completed landscaping for medical office office landscaping before and after completed landscaping for medical office
“Many of our patients have commented how much nicer the beds are and our employees are aware that their work environment has become more beautiful.” Grand Street Medical Associates

Case Study:

Urban Medical Offices

Goal: to design a lush and welcoming entryway for a streetfront medical office building.

As it existed, the beds at this urban medical complex in Kingston, NY were geometric, dull and motionless. Shrubs, pruned into tight shapes, prevented natural movement of branches. Planted in a straight line, they resembled regimented soldiers. From afar, the plants were marooned in vast beds of 'gas station red' mulch. Up close, the plants blended in to the building as hard and architectural. Litter piled up in and around the shrubs. Cigarette butts were strewn in the beds as if it were pavement. Tightly pruned shrubs send subliminal messages of conformity, restrictiveness, rigidity and formality — all negative subliminal messages when entering a doctor's office, ideally a place of healing and health, of re-energizing the body.

First, all shearing was stopped to loosen up the existing shrubs to allow for naturalistic habit and movement. Natural brown mulch replaced the red mulch. Garden soil enriched with composted manure was added to the beds. Since existing shrubs were fine mature specimens, additional plants were selected to fill in spaces, add naturalistic flow and soften the beds. Shrubs were the majority of additional plants because they offer maximum mass and form to plump out the beds. Green Gem boxwood (a rounded dwarf) and Green Mountain boxwood (pyramidal in habit) echo existing shrubs yet offer a finer evergreen leaf texture. Ninebark 'Coppertina', a newer cultivar of native ninebark, leafs out copper orange in spring, matures into a deep red brown and boasts a billowy, soft habit to add grace and fullness. For scent, Hummingbird cultivars of dwarf native summersweet were placed adjacent to the similarly shaped Green Gem boxwoods. Flowers, essential color in a predominantly green garden, also make people smile: Achillea 'Terracotta' echoes the orange hue of the new logo and sign and purplely-mauve Liatris spicata 'Kobold' harmonizes well with orange and echoes the color scheme inside the office. Both perennials are natives.

leaf pattern