When you think landscaping, you probably don’t think of a swanky New York co-op or condo building. After all, landscaping in the usual sense is typically reserved for suburban homes where there is rolling turf, strategically placed trees, sprawling flower beds and maybe even a gazebo or fountain. There's no doubt that greenery and other design elements add to a home’s curb appeal—and in a slowly-improving economy, curb appeal increases value and attracts buyers.
But take a closer look at the outside of that same luxury high-rise and you’ll see that exterior landscaping is actually a part of the building’s look. Whether it’s curbside planters, historic shutters or a colorful awning that complement the building’s veneer or dramatic lighting that draws attention to a unique aspect of the façade, there are ways to landscape the building outside that draw its attention to passersby.
“The benefit is definitely curb appeal,” says Howard K. Freilich, CEO of Blondie’s Treehouse in New York City. “It makes a good first impression and increases the value of the building. If the exterior and the plants look good, people will know that the building is taken care of and will want to live there.”
Planning a Picturesque Exterior
With any spring project, sprucing up the building’s exterior starts with planning. “We meet with the client, look at the existing landscape and see how we can make it work better,” says Freilich. “That determines the selection of the plants, the decorative elements, lighting, irrigation, masonry and more.”
Freilich works with a board or committee to determine the look of the exterior. “Then the committee picks the design they like, based upon our recommendations and their budget. Once it’s approved, we design, install and maintain it. If it’s an existing client, we might refurbish a project by removing some elements, pruning trees back because they have outgrown their space, and so forth.”