You may have heard the term concrete jungle used to describe urban, commercial spaces. This saying embodies the muted colors, straight lines, and sharp angles many cityscapes display- replacing open green fields with parking lots, and towering trees with high rise retail and office buildings. Although these areas may be deemed necessary to accommodate growing populations and businesses, they don’t have to look so drab and stark in appearance.
Natural landscaping design has become more and more popular within developed areas, with many natural features retained to incorporate into the overall plan. Maturing trees, waterscapes, and grassy areas are increasingly added to existing designs as well to provide a more natural effect that is both more pleasant look upon, and inviting when compared to a vast stark concrete space.
Tips for Adding Natural Landscaping
When you get right down to it, heading into a landscape or architectural design with nature on your mind will color your approach to your overall vision. Even if you are looking at a remodel of an area or building, you can definitely begin to incorporate green spaces and more natural looking textures due to an increase of widely available resources that both provide materials for such jobs, and the care needed.
To know more about what needs are anticipated consider investigating plant care and growth. Some of the most popular ways to add a more natural decor to outside spaces include:
Addition of Green Spaces in Parking Lots
Parking lots are often defined by curbs or wider concrete barriers and walkways. Use these spaces to plant grass (artificial turf is incredibly popular for these purposes as well) and shade trees that will mature over time to provide an even more natural setting.
Consider Raised Vegetation Beds
Raised beds allow you to provide the space needed for growing plants to take root without the worry of the removal of existing blacktop or concrete surfaces. The space is also perfect for creating a supportive growing compound without worry of native soil health and amendment.
Natural rock features, borders, and walls add texture, shape, and color to unexpected areas. They are perfect for raised bed border materials, can be used to add height, and adhere well to existing walls for an unexpected visual surface.
Consider Water Feature Additions
The addition of water creates variations in lighting due to reflection, allows for an element of natural sound, and also draws in wildlife. They can be incredibly easy to work into areas near building entryways as well, using part of a wall to provide a backdrop and structure to the overall element.
Use of Curved Lines
All to often concrete jungles use angular lines and corners to define building structure and the land around them. Consider the addition of curves in reference to walls, landscape design, and even parking areas to provide flow and a sense of movement to the appearance of the area.
Use of Native Plants
If the addition and care of plants seems daunting, then you probably are thinking too hard about the idea of their use. Use plants native to your area in your plantings to allow for ideal growing conditions. Native plants are hardier and need less overall care than non-native. Once established some regular simple care is most likely all that will be needed to keep them thriving.
Bringing the Outdoors In
Adding natural effects to a commercial space should not be limited to just the outdoors. Providing sunlight, texture, and greenery to entryways and atriums have been a popular practice for quite some time and are an excellent way to bring a welcoming, more peaceful atmosphere to those visiting or working within these spaces.
Increase Natural Lighting
When the addition of large windows and skylights are added to an area, you not only end up saving on energy costs, but also increase production. Natural light exposure is an incredibly powerful addition to a workspace and boosts positive thinking. Commercial buildings can always benefit from a natural lighting increase for both employees, and visitors or shoppers.
Even if the addition of natural lighting is a challenge, the use of open spaces and vaulted ceilings is a great way to help allow the spread of available light and mimic the open spaces found in the great outdoors. This type of design also may allow for a more natural lighting solution as well, and the two go hand in hand quite well.
Raised Garden Beds
Who said gardens couldn’t be used indoors? The addition of an enclosed raised garden bed in entryways, atriums, and gathering areas are excellent for providing a more natural touch, as well as a healthier atmosphere overall. These can also be taken advantage of to add water features, such as trickling fountains, or even fountains built into walls.