There’s a reason brick buildings are everywhere.

They work.

Brick walls help adjust a building's temperature, storing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.

They don’t require the maintenance of a wood-clad building, and brick buildings have great re-sale value.

But what are the best landscape design ideas for brick? Level Green Landscape designer Shelley Russell has a few tips.

The Power Of Plants For Brick Buildings

Brick building landscape with vines and plantsBrick can be beautiful, but a big expanse of brick wall can look harsh and come across as monotonous, Russell says.

“Landscaping will visually help break up a brick wall,” she says. “You can soften the look of the building with plants.”

Climbing Vines 

Climbing vines help soften a brick wall and also shade the building, Russell says.

If your first thought turns to ivy, think again. She doesn’t recommend it.

“Ivy is extremely aggressive,” she says, “and can damage the mortar between the bricks.”

She offers some better options:

Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’)

Masses of coral-red trumpet-shaped flowers emerge in spring and last all summer long, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. A fast grower, it's also deer resistant. It will need a trellis to climb.


This pretty climber is hugely popular, so it's easy to find lots of color choices. There’s sure to be one that complements your brick.

Some are vigorous climbers that will quickly grow to 10 or 20 feet. Others are more compact and would do great in a pot.

Don’t forget a trellis for it to climb.

Virginia Creeper

This native vine has dark green foliage that turns to fire-engine red in autumn and produces blue fruit.  Fast-growing and salt-tolerant, it’s a great way to cover a brick wall.

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

This beauty is a a favorite among hummingbirds because of its bright, tubular flowers.

Casting Shadows

Brick building landscape with treesA simple tree can add great visual interest to a brick wall, Russell says. It’s all about the shadows, so outdoor lighting is a big help here.

“A Japanese maple, once it loses its leaves, has intricate branch patterns that will cast fascinating shadows on the building behind it,” Russell says.

A weeping blue atlas cedar also has unique, twisting branches that will create interesting shadow play on a nearby wall.

Plenty Of Planters

Brick wall with plantersUse container plants in front of a brick wall to break up the monotony of the brick, Russell suggests.

The possibilities for landscape design ideas are endless here.

Large tropical plants add drama. Think banana trees. The Ensete maurelii and Basjoo varieties are great for large containers. Other stunning choices are white bird of paradise, alocasia and variegated ginger.

Annual grasses like Pennisetum rubrum or Fireworks varieties offer a fun purple or pink punch.

Vivid annuals can add a great pop of color to a stretch of brick wall.

Adding Color

“Take note of the dominant color in the brick,” Russell says. “Incorporate those brick tones into the landscaping.”

If pink tones jump out, incorporate pink flowering shrubs or perennials to highlight the color even more.

Red brick building with green plantsIt’s not just for Christmas. Plants with green foliage usually look good against red brick buildings, Russell says.

“The reason for this is because red and green are complementary colors on the color wheel,” she says. “I often use evergreen plants with green foliage, like boxwoods, in front of brick.”

Trust Your Brick Building Beauty To Level Green

At Level Green Landscaping, we have all kinds of landscape design ideas. Our creative team can devise a plan to showcase your property, no matter your building style.

If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.

Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.

Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.

We’d love to hear from you.

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