You might not always think about the landscaping around your parking lots at your Greater Chicago commercial facility, and we don’t blame you. They are some of the easier areas to neglect or forget about when it comes to attractive and effective commercial landscaping.

But for your guests, customers, tenants, visitors, and any other people visiting your commercial site, your parking lot is actually a pretty big deal. It can even make a big impact on their experience at your facility. 

For instance, do overgrown trees block important property signage or building entrances? Does regular rush hour foot traffic trample the grass in your parking lot islands? Do your flowers look wilted and hungry for water in that dry, concrete filling space?

Parking lot landscaping requires some skill. We have some tips and tricks to share to help you elevate these areas on your Greater Chicago commercial properties.

3 Parking Lot Landscaping Tips

Most commercial properties see more vehicular and pedestrian traffic than residential properties do. These are known as high-traffic areas, and your parking lots are among them. 

Let’s learn about some parking lot landscaping ideas you can use to get some better aesthetics in these highly used areas.

1. Choose Tough Plants

Parking lot landscaping isn’t the best place for plants, unfortunately. 

These spaces are hot and sunny, and regular car exhaust adds an additional heat layer. 

Parking lots also don’t have easy access to irrigation. On top of that, constant foot traffic can beat plants down. 

plantings in landscape bed with mulch near parking lot

Looking below ground, tiny parking lot islands have very little room for root growth. The soil here is also lacking nutrients and tends to be more compacted. 

You want low-maintenance plants that don’t require a ton of care or upkeep. 

The solution: native plants. Since native plants are already adapted to an area, they are more drought tolerant. They can naturally be good solutions for your toughest parking lot areas.

2. Don’t Let Your Parking Lot Look Neglected

If you have an older commercial facility, your parking lot landscaping could likely use a refresh. 

Plants can become overgrown, blocking signage and building entrances. And that scraggly look won’t attract people to your site, giving off a bad vibe. 

Your commercial landscape professionals can thin and shape existing trees and shrubs so buildings and signage are visible again. They can also replace tired plants that are nutrient-deficient with fresh plants that can thrive in this challenging environment. 

maintenance crew carries pruned branches

Parking lot islands can also receive a boost. Parkers actually seek them out when parking as they search for shade. When done right, they can be assets on your commercial site. They make good spots for trees or pops of color. 

Not just any tree will do. They must tolerate heat, drought, soil compaction, and salt. You also can’t choose trees that have berries that will fall and be a mess, staining visitors’ cars.

3. Use Parking Lot Islands to Help With Drainage

Parking lot landscaping in Chicago can also serve multiple purposes. Since these areas are concrete and generate a lot of runoff, your parking lot landscaping can provide natural drainage and filter stormwater, in addition to looking great. 

landscape bed with rock and ornamental grasses

Parking lot islands can help collect water as it runs through the lot if they are placed properly below the parking lot level. This can mean they serve a functional purpose absorbing and filtering stormwater. And you can choose plants like grasses and perennials that are fit for these locations to make them look great, too.

Lining your parking areas with bioswales or using detention ponds to your advantage near parking lots can also be an option if islands aren’t present.

Need Amazing Parking Lot Landscaping in Greater Chicago? Trust KD Landscape

Commercial landscapes are designed to draw people in. Whether it’s an industrial facility or office park that sees regular employees and deliveries or a retail center that encourages regular shopping, people choose to come to your property for a purpose. They may work there, deliver or pick up items there, shop there, learn there, or visit there. 

By giving them great parking areas they can use, you encourage their visits and discourage wear and tear on key areas of your site from the traffic. 

Hopefully some of these parking lot landscaping ideas can help you create inviting and safe areas on your facility. 

If you aren’t sure what to do for your parking lots, let KD Landscape help. Solving these commercial landscape design problems on Greater Chicago sites is our specialty. We’d love to create parking lot landscaping that works for you and the people who visit your facility. 

Want to learn more about how we can help you deal with your parking lots in Greater Chicago? Get started today with a free quote. We’ll review your options together so you can feel confident and make a great choice. 
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