The outdoor area of your retail park should serve as more than just a parking lot and walkway to stores. It should draw in visitors, make people comfortable, and even add stimulation. How can you accomplish this? Here are a few key elements to include in landscape design for the best results.
Many parking areas and outdoor walkways lack sufficient shade to make people's experiences comfortable. But greenery is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to add the right amount of shade.
Once planted, trees are generally self-maintaining with minimal effort and fairly easy to replace if something happens. Deciduous trees allow more sun in winter and more shade in summer, while evergreens provide shade all year long — so you can choose the right approach for your climate.
2. Colorful Backdrops
Many of your customers have grown to expect social media-worthy environments. Whether your businesses are practical stores, entertainment, or just places to eat, be sure you include spots where guests can stop to take some photos. This encourages people to linger longer and patronize these businesses more. It also helps you get free advertising.
Colorful photo locations don't have to be fancy or expensive. They can be as simple as a flower bed, garden containers, a row of hedges, or a flowering tree. Ideally, plant things that will provide color, lushness, and visual interest at different times of the year.
3. Soft Edges
Unless you have a specific branding reason to have a stark and industrial outdoor vibe, soften it up with landscape features. The organic feeling of plants and trees contrasts with straight lines, concrete, and artificial materials needed for a sturdy outdoor area. Intersperse flower beds, trees, some grass, and water features to help make things more welcoming.
How you accomplish this depends on your property and budget. But it doesn't have to be large or complex to soften the hardscaping. You can incorporate anything from raised, temporary flower beds to a line of trees or large pots to ensure that people feel the relaxing hand of nature as they use your property.
Where to Start
Finding the right mix of necessary hardscape and enjoyable landscape is difficult for any retail property owner. But it's worth the effort and time to create something that will hold up over time and encourage visitors to come back time and again. Meet with a landscape designer in your local area today to get started.