Bar

Every exotic vacation resort has a bar nearby, and your backyard escape should be no different. For those with more space, consider adding an outdoor entertainment area, complete with a prep kitchen. This will be great for entertaining guests without having to run back and forth from the house.

For those with smaller spaces, you can still achieve this by adding a bar cart or cabinet and stocking it with all of the essentials.

Water Features

Another idea that really brings out a tropical feel is running water. Hearing the sound of a fountain or water nearby is a great way to make the space feel secluded and serene. To achieve this, consider adding a small waterfall. This can be done as an addition to an existing pool, as a wall feature, or simply as a stand-alone device.

Whatever you decide, there are water features available in all styles, sizes, and price points. So you are guaranteed to find something that will fit your design dreams.

Add Impactful Lighting

Owners shouldn’t forget about lighting when it comes to creating the ideal exotic outdoor space. Lighting is important in creating a cozy and serene vibe that takes owners well into the night.

To make it tropical, consider using something unique like lanterns and string lights that bring a warm glow to a gathering area. Another idea is to add pot lights or lanterns to walkways to make getting around the space accessible. Finally, accent lights should be used to show off features like waterfalls or plant beds.

However, you will want to avoid any overly bright lights or sleek features as they can come off as ‘modern’.

Ultimately, regardless of what you decide to put in the space, creating an exotic escape is possible. If you’re unsure how your space will look, get in touch with one of us at State of the Art Landscaping. We work with owners to truly understand their needs and can come up with a plan to achieve the backyard of your dream.

See how we can help by calling 703-421-3666 or emailing admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

These 8 Plants Are Perfect for Commercial Properties

Every owner wants their building to look its best. But maintaining a commercial property takes a ton of work. From maintenance to upgrades, design, and function; having a beautiful outdoor space can be tough to achieve.

That’s why owners need low-maintenance plants. Low-maintenance plants require minimal work, look beautiful, and are the trick to keeping a property looking great year-round.

1. Barberry

Commercial properties are ideal settings for the Barberry shrub to thrive. That’s because this shrub is extremely low maintenance, while still offering owners a bright pop of yellow as the seasons change. It is also a resilient shrub and can withstand a number of soil types, so there’s no need to fret that it won’t work on yours. All the shrub requires is some occasional pruning to ensure there are no dead leaves or branches that are ruining its shape.

2. Fescue

For those in warm climates, consider planting Fescue around the property. Fescue is a hardy, drought-resistant plant. It is commonly used as a replacement for traditional grass given its long green stems and lush look. Plus, this durable plant looks great when added to flower beds as it adds depth that frames it with its long green stems.

3. Ajuga

For owners that want to add a pop of color to their gardens without the hassle of flowers, look no further than the Ajuga. This flowering plant is the perfect addition because of its dense, lush green leaves that act as a base for its flowering buds. These long stem flowers come in a range of colors (from purple to burgundy and green) that require minimal care. But just be careful of where you place it in the garden as it is a creeping plant. This means it will spread if it’s not controlled. So, just be sure to check on it and trim it every so often to ensure its shape does not get out of hand.

4. Blue Mist Spirea

Also known as ‘Bluebeard’, Blue Mist Spirea is another resilient plant that’s perfect for dryer climates. This pollinator plant is heat and drought hesitant, doing well in both full sun and partial shade. Plus, it has blue flowers that bloom in the summer which are guaranteed to brighten any landscape. Owners will just need to keep on top of seasonal pruning in order to keep the plant strong and growing.

5. Coreopsis

For a long-lasting pop of color, the bright Coreopsis is a great choice. That’s because its vibrant flowers bloom from early summer to early fall. They also come in a variety of shades ranging from yellow to orange, pink, purple, and red. This perennial plant is another easy grower as it tolerates almost any soil condition and works both inside and out.

6. Mondo Grass

Another low-maintenance plant you may want to add to your commercial property is Mondo Grass. Black Mondo Grass thrives in a variety of landscapes regardless of how much light it gets. So, owners can plant it on shady sides of the property without needing to worry. They are also resistant to most types of wildlife such as rabbits and deer which means owners don’t need to monitor them for pests. The only downside to this plant is that it requires adequate moisture so consider adding it to an area with an irrigation system to limit the amount of time spent watering.

7. Fountain Grass

For a tall, dense look add fountain grass to a property. This clumping grass thrives in full sun. And better yet, they require little care once placed there. They also hardly need water once installed so long as the area they are planted in gets some rainfall. The only maintenance it requires is in early spring or late winter when it should be cut back and trimmed. Trimming helps stimulate growth and encourages new stems to take form.

8. Maiden Grass

Maiden Grass, also known as Chinese Silver Grass, is one of the hardiest plants commercial owners can use on their property. Not only is this plant resistant to drought, but its disease and pest-resistant (deer, rabbits, and other lawn pests).

The only thing owners should be concerned about is if it is allowed to be planted in their state. In some States, Maiden Grass had been deemed an invasive species. But, despite this, ornamental varieties have become popular and are now being bred to be sterile so they won’t spread.

Finding the Right Plants for Your Commercial Property

Ultimately, we know first-hand how difficult it is to maintain a commercial property. That’s exactly why we suggest speaking with a member of our team for advice on how to make it easier for you.

If you’d be interested in seeing how State of the Art Landscape could help, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Designed Pergolas & Pavilions

Whether it’s to host events, get some quiet, or BBQ a pergola is a great addition to any space. These features offer owners an extension of livable space that can be fully customized to suit unique needs and style preferences. 

But, there are some key things to consider before installing. That’s exactly why we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to designing one below.

The Position

 It might seem obvious, but choosing a position for a pergola or pavilion is critical to its function. This is especially true if it will be added to a feature already in the yard (like a pool, dining area, outdoor kitchen).

Also, consider things such as privacy, and what the position means for it. For example, if you are looking for a space to get away, consider moving it further from the home.

Otherwise, installing the feature without thinking of its position can ruin the entire function of the backyard.

Building Materials

 There are a number of building materials that pergolas and pavilions can be built with. From something modern and sleek like aluminum to timeless and natural like timber; the material can have a serious impact on its appearance and longevity.

When picking a material, we always suggest figuring out the budget, intent of use, and weather concerns. All of these factors will likely have an impact on what material is chosen. For example, places with harsh winters and strong winds will likely need a more durable material to withstand the elements.

Lighting

 A feature of pergolas and pavilions that is often overlooked is the lighting. But, lighting can make a space seem more inviting, safer, and usable. So, consider adding features like the ground or overhead lights. These simple upgrades will really amplify the space and make it usable regardless of the time of day.

Roof Options

It’s not only the building material that you’ll need to think of when designing a pergola or pavilion but the roof of it as well. The roof is a key part of its design that cannot be overlooked. After all, roofs for these features come in all types of designs and styles.

For example, owners can pick a simple flat roof for a timeless aesthetic. Or, they can opt for a pitched roof with a more decorative and custom-edge to it. If neither of these seems like a good option, owners can even choose a retractable or fully open roof. That way, sunshine, and natural light can be enjoyed all year round.

Regardless, it’s best for owners to explore the many options that are available to them when it comes to the roof. Otherwise, agreeing to a design before scoping your options can leave you with serious buyers’ remorse.

Layout

One of the first things to do before selecting a pergola or pavilion is to think of what you want to use it for. For example, it might be intended as a dining area and used to host guests. Or, you might want to use it as a place to get some quiet and privacy.

Regardless of what you want it for, the intended use will likely alter the size and layout of the design. For hosting parties and dinners, it will need to be big enough to fit tables and chairs. Plus, you may even want to take it a step further by adding a BBQ or kitchen element to it. Whereas a pergola meant for privacy will likely be smaller in size with enclosed walls and a roof that is big enough to fit a single lounge chair and table.

Permits for Pergolas and Pavillions

The final thing owners should think of before installing anything on their property is if it is permitted. This means owners should be checking with their local building authorities to ensure that what they intend to build on their property meets the code. Otherwise, it could be in violation of local bylaws. This is especially true for owners who are installing a structure with electricity as these typically require a special permit. So, be sure to contact your local board to confirm if the pergola you want is allowed.

But, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of contacting the board on your own, consider partnering with a professional like us at State of the Art Landscaping. We can assess, customize, and build you the pergola or pavilion of your dreams.

If you’re interested in seeing how your property can benefit from one of our designs, consider getting in touch by contacting us today.

4 Commercial Landscaping Problems and How to Fix Them

The exterior of a building is a reflection of the company and its owner. That’s why keeping it well maintained is essential.

A well-kept exterior proves to current and potential clients that owners put the effort into their work and only want the best for them. Given how important it is to maintain the exterior of commercial properties, we’ve outlined the top four commercial landscaping problems we see and how to avoid them.

1. Hidden Entrances

The entrance to a commercial property is important. When people walk up to the front of a building and it looks unkempt – they will likely think the owners don’t care. This gives off a lackluster impression that can result in lost business from pedestrians who keep walking or potential tenants who think that that lack of care translates to the way the business is run.

That’s why its owners need to invest in the entrance of their buildings. Things like having a clear pathway; free of debris and damage make all the difference in the impression that people get.

For properties with entrances that have gardens, lawns, and flower beds; we suggest doing things like mulching, bed maintenance, mechanical edging, and mowing. All of which will have your entrance looking cared for.

2. Uninviting Spaces

Another common mistake we see owners make with their outdoor space is that it simply appears drab. When a space is dated it comes off as uninviting which deters people from making use of it. But this issue can easily be solved.

One of the quickest ways for owners to switch up the look of their outdoor space is with the use of plants and flowers. Adding things like bright arrangements at entranceways can add a bit of intrigue to the space.

To enhance an area even further consider adding seating like benches or chairs (that are finished off with comfy pillows and throws.) Even consider adding in a dining area with other amenities like a BBQ or kitchen that encourage people to gather and spend time there.

3. Bad Lighting

Lighting is critical when it comes to commercial properties. Proper lighting makes buildings more accessible, appealing, and safe.

We suggest upgrading to LED bulbs and fixtures. Making these enhancements are easy as it just requires bulbs to be replaced with already existing features.

LEDs can also be used to make a space more appealing when used to highlight things like entrances, gardens, flowers, and seating. In turn, making the building more appealing to guests.

Or consider adding remote control to the lighting. These settings give owners the ability to manage the lights, regardless of where they are located. Meaning, that they can program them to switch on and off at specific times and even turn them off if the space isn’t being used.

4. Trash and Debris

Things like debris, foliage, and garbage can quickly pile up resulting in unsightly views. Plus, if these things are left lying around the property it can impact accessibility by making it difficult for people to reach the entrances.

Debris and uncleared walkways can also be extremely dangerous, resulting in slips and falls – something no owner should have to deal with. Especially those in areas with colder winters. Where things like snow, ice, and freezing rain pose serious harm to potential guests.

Given how much effort goes into keeping a property clear of trash and debris we suggest working with a property management team. Here at State of the Art Landscaping, we work with owners to truly understand their needs.

Otherwise, without things like frequent edging, features such as bushes and flower beds may overlap with one another; appearing disheveled and uncared for. But a bed that has been properly edged means that owners can maintain its appearance and design for much longer.

That’s where a property management team can help. They can work to keep your property looking its best. After all, they understand how difficult it can be to maintain a commercial building. If you’re an owner, consider speaking with a member of our team. We have more than sixty years of combined experience, and as such, are able to provide superior landscape advice.
See how we can help by calling 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

7 Seasonal Landscaping Tips to Keep Your Yard Space Looking Beautiful This Fall

Colder weather brings more than frigid temperatures when it comes to the outdoors. From the snow, sleet, rain, leaves, and debris that seasonal changes cause, you might struggle to maintain your yard space.

But, failing to maintain your property during the colder months can cause quite a bit of trouble. Not only will it be an eye-sore to potential clients, but it puts your business at risk. Having unkempt grounds can be dangerous and lead to slips, falls, property damage, infestations, and more.

Given how important it is to maintain your yard space, we’ve compiled our top tips to keep your outdoor areas looking beautiful this fall.

1. Turn Over Mulch

The fall is the perfect time to give your mulch a refresh. So, if you use mulch in any area of your commercial space, take advantage of the crisper air to refresh it. This time of year is perfect for it because the summer tends to bring harsh sunlight which can deteriorate it. Simply turning over the current layer will help to extend the mulch’s lifespan, all while improving the property’s curb appeal.

2. Dethatch

Thatch is dead grass roots and stems which naturally build up on lawns over time. Although a natural part of the landscape, it is something that you will want to remove. Having dead roots and stems around your property can be an eyesore. Plus, these added elements can even harm the health of the landscape as it creates a perfect nesting spot for insects and rodents. That’s why it’s important to remove them come the fall.

3. Protect Shrubs and Trees

It’s a good idea to wrap new shrubs and trees around your property before the temperatures really begin to drop. The wrapping should be done before the first frost of the season as a way to protect and maintain them through the cold. Wrapping your trunks with a weather-approved material (or burlap) works as a wind barrier. In turn, keeping out the freezing temperatures and reducing any salt damage caused by de-icing in the winter.

4. Remove Fall Annuals and Protect Perennials

If you’ve planted seasonal fall annuals, you must have these removed before the colder months move in. Otherwise, keeping these plants around your property in the winter will leave it looking bare.

To replace these in your space, consider planting some cold-resistant perennial plants that can add life back to the space. When planting these perennials, it’s suggested to have the stems within an inch from the ground. This inch of space can then be filled with things like pine needles, straw, or hay to help protect the plant during the colder months. Otherwise, a damaging freeze could kill the plants and ruin the appeal of the outdoor space.

5. Schedule Tree Trimming

The perfect time of year to remove dead or overgrown branches is in the colder months. That’s because many trees and shrubs are dormant during this time of year. And when a plant is dormant, it won’t waste energy trying to recover from the trimming.

6. Prepare Snow Load Areas

If your property is in an area that experiences heavy snow in the winter, begin preparing for it in the fall. This means you should come up with a plan on where to put it all. These snow loading areas should free any plants, and not block any sort of pathways or entries to your building. The area that’s chosen should also be easy to access (either on foot or by snowplow operators). As well, depending on the size of your property, you may want to consider setting up multiple load zones. Keep in mind these zones should also be able to accommodate the heaviness of it. So, try to pick an area that contains a layer of mulch or grass.

7. Be Mindful of Sand and Salt

Commercial property owners tend to use a lot of salt, or ice melt to prevent slips and falls. However, if you can avoid over-salting during the season, it’s highly recommended. This means rethinking some drainage strategies in the fall that prevent puddles and pooling water. Doing this will minimize ice from building up, and the need to use as much. As well, be mindful to clean up all sand and salt as soon as possible. Not doing this will burn plants and damage the soil and surrounding environment.

Ultimately, we understand how difficult it can be to maintain your commercial months when the weather changes. That’s why we suggest speaking with a member of our team. With more than sixty years of combined experience, State of the Art Landscape is able to provide superior landscape advice and service that’s customized for you.

If you’d be interested in seeing how we could help your business thrive, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

5 Commercial Landscaping Trends to Inspire Your Company Design

Design is so much more than just the interior of a property. With new products, styles, and technologies, having a unique exterior space is becoming a must-have.

A new and exciting design can not only make the property more appealing, but it can make use of vacant space, raise the property’s curb appeal and value, all while maintaining a welcoming environment.

Because we understand how important the outdoor aesthetic is, we’ve compiled the top five commercial landscaping trends that we’ve been loving!

1. Sustainability

The industry has recently seen a huge push towards sustainable landscape initiatives (and for good reason!). Sustainability in landscaping is all about reducing waste, maintaining the environment, and lowering a commercial building’s economic footprint.

For example, using plants that are native to the region helps promote sustainability because they will require less water to maintain. For this reason, many are opting for region-specific plants that will help conserve water.

But investing in sustainable initiatives also helps owners. That’s because it can help save money on maintenance costs. For example, using native plants like wildflowers will lower maintenance costs as they don’t require as much mowing.

 Another example of sustainable landscaping is rooftop gardens. This is another sustainable addition as it adds green space to an unused area. Plus, it can save commercial owners’ money as they often act as a coolant (which will reduce air condition costs). 

2. Gathering Places

We’ve also seen a huge rise in people wanting to add livable outdoor spaces throughout their property. Things like an eating or workout area can really enhance a space.

For owners to make use of this trend, you will need to think of who will be using the space (tenants, employees, community members, etc.). Depending on their needs you may want to consider adding things like comfortable seating, fountains, sculptures, tables, and appealing plants to make it an attractive place to go.

Doing this will not only make the property more appealing to those currently using it but it can help attract a higher-quality tenant who is willing to pay more.

3. Low Maintenance Designs

Another trend we’ve seen a huge rise in this year is low-maintenance designs. Many owners are opting for these as they offer a simple, yet inviting landscape that doesn’t require a lot of help.

These minimalistic designs are especially helpful in urban areas where outdoor space might be limited. In this instance, opting for a simplistic design can help optimize the area, all while making it appear cleaner and more inviting.

This type of design is also ideal for areas where seasons change, and the environment for plants is harder to maintain. Owners can opt for plants that require low maintenance for harsher climates, such as perennials that wouldn’t need replanting. Or, choosing to use stone and mulch in grassy areas can maintain curb appeal all while minimizing maintenance.

4. Craftsmanship

We’ve also been noticing a commercial landscaping trend that moves away from mass-produced products and turns towards artesian-style goods. Now, more people are demanding unique designs that stand out. Things like a well-crafted pergola, bench, or table that have been specially designed and stand out.  

Although some may be deterred by the higher-price point to have a custom-built item, investing in craftsmanship means you’ll end up with pieces that will stand the test of time.

5. Smart Technology

Just like a number of other industries, landscaping has seen some pretty innovative designs come out over the past few years. These enhanced technologies are now able to integrate things like smart lights, sensors, and monitors woven into your landscaping.

These features are perfect for commercial businesses which may want the added security that these features provide. That’s because the technologies can all be uploaded and remotely controlled. This means owners will have the ability to control things like lights remotely. And be notified if any sensors or alarms go off immediately.

Ultimately, with so many design options available, we understand how daunting it can be to pick just one. That’s why we’d suggest speaking with a member of our team. With more than sixty years of combined experience, State of the Art Landscape is able to provide superior landscape services and advice that would best suit your property.

If you’d be interested in seeing how these commercial landscaping trends could be applied to your business, consider getting in touch at 703-421-3666 or contact us here.