Perennials + Annuals = Cost Savings
Each year, some commercial and apartment properties spend literally thousands of dollars on the installation of colorful annual flowers to improve their appearance throughout the growing season. In the new planting season, flowers are stripped, removed and transformed into vibrant, colorful displays of flowers that are pleasing and attractive.
Annuals are spectacular in full bloom. Seasonal flowers require multiple plantings that cost property owners and managers additional money. A property can easily spend $3,000 to $8,000 on each flower rotation, depending on the size of the property, usually a minimum of three to four times per year depending on the type of flowers used and budget.
At nearly $9,000- $24,000 per year, those beautiful flower beds can cost you a small fortune.
Flower Bed Size Can Cut Costs by 50%
Perennials, are long lived compared to annual color sometimes lasting 1-5 years, offer an attractive bouquet of color and blend well with annual flowers, while reducing the need to plant as often while looking colorful. We have seen properties reduce their color budgets by 50 percent or more while maintaining a pleasing environment.
Perennials come in numerous varieties blooming in spring, summer, and fall and going dormant in the colder winter months. The bloom cycle is shorter but more frequent versus some annuals that only flower for a few months. If designed and planned correctly, perennials can flower throughout the season, providing consistent color throughout most of the growing season.
By using a methodical approach of mixing perennials and annuals during spring, summer and fall plantings, properties can reduce costs while maintaining a colorful landscape, too. For the design to be effective, managers should keep a few things in mind:
1. Perennials and Annuals Reduce Maintenance
Planting a mix of perennials that have varying growth cycles with annuals like Marigold, Begonias and Petunias can reduce the number of plants used in each color rotation while maintaining a consistent, display of color at main focal points of interest. Use reduced amounts of annual color at the front of the bed, while using perennials to fill in and create interest towards the back. The blooming of annual color will more than compensate for the various blooming cycles of perennials so that it maintains a colorful appearance throughout the year.
2. Consider Height, Texture and Color Combinations
When working with perennials, take note of the mature height of the plant and how it will interact with signage or lighting djacent to the bed. Some perennial grasses, like Red Fountain Grass can grow to a height of 3-4 Feet.
3. Design and Flower Planting
Coordinating a mix of perennials with periodic flowering cycles with commercial landscaping will help ensure the flower bed in your shopping center or commercial building landscaping will last into the following year. Perennials that bloom in the same bed for multiple weeks at the same time will inhibit the color display. You’ll have a dazzling effect for three weeks, then nothing. The concept is to incorporate plant material that flowers at different stages and at different times within the same planter bed, so there’s always an interesting display of flora.
Depending on your geographical area, you may want to incorporate flowering bulbs – like a Tulips or Daffodil that flower in early spring and then transition into Perennials like Hydrangea or Azalea that start to bloom later in the Spring.
4. Maintain Perennials for Commercial Landscaping Budget
Perennials require some maintenance to ensure they return healthy for the next growing season. Some have to be pruned and frequently sheared back. The extra effort pays off for the following growing season; they’ll be primed and ready to grow.
With the right design that includes some advanced planning, commercial properties can capitalize on the savings while keeping beds and other areas of the property colorful throughout the year. While perennials won’t be as dazzling like annuals, perennials offer plenty of bang for the buck. Additionally, they will help reduce costs, while boosting a colorful display of flowers for visitors, tenants and clients.
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Regardless if you own or manage a Home Owners Association, or have a single Hotel Building, FloraTerra is very experienced in the area of commercial landscape maintenance, let us help you with your landscape challenges.
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