Making your commercial property stand out from the rest can be a challenge in Washington DC — especially when you’re competing with such stunning architecture and design.
But beyond your actual building and amenities, you can also make a statement with your commercial landscape, especially since it’s the first thing people see when they pass by your property.
There are a variety of ways to make a good first impression with your landscape design, from installing a modern patio and water feature to upping your site’s sustainability. It’s all about figuring out what your site needs and the best way to implement that.
Several properties in DC have figured out how to do just that and have designed some really impressive outdoor spaces.
Check out five of the best examples of landscape design in Washington DC and get ideas for your commercial property — or just enjoy the views.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
It’s all about the colorful foliage, tranquility and expansive gardens at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.
While not your typical commercial property, Hillwood is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle — even though it’s only five miles from downtown DC.
The gardens cover 13 acres and include several outdoor rooms that seamlessly flow together. Visitors can enjoy spaces like the French parterre, which includes a tranquil water feature, and Friendship Walk while on the grounds.
There’s also a rose garden that blooms from spring to fall. Landscape architect Perry Wheeler, who is known for his design of the White House’s rose garden, created the space in 1956. There are four crown-shaped rose beds in the center, a pergola and boxwood hedges that mirror the shape of the round pergola.
Their landscape design includes a variety of plants that bloom throughout the year, so there’s always something to catch people’s eyes. In addition to the stunning landscape, the property also houses a mansion, café and more.
Takeaway: Plants can make a big impact on your overall landscape design and curb appeal.
Address: 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington DC
Formerly known as Square 54 and 2200 Pennsylvania Ave., this mixed-use property combines aesthetic and sustainable elements to stand out. The Avenue is 3 1/2 acres and includes office space and residential units over street-level retail space.
Sustainability is a big factor in this design. The landscape keeps 76,000 gallons of stormwater runoff from entering the city’s sewer system each year by collecting and reusing the water. That also helps the owners save a big chunk of change on the utilities.
By eliminating the use of potable water on the landscape, they save $730 a year, according to the Landscape Performance Series. The design also incorporates native and drought-tolerant plants that further reduce the amount of water needed.
They also installed about 34 street trees that will provide an estimated 24,000 square feet of shade once the trees mature. That will not only keep more water from evaporating from the soil (reducing their water usage), but it will also give office workers and residents a place to cool off.
The property also has 58-foot-side landscaped sidewalks to encourage people to get out and moving.
Takeaway: A sustainable landscape design will not only save you money in the long run, but it will also be a great selling point for the property.
Address: 2221 I St. NW, Washington DC
American Psychological Association
You can’t beat the views from (and of) the American Psychological Association (APA) headquarters in DC.
This rooftop terrace was installed along with a new conference center that completes the 12-story building. The outdoor space has two separate terraces that have a view of the United States Capitol dome, which is hard to beat.
The landscape designers used green roof plantings including large shrubs, plants and trees. The foliage helps soften up the design and provide visual interest year round.
The APA headquarters also has a labyrinth that was installed in 2008, which helps create a tranquil environment. It is a Class A office building with two penthouse towers.
Takeaway: Make the most of the outdoor you have, whether that means incorporating a green roof, vertical garden or eye-catching planters near entrances.
Address: 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC
ASLA Green Roof
What better place to turn for extraordinary design than the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) itself. Its headquarters has a green roof that creates a tranquil setting from up above. A small glimpse of the plants can be seen from below, as well.
The roof includes groundcovers and perennials in its design, and it collects and cleanses rainwater before releasing it into the watershed.
The meadows are no more than 18 inches deep in any one spot because of the site’s structural limitations.
They used metal grating for the floor material, and groundcovers grow up through it. There’s also a seating area for employees to come and relax during the workday.
Takeaway: Get creative with the space and materials to attract tenants and visitors.
Address: I Street between 6th and 7th NW, Washington DC
Franciscan Monastery (Our Favorite)
Featured as one of the top Washington DC landscape designs to see by the ASLA, the Franciscan Monastery features a large shrine church, public gardens, chapels, a central courtyard, a meadow and more.
They asked Level Green Landscaping to maintain the property about seven years ago, and our teams have enjoyed working with them ever since.
One of our projects included renovating the landscaping in the Monastery’s inner courtyard. We added shrubs, grass, plants and azaleas, and we also replaced all of the boxwoods.
This property is known for its tranquil environment, with one of the most popular areas being the rose garden. There are more than 3,000 rose bushes in this space, along with perennials, annuals, statues and fountains. It’s perfect for escaping the hectic city atmosphere.
Several hundred people visit the Franciscan Monastery each week, with even more during summer months. Something that keeps people coming back time after time is the attention to detail with the landscape’s design and maintenance.
We may be a little biased, but you can get a lot of plant, design and maintenance ideas from visiting the Franciscan Monastery.
Takeaway: People enjoy going to properties that allow them to escape DC’s hustle and bustle. So, why not make your property that place?
Address: Quincy Street and 14th Street NE, Washington DC
Get Attention from Your Property’s Landscape Design
There’s one thing all of these DC properties have in common: a well-executed landscape design.
If you’re ready for your commercial property to stand out and be more sustainable, take the first step and talk with a professional landscaper.
At Level Green Landscaping, we offer landscape design and construction services. Our experienced team can install features like retaining walls, sidewalks, plant beds, seating areas, patios and more to add value to your site.
And once your landscape is designed and installed, we can also keep it looking fresh with regular maintenance services, including mowing, edging, blowing, pruning and more.
We offer commercial landscaping services in Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Virginia. Our client properties include offices, mixed-use sites, retail spaces, HOAs/condominiums, distribution centers, municipalities and institutions.