New year — new trends! The commercial landscape scene has a few intriguing ones.

Water conservation continues to be a hot topic, and a few trends are in response to the ever-present need to water responsibly.

Others include placemaking — creating appealing spaces through landscaping — and swapping out old habits with fresh new options.

New year, fresh start — take a look at some commercial landscaping trends for the coming year. We’ll show you how to join in and add some excitement to your own property.


Native Plants


This is one of the top requests we’ve been hearing lately from our Level Green Landscaping clients. Native plants are more popular than ever, for lots of reasons.


  • Unlike many non-native plants, native plants are hardy and less susceptible to pests and diseases. They grow well and require little care. By choosing the right native plants, you’ll likely need fewer pesticides.
  • thread-leaf blue starOnce they’re established, native plants typically need less water than non-natives. Never skimp on watering for the first few months, though. All plants need plenty of water as they settle in.
  • Natural habitat is disappearing at a scary rate, putting wild creatures at risk. Choose the right native plants, and you’ve created a wildlife garden that offers seeds, nuts and fruits for birds and small mammals, nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies, host plants for butterfly caterpillars.
  • Use native plants in your landscape and limit the chances that potentially invasive, exotic plant species will sneak into the environment around your property.
  • There are many beautiful plants native to the Washington DC area, including yarrow, winterberry holly, virginia sweetspire, oakleaf hydrangea and thread-leaf blue star, many lovely maples, juneberry, wild red columbine, serviceberry and more.




You’ll be hearing more and more about placemaking — creating environments so appealing, people want to linger there.

placemaking washington dcPlacemaking is especially suited for commercial properties that involve retail. The longer people stay to enjoy a spot, the more money they’re likely to spend.

This involves comfortable seating, parklike landscaping with shade and appealing plants, play areas for children, hardscape patios, fountains and sculptures.  

Great placemaking can mean the difference between a space sitting empty and being filled with people enjoying themselves.




Water will always be a precious commodity, and using it responsibly is a continuing trend.

rainIn addition to choosing plants that use less water, like the native plants we mentioned here earlier, commercial property managers are trying to use the water they have more frugally.

Property managers are interested in new landscape irrigation technology, including the latest valves and nozzles, rain sensors so irrigation systems don’t water unnecessarily, smarter controllers that adapt to weather conditions, and drip irrigation that targets water at the roots specifically where plants need it.

Regular irrigation system checkups are part of a good irrigation plan, too, to look for broken sprinkler heads, clogged lines or other problems.


Beyond Pansies


While pansies have always been the go-to flower for winter because of their hardiness in cold weather, it’s time to branch out.

Commercial property managers want more interesting options to take their containers into the colder months.

Think ornamental cabbage and kale. They offer beauty, color and texture — and something different.

Ornamental grasses look great all winter long. They provide gentle motion as they wave in the wind, offer texture with frilly dried tassels and add beauty to the landscape when dusted with snow.


Drought-tolerant Plants


Another water-related trend. See a pattern here?

Water conservation continues to be a major issue, and responsible water use has become a hot topic for commercial properties.

Vinca.jpgUsing fewer water-dependent plants is a great tactic.

Vinca and lantana are beautiful, colorful, and need less water than other common annuals.

Mediterranean-style landscaping is gaining in popularity, inspired by gardens in Spain, Italy and Greece. But keep in mind that Mediterranean plants need to be planted in areas with good drainage in order to survive and thrive. We’ll often need to amend the soil to aid in the draining process, due to the heavy clay content in our region.

These designs use drought-resistant plants like lavender and other fragrant herbs to add fragrance and texture without a lot of watering.


Let Those Shrubs Breathe!


This goes back to the old adage of planting the right plant in the right place. A shrub that grows 10' tall is destined to be trouble in front of a sign or low windows.

It’s time to stop shearing shrubs into tight, cube-like, unnatural shapes.

A looser, more natural look is the latest trend. It looks better and is healthier for the plants.

One exception is the formal-style garden, which still uses its hallmark tightly-sheared shapes.


Stay On Top Of Landscape Trends With Level Green


Commercial landscaping trends come and go, but our skill and expertise is timeless.

Crew Shots-40.jpg

Our in-house team of experts has made Level Green Landscaping one of the most trusted in the region.

Our service area includes Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Virginia. We focus on commercial property maintenance for offices, retail spaces, mixed-use sites, HOAs/condominiums, distribution centers, municipalities and institutions.

Contact us at 202-544-0968 or by filling out our form online. You can also schedule a free consultation to talk with us about how we can enhance and maintain your commercial landscape.

Ready to try some of the new year’s exciting trends? We’d love to hear from you.

Check Out 4 Trendy Properties We Service