Commercial property owners and managers need to be vigilant about preventing property damage and personal injury. It is important to recognize that landscape-related hazards could cause accidents that could result in liability for negligence. Businesses that operate a commercial property must take effective steps aimed at preventing dangerous landscaping conditions and averting potentially costly premises liability claims.
Walkway Trip Hazards and Maintenance
A few stray leaves or the grassy debris produced after mowing may not seem like a serious trip hazard if they should happen to make their way off of a lawn and onto a walkway. However, just a moderate amount of rain could cause these types of materials to become extremely slippery when wet. Likewise, plain dirt or soil on a walkway can take on a loose and slick texture after a rainfall. Keeping a walkway clear of leafy debris or other earthy materials can help ensure that surfaces are safe to walk on and thereby play an important role in accident prevention.
During a big storm, large tree branches can become loose and precarious. Heavy winds and rainfall can destabilize branches, causing them to bend and eventually snap. Branches can also break off of a tree due to age. They may lose their density and start to rot when they cease to be living extensions of an otherwise intact tree. Likewise, certain species of insects that occupy the inside of trees may eat away at them from the inside. In some cases, healthy branches can break off in the absence of any weather-related event simply because they grow disproportionately large and a tree’s base cannot support their weight. In all of these scenarios, the risk of falling branches could represent a serious safety concern.
A landscaping professional may be able to identify if parts of a tree’s branch structure may pose a safety hazard on a commercial property. This is a particularly important preventative safety step to take before a severe weather event is expected to strike. During a major storm, heavy winds can tear branches off of trees and carry them a considerable distance, possibly causing them to strike property or people. Preventative tree maintenance reduces the risk that fallen branches will collide with a person, destroy property, or create a trip hazard after they have fallen to the ground.
After a large storm, it is a good practice to inspect a commercial property for fallen branches. In the context of premises liability, a person or business entity is culpable not only for hazards that they are aware of but also for those that they should have reasonably been aware of. A personal injury claimant who tripped on a branch could assert that a business should have reasonably known that there could be a dangerous condition on their commercial property because there was a major storm in the area.
An entire tree could come toppling to the ground and create considerable damage to other landscaping elements or personal property belonging to the patrons of a business. An experienced landscaper or arborist may be able to observe changes to a tree’s root structure which could be a warning sign that a tree is at risk of falling. Periodic inspections of trees and prompt corrective action when a tree starts to uproot can help with accident prevention.
Divots and Unevenness
A variety of things could cause small or large holes in a grassy area. In some cases, simply walking through an area when the ground is soft can cause deep indentations and divots. Small impressions and uneven patches can gradually increase in size and eventually become sizable trip hazards.
Hazards in Green Spaces
These types of hazards can be particularly dangerous simply because they may be difficult to spot. It is a lot harder to see a small hole than it is to see a foreign object on the ground ahead. A depression on a grassy or earthy surface is likely to have the same color and appearance as the ground immediately surrounding it, so people would have to be watching their step very closely in order to take notice.
A landscaping company can help commercial property owners with accident prevention involving falls by keeping green spaces even. They can fill in depressions and correct dangerous sloping. It may also be possible to remove the earth in areas where displaced soil has formed small mounds that people could easily trip on.
Parking Area Accident Prevention
Aesthetically pleasing landscape design around a parking area is a great way for businesses to make a good impression on customers as soon as they enter a commercial property. However, it is necessary to consider how certain landscaping elements could impact safety.
Landscaping Elements and Safety
A parking area’s landscaping must be well-tended in order to keep lots clear of materials that could interfere with vehicles’ braking ability. Also, it is imperative that trees or hedges do not obstruct anyone’s view while they are driving through a lot or pulling out of a space. A poorly placed or overgrown hedge could make it impossible for drivers to see other vehicles turning in their direction. In addition, it may be difficult to exit a lot safely if a tree or other types of vegetation get in the way of oncoming traffic. If a driver can only see a hedge instead of right-bound traffic, the hedge would represent an inherently unsafe condition on a commercial property.
Safety in Design and Maintenance Plans for Lots
Efforts geared towards ensuring that a parking area’s landscaping is safe should start in the design process. Landscaping professionals can suggest installations that will not impact visibility anywhere inside of a lot including its entrance and exit points. They can also provide property owners with guidance about what maintenance will be necessary to prevent overgrowths that could become problematic over time.
Remediating Current Lot Hazards
If an existing installation is a source of concern for property owners, a knowledgeable landscaper can offer input about whether it is prudent to replace it. Alternatively, the landscaper may suggest modifications that can effectively resolve concerns about visibility.
Commercial property owners should establish service relationships with a professional landscaping company that is well-versed in recognizing and preventing the most common type of landscape-related hazards. At GreenSeasons Landscaping, our team members are trained to perform work safely and create custom landscaping solutions that promote a safe environment for your business's employees and its patrons. We understand that landscaping is not all about aesthetics. We use smart design and strategic maintenance to provide our customers with landscaping that is visually pleasing but also safe and functional. Contact GreenSeasons Landscaping today to learn more about what we can do for your business's commercial property.
By choosing a specific landscaping style, you give your property a unique character and a sense of cohesion. The approach you choose may be influenced by many factors, such as the architectural style of your building and the climate and weather conditions it is subjected to. Not all landscaping styles work well in the humid subtropical climate of southern Louisiana. For example, even if you like the look of a desert-inspired landscape, the plants may not survive moist conditions. Nevertheless, there are many landscaping options that are suitable for this naturally lush region.
Tuscany is a region of central Italy with such a strong cultural identity that it is sometimes jokingly referred to as a separate country. Tuscany was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is known for breathtaking scenery and a strong agricultural tradition that gives rise to delicious food and wine.
You can emulate the Tuscan style in your New Orleans landscape by putting up a pergola and arbor as a centerpiece of your backyard and by growing your own vegetables and herbs, especially in pots. If you want to hearken back to the Renaissance, a labyrinth makes a nice touch if you have the space available. The climate of southern Louisiana is conducive to growing citrus plants, which can enhance the Mediterranean flavor of your property.
French culture has obviously been very influential to that of Louisiana, making it a fitting style for landscaping Baton Rouge. However, French garden design initially took its inspiration from the Italian Renaissance, which started in Tuscany. Therefore, the Tuscan style and the French style are related, but the French added elements to make it their own.
The French style of landscaping is all about symmetry. Cast-iron furniture, columns, trellises, and water features, such as fountains or birdbaths, are all emblematic of this aesthetic approach. Straight lines of columns, trees, or shrubs planted in a row should draw the eye toward your building, as this is typically the focal point of the French style of landscaping.
Examples of French and Tuscan landscape design may include large estates that cover acres of property. Do not let that intimidate you; it is certainly possible to create these styles by incorporating elements on a much smaller scale.
3. English Garden
The quaint English garden is a style that is reproducible in Louisiana despite the differences in climate. The plants you choose may be different than what would be planted in an actual garden in England, but many of the characteristic features of the English garden, including sculptures, cobblestone paths, benches, or a bridge over a small pond, could easily be installed in a New Orleans landscape to give it a cozy, home-like feeling.
If you are looking for landscaping styles that require relatively little maintenance, a woodland setting may be right for you. Once established, the flowers, shrubbery, and trees you incorporate can be left largely to their own devices and only need a little bit of human intervention.
Wooden benches and stone pathways are structural additions that help enhance this style. Functional birdhouses can give a property a woodland feel, but if you do not want to attract birds to your property, decorative birdhouses can have a similar effect.
For obvious reasons, a woodland style requires trees. If you already have some on your property, they can remain in place while the rest of the property is landscaped around them. If you would like to create a woodland setting but do not already have trees on your property, you need to decide between fast-growing, evergreen softwoods and slower-growing, deciduous hardwoods.
The climate of southern Louisiana can support a tropical landscape style in a way that would not be possible farther north. In addition to the bamboo accents, brightly colored furniture, and water features that could give a tropical feeling to any yard, you can also grow authentic tropical flowers, such as jasmine, orchids, and hibiscus.
The 60 inches of rainfall the region receives annually can certainly sustain the greenery. Southern Louisiana falls in Hardiness Zone 9, so confirm that the plants you choose can sustain temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if tropical perennials do not thrive, tropical annuals should do exceptionally well, so consider these as an alternative when planning your landscaping.
6. Japanese Garden
The Japanese garden style is intended to be closed off to encourage peaceful contemplation of spiritual matters. Therefore, a traditional Japanese garden may not be ideal for commercial landscaping. However, if you would like to create a sense of serenity, there are elements of this style that you can incorporate into your overall landscaping scheme.
A Japanese garden uses an asymmetrical style that nevertheless provides a sense of balance. Ornaments, plants, rocks, and water are all essential elements of the style. Stone basins, waterfalls, and koi ponds are all ways to incorporate these elements naturally into your landscape.
The Spanish were in Louisiana before the French and have also had an influence on the culture. Spanish style may be difficult to incorporate into a New Orleans landscape because the climate in Spain is drier than ours. Nevertheless, it can be recreated through the decorative elements that you choose for your landscape, such as blue-glazed ceramics and terracotta pots. It can also be represented through structural elements, such as multi-tiered fountains, walkways, walls, benches, and reflecting pools.
The prairie is a semi-arid climate very different from that of southern Louisiana. Therefore, an authentic prairie environment may not be feasible to recreate through landscaping in Baton Rouge.
However, it may be possible to create a prairie-inspired landscape using native grasses. The prairie is a region with few trees, and the trees it does have often do not grow very tall. If your property is already devoid of trees, a variation on this type of landscape could work very well for you. Instead of trees, a prairie is covered with grasses of varying sizes, as well as wildflowers in shades of red, purple, and yellow.
With a little creativity, you can create a prairie-style environment using grasses and wildflowers native to Louisiana. A quasi-prairie landscape offers unique advantages. Because the whole point is to allow the grasses to grow as tall as they will, it does not need mowing and requires little maintenance otherwise. If you plant native grasses, they should already be adapted to the amount of rainfall that we receive in southern Louisiana, so you shouldn't have to water them.
Modern landscaping is focused on the architecture of an outdoor space more than the landscaping. The space is pleasing to the eye using clean lines and iconic shapes. Look for poured concrete or cut stone that stands out. The flowers, shrubs, and trees are meant to compliment the space. Plants tend to be low maintenance and low growing.
Whatever style you choose, it is important to get the details right when planning your project. GreenSeasons Landscaping offers both design and installation services. Come to us with your ideas for your dream landscape, and we can help you make them a reality.
Lawns can become moist over prolonged periods of time for many reasons. Some of those reasons include problems such as one’s lawn not receiving enough sun, grading problems, and improper filtration. Sometimes a lawn’s moisture persists because the soil of someone’s lawn contains smaller particles that hold in more water than other types of soil.
Lawn grading is important because it allows the water to flow away from one’s property and making sure your lawn is properly watered. Grading problems include low spots in your landscape and raised areas. If you have those problems than you will see a possible pooling of water in unwanted places.
Improper irrigation can lead to the overt moisture in your lawn by watering too much or at improper times. Making sure that your irrigation is well done can lead to a better-looking lawn. Also, proper irrigation can contribute to the overall health of one’s landscape.
If your lawn is made up of or is primarily made up of clay it may contribute to a consistently wet lawn. Clay soil contains more water because it is made up of smaller particles.
Ways to Fix Your Wet Lawn
Even though your lawn may be constantly wet there are ways that you can fix it. One way that you can fix your lawn is adding topsoil with a layer of straw. If you add topsoil and straw to the low areas than it will help the water gather in less of a concentrated area because it will be more level.
Furthermore, you can check to see if your landscape is properly irrigated and graded. Also making sure your lawn gets enough sunlight can help it become less bogged down with water.
Aeration is another good way to help your lawn. The aeration process helps drain more water through soil. It also helps loosen up tight soil which promotes root growth. Another way that you can fix it is adding vegetation or more plants. Plants and vegetation will take up more water from your lawn. Making sure your yard receives proper sunlight will also promote growth and help evaporate some of the excess moisture.
Regarding your lawn is also an option to help lessen the amount of water it holds in. However, regrading takes heavy equipment, and it is cost more than other options.
Once the lawn in taken care of than one can take pride in, their work and their outdoor environment. If you don’t have a soggy lawn than you won’t have to deal with inconveniences like muddy shoes. With a dry lawn you will also have the opportunity to spend more time with your family and friends in a suitable environment. A great lawn is wonderful for cook outs, picnics, or playing catch.
What is a Living Green Wall?
A living green wall is a vertical arrangements of plants that don't take up a lot of floor space while looking nice. These are also called living walls, biowalls, modular green walls, or vertical gardens.
What Are the Benefits of Green Walls?
People like beauty and nature is beautiful. More people will notice, talk about, and want to be around green walls. The less greenery around, the more attractive your green wall becomes to people. You will attract more potential clients and team members with a well designed living green wall.
Exterior green walls lower energy costs by reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the building in the summer. In the winter, they insulate the building from heat loss. Plants and the planting base absorb sound, keeping the area behind the green wall quieter.
Interior green walls increase oxygen and filter out pollutants. Studies have repeatedly shown indoor plants increase productivity while reducing stress. Plants regulate air temperature and humidity.
What Are Green Walls Made of?
Green walls can be as simple as a wire frame that supports small plastic bags filled with soil. They can also be made from structural medium that incorporates soil or non-organic alternatives which have a useful life of over a decade. An increase in the quality of the growing medium causes an increase in the amount of time between medium replacement. Loose soil in bags needs to be replaced every year or two. Structural media can last between a decade to fifteen years.
What Type of Plants Go in Green Walls?
This depends of the green wall's location. An interior green wall consists of a mix of tropical plants. Plants for exterior green walls tend to work better when using plants that would thrive in climate zone slightly north of the area being planted. Choose "easy to grow" plants. Plants with short life spans or plants that must be constantly cared for are not an ideal choice for a vertical green wall.
Can a Green Wall Have a Unique Design?
Yes. These are formed using different plants and maintaining gaps between plants. The simplest way is to get the spacing between plants and dimensions of the wall and to use it to make a color-coded dot diagram.
How Hard Are Green Walls to Care for?
They are actually quite time consuming. Green walls take a while to acclimate to growing vertically. The plants compete for space and try to grow over one another if not pruned often. An interruption in water could be disastrous for the entire wall. Regular fertilization is required. Unintentional changes in light are often a source of grief. If possible, hiring a professional to maintain your green wall is going to make things much easier.
Interested in Buying a Living Green Wall
If you live in either the Greater Baton Rouge or Greater New Orleans areas and are interested in buying a living green wall, please contact us or give us a call at 225-752-2333.
Go into any modern hospital and you will notice a lot plants. Hospitals have therapeutic gardens, potted indoor plants, and often at least one plant in most patient rooms. This is due to plants having a proven track record of improving the health and well-being of people. Indoor plants bring a relaxing element to what is often a stressful ordeal for the patient and their family. Indoor plants ease tension for the sick, their loved ones, nurses and doctors who treat them.
Proven Benefits of Indoor Plants and Therapeutic Gardens
Countless studies have concluded that indoor plantings bring about positive changes in people.
Below are a few examples:
Therapeutic gardens come in a variety of sizes. They can be installed on a wall or they can take up most of your lobby. If you are in the design phase of a new building, include an area for a garden indoors. Landscape pots and garden boxes can retrofit almost if you are interested in a therapeutic garden, but don't have a designated space. Therapeutic gardens provide both health benefits and aesthetic beauty for the affordable cost of maintaining landscaping.
We often forget about plants when designing our buildings. We know plants are beneficial and should have a place in our day to day lives. Feel free to contact us if you are thinking about installing a therapeutic garden or using indoor plants.
Soil pollution is a paramount environmental challenge that will only increase in the future. People keep looking for ways to correct the soil as more industrial sites contaminate it through spills and accidents. Testing shows heavy metals and oils are the main threat to our soil safety. Surprisingly, landscape choices can help to remove contaminants from the soil at these sites through a process called phyotoremediation. Using select plants on these sites can greatly improve the earth.
Plants can have a huge impact on keeping the ground clean by reducing, trapping, or removing contaminates from soil and water. It is the simplest way to do it and it is nature based solution. No large machines or experimental mixes necessary. Obvious sites for phytoremediation are at brownfields or landfills. Another location would be large population centers where pollution activity is hard to monitor. Below are some choices for phytoremediation you can choose.
You have a nice, clean walkway around your house and then the rain comes. Suddenly, what seems like every loose bit of soil in your yard finds its way to the walkway. Dirty walkways are not inviting and can be very frustrating as a homeowner. You tend to keep asking the same questions. Why is this happening? Why does it seem like your house is the only house one where this happens? What can you do to keep your walkway from getting dirty when it rains?
Why do some walkways get dirty when it rains and some stay clean?
Your walkway is below the level of the soil. This can be caused by a few things:
How to fix a walkway that is gets dirty after it rains?
The solution is simple, but pricey. Demolish and replace the section of your walkway. If your walkway is lower than the surrounding soil, that is the only solution that will give your guaranteed results.
See solution #1.
This can usually be corrected with landscape border material. There is a thin landscape border made of either rubber or metal that will keep your overflowing landscaping in check. Hardscape edging, like stones or bricks can also dam up your landscaping.
Contemplate and install a drainage solution. A lot of landscape material floats, so you need to get the water moving before it gets too high. French drains, burms, ditches, and grading are all solutions you can explore to correct an excessive water problem.
Setup an area with rocks, pebbles, or a french drain to catch where the water comes off the roof along the drip line of your home. This will keep the water from washing out your landscaping onto the walkways.
We often get asked, "What is something I can do to make my garden look better?" Here are some of our most common suggestions for homeowners to improve their garden.
Welcome With Flowers
Flowers inform your visitors that they are welcome. An assortment of flowers near the entrance of your home sends the right type of warm message for company. Flowers add color that attracts the eye while softening hard edges. It would be nice to have flowers everywhere, but most people are on a budget.
Flowers Are Not Just For The Ground
Hanging baskets and raised planter boxes will take your garden to the next level, literally. This method creates visual layers which is quite appealing. Hanging baskets can adorn walk ways and patios. Raised planter boxes can liven up a drab patio. Experimenting is easy since you can simply move them to a new location. Remember to layer your baskets and planter boxes. Three types of plants should be in your containers: something that drapes, something that fills, and something tall.
Choose Flowering Plants
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of landscapes are severely lacking in flowering plants. Lilies, irises, and hydrangeas are nice choices for some low maintenance color in your garden. Azaleas, gardenias, crepe myrtles, and camellias should keep your yard in bloom for most of the year.
Hide Your Shed
Sheds are functional, but most do not look great. Try lining your shed with some potted plants that get tall. A trellis with a flowering vine can screen a plain looking shed. Try a vertical herb wall. It will add some character and be useful when cooking.
Make It Memorable
Your backyard is yours to enjoy. Make something just for you that you love. If you have a large backyard, use the extra space to create an escape that you and friends clamor too. An outdoor oasis can include water features, statues, ornate outdoor furniture, grownup tree houses, or other hidden surprises.
Dogs can easily make a mess of your landscaping. Dogs can trample, chew, and dig a garden into a mud pit in no time. Our advice, stop fighting your dogs on what they are doing. Work with their natural instincts to make a place that is good for plants, people, and canines.
Dog breeds differ greatly. Figure out what your dog needs and be sure to include it. Keeping your dog happy will lead to an area that is easier to maintain. Doggy landscaping requires some extra work and a lot of patience.
What should be in a dog friendly garden?
Grass Type - Dogs run a lot. Be sure to pick a grass type that can handle the traffic. Athletic fields in the area use Bermuda grass. It requires full sun, but it can take a lot of traffic and repairs damage quickly.
Running Track - Dogs love to run. They are already running in a set path in your yard. Instead of trying to change their doggy behavior, work with it. Make a nice looking path out of flagstones, smooth pebbles, decking, or concrete. This will keep the paths less muddy and their paws cleaner. If your fur baby runs along your fence, give them a solid path. Dogs patrol the edges of their territory. Enhance their path to keep it looking great.
Marking Post - Give your dog a toilet of sorts. Set up a stump, post, or even a faux fire hydrant in a set area in your yard. Reward the pup for taking care of business in that area. This will lead to less dog spots in your grass and an easier area to clean up after.
Sturdy Plants - Pick strong plants that can take an excited dog running through them. Soft leaves are better for dogs since they shouldn't scratch them. Ornamental grasses work well also. Arrange your shrubs to they will grow densely. Dogs tend to not make a path in places that are hard to go through. Layer your landscaping with dense plantings in front of shrubs.
Shade - Dogs play in the sun, but rest in the shade when it is hot. Shade trees and covered areas are prime real estate for doggy naps. Provide an inviting spot under a shady tree to guide your dog.
Soft Mulch - Mulch that feels good to a dog is mulch that will not be dug out by a dog. If your dog has a favorite place to lay down, a nice soft mulch will make it look better. Be sure to pick a mulch that will not get stuck in their fur.
Borders - Small fences, stones, and hardscaped borders keep your dogs from running through areas they shouldn't. Find an aesthetic that works with your landscape style and go with it. If you don't like the look of borders in front of your landscape, use it as a temporary training tool. After a few weeks, remove the fence and see if the your dog's behavior has changed.
Water Feature - Pick a water feature that looks good, sounds nice, and provides clean water to refresh your dog. Choose a water feature that your pet can get out of in case they fall into it. Also pick one that is easy to replace the water.
Safe Landscaping - Obviously, don't use thorny plants. While they prevent your dog from going somewhere, they can also cause injury. A lot of plants are poisonous to dogs. While dogs don't always eat everything in the yard, cautious pet owners can choose to avoid the option all together. Here is a link to a list of plants that are dangerous to pets. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
Camellias are an excellent option for most homeowners' landscape in Louisiana. They are resilient plants that bloom through the cool season providing some welcome color between fall and winter. Flowers from each plant tend to bloom only one color. Their colors range from white, pink, red, and a number of shades between. Camellias will inject beauty into any landscape garden they are planted.
Camellias are easy to maintain. This is nice since so many people have them still alive in their landscape beds at their homes. Camellias like partial shade, since too much sun can cause problems. They prefer acidic, well drained soils. Organic mulch can do wonders for your camellia. Camellias do not need to be pruned often. If you do need to prune, do it in spring after they have finished blooming.
C. sasanqua is the smaller of the two, usually staying in the form of a small shrub range between 2 feet and up to 12 feet.. These tend to have a larger number of smaller flowers. Sasanquas like well drained soils and can handle dry spells better than C. japonica.
Here are some we use:
Shi-Shi Gashira camellia - dwarf, pink flowers, Louisiana Super Plant
Snow on the Mountain - dwarf, white flowers
Maiden Blush camellia - upright, pink flowers
Yuletide camellia - upright, red flowers
These are a much taller camellia, growing an average 12 feet with some types growing as tall as 25 feet. These have fewer, but larger flowers. Japonicas need a lot of moisture.
Here are some we use:
Sarah Frost camellia - upright, dark pink flowers
Sea Foam camellia - upright, white flowers
Omega camellia - upright, white-pink flowers
Royal Velvet - upright, red flowers