Urban Landscaping Colorful Ideas for Indoors and Out

Landscaping is often associated with garden apartments that boast acres of land and rolling hills decorated with towering trees, bountiful flower gardens and lush courtyards. However, landscaping is just as important, if not more so, in buildings with limited outdoor space. From vibrant impatiens and azaleas to flourishing mums and pansies to handsome shrubs and fruit trees, even high-rise buildings can create beautiful greenery and colorful gardens.

We landscaped to beautify the buildings and the area, and now it helps sell apartments, says Beverly Marcus, a board member at Riverdale Park in the Bronx. Landscaping can increase the value of a building by 20 percent, confirms Don Venezia, a certified arborist for The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Co., a Connecticut-based firm specializing in tree care.

There are many places within and without the building that can be transformed into a garden wonderland with an array of seasonal and year-round flowers, plants, trees and shrubs. The sidewalks, pathways, lobby, hallways, terraces and rooftop decks can all be designed to attract potential residents, increase the property value and create a beautiful environment.

Trees Add Appeal

Garden apartments have an advantage: they practically sell themselves with their grand entranceways, brick gate houses and extensive land, but when approaching a city building, the first thing people see is the sidewalk. A sidewalk with just cement has no appeal, says Venezia. A sidewalk with trees adds curb appeal and can be a selling point for cooperatives and condominiums.

Sidewalk trees are generally the responsibility of the city. However, if a licensed and insured tree company obtains a permit from the city to care for the trees in front of a building, then the tree care becomes the building's responsibility. If there are no sidewalk trees, a licensed and certified company can get a permit from the city to build tree wells. Sidewalk trees are aesthetically pleasing and more inviting to potential buyers, says Nancy Bernstein, director of sales and marketing at Stanley Bernstein Poly-Fol Corp., a family-owned business in Mamaroneck, New York. Bernstein recommends decorating sidewalk trees by planting colorful seasonal flowers and adding a low picket or wrought-iron fence around the base of the tree.

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