landscape upgrade

5 Things to Consider when Upgrading your Office Garden:

Whether your business is big or small it’s important that your office gardens look good. Here are 5 things to consider when considering an office landscape upgrade:

1.       Main Entrance. This is the first impression your client gets of your company and it should be a positive and inviting experience. It should look well designed and invoke a sense of delight. I often like to include plants that are striking or sculptural as well as plants that are colourful and make a big impact. Often using plants that match the company’s corporate colours is a way for the landscape to enhance the company signage on or around the building.

Existing Entrance

Existing Entrance

Example of a Proposed Entrance Upgrade Impression

Example of a Proposed Entrance Upgrade Impression

 

2.       Parking Area. Consider how your client will move from the parking area to the reception or main entrance and what they will experience along that journey. Are the paths easy to find, do they invite people towards the building, is the pathway easy to navigate and are there trees to provide shade? For other pathways in the office park you may want to consider seating benches, litter bins, drinking fountains and a variety of spatial experiences as people move through the landscape.

How do Clients move from your Parking Area to your Reception Area?

How do Clients move from your Parking Area to your Reception Area?

3.       Spaces for Employees. Employee satisfaction can be greatly increased by providing outdoor spaces for them to enjoy their lunch or have a smoke break in an attractive outdoor space. Providing seating areas for small group gatherings for break away discussions is also an important consideration. Courtyards can be activated, gardens can be redesigned so that there are smaller sheltered spaces for people to sit in.

Create Spaces for Employees to Sit and Relax in the Landscape

Create Spaces for Employees to Sit and Relax in the Landscape

 4.       An Element of Fun. We all need a break from the stress of the office and what a great way to treat your employees on a Friday afternoon or on that special occasion. A large area of lawn can be used for a variety of functions, from putting up marquees to playing a game of soccer. You can also add this element of fun through creating a herb or sensory garden or you may have a pool area on site where these types of events can happen. Make sure these spaces are well defined and attractive to be enjoyed to their full potential.

 

5.       Maintenance. A very important factor to consider for any garden. Who will keep those newly planted plants alive, trim them, mulch them, check for pests etc. especially over periods when the company is closed and no-one is around to see that they need attention.

Those are 5 of many things to consider. Obviously an important consideration is budget, but it helps to have a landscape masterplan in place so that the installation can take place in phases or as the budget allows. The first step is to have a design and plan in place of what you want to do.

If you would like me to help you redesign and upgrade your existing office garden or if you are building a new office park then please contact me to arrange a site visit. #loveyourgarden

Gina Switala

Landscape Architect

gina@sproutlandscapes.co.za



House E Indigenous Planting

Indigenous Grasses with Cycads and Aloes. Trees screening neighbouring house.

Indigenous Grasses with Cycads and Aloes. Trees screening neighbouring house.

House E is a stunning example of the beauty that South African flora holds and makes use of indigenous grasses with several focal plants in between.

A grass mix including Aristida junciformis and Melinis nerviglumis was interplanted with several bulbs such as Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Dierama spp, Eucomis autumnalis and Eucomis comosa, which formed the main planting theme.

Several feature plants grow out of the grass mix including Aloes, Proteas, Cabbage Trees and Cycads.

Trees: Large Olive trees were used as the primary screening elements which were interplanted with Loxostylis alata, Dombeya rotundifolia, Heteropyxis natalensis and Nuxia floribunda. Dais cotinifolia were also added as feature trees.

Shrubs: a screening hedge of Dodonea angustifolia created a green boundary and smaller shrubs such as Polygala myrtifolia, Coleonema alba and Euryops virgineus were added.

Before and During Construction

After Implementation and then the greener images are taken 4 months after installation.

House Geyer Landscape Upgrade

Towards the end of last year Sprout renovated a small garden in a residential complex.  A few factors contributed to a smooth and successful installation: the client had a very clear idea of what she wanted; the proposal was explained in detail with decisions made before the project started; a project programme was set up; and good communication was maintained throughout the installation.

Before

Before

Trimming of Strelitzia nicolai Trees

Trimming of Strelitzia nicolai Trees

Installing French Drain

Installing French Drain

Installing Cobble Edging

Installing Cobble Edging

The first part of the installation included a thorough clean up of existing Strelitzia nicolai and heavy pruning of existing plant material. This was followed by lifting all existing Kikuyu lawn, installing a French drain as well as installing cobble edging and flag stone pavers.

Installing New Lawn

Installing New Lawn

Lastly new LM lawn was laid and new plants planted. The garden was renovated to look more formal with colour from plant foliage adding interest and contrast. Plants such as roses were removed as they did not contribute to the tropical feel of the garden. New plants included Acorus gramineus, Nandina pygmae and Tree Ferns. The client also introduced a fire pit into the garden to create a space where they can sit and enjoy the truly South African tradition of sharing a meal and conversation around a fire.

It is always great to hear positive feedback: I am just writing to let you know that a few weeks on, our garden is really coming to life. Each time I look out the bedroom window or lounge window I am filled with a sense of happiness at how great everything looks. Thinking back to how professional and quickly the job was handled really made a positive impact. Thanks again!!!!!”

After

After