Landscaping is just as important for commercial property owners as it is for homeowners. It can make your business more attractive, which helps provide a sense of professionalism and quality to existing and potential clients or customers. If you want to add some interesting landscaping but you aren’t sure where to start, check out the ideas below for some inspiration.

Keep Your Evergreens Trimmed

Whether you have evergreens on your commercial property in the form of shrubs or trees, winter is the perfect time to keep them trimmed back and pruned – especially if you use a professional service rather than doing it yourself. Rates are typically lower in the winter due to the slow season. Trimming and shaping now will lead to a better overall season in the spring. What’s more, if you have existing perennials, most of them will actually fare better if you trim them back in the winter months. This is true for everything from peonies to daisies to hostas and many others.

Add Mulch to Beds

It gets downright cold in Chicago. In fact, it gets so cold that even some hardy plants are at risk when the temperatures plummet and the winds start to blow. Mulch can save these plants – including those that die back into the ground and those that simply lie dormant. For the former, spread a layer of mulch over the entire plant at least two inches thick. This will provide some insulation and prevent frost from permeating the plant’s roots. For dormant plants, do the same thing, but leave a gap of about an inch between the layer of mulch and the plant’s stem. This will help prevent rotting and better protect your plants.

Stock Up on Burlap, Fleece, and Other Protective Materials

Depending on the season, it is not that unusual to see early bloomers like daphne and rhododendron just before another big freeze comes along – especially in late winter. Now is the perfect time to stock up on materials like hemp and jute cloth or even horticultural fleece that you can use to protect these fragile blooms through a cold snap. For especially fragile flowers, use some straw between the plant and the outer covering for extra insulation against the cold and the wind. Be sure to buy some gardening twine, too, to secure the cloth and prevent it from blowing away.

Plan for some Wintertime Color

Though the winter months usually mean bare trees and twigs in the Chicagoland area, there are some plants that can offer some serious color – even in the dead of winter – and truly stand out against the snow and ice. Ornamental varieties of popular vegetables like kale and cabbage can withstand cold temps and give you some gorgeous pops of pink and purple, and some Johnny Jump Up (also known as Viola tricolor) can offer some amazing yellow and deep purple in late fall and sometimes even in winter. Sweet Flag ornamental grass, which is native to Japan, is also ideal for Chicago winters, and it brings some lovely shades of green and chartreuse that are welcomed during the cold months.

A colorful, healthy landscape says a lot about your business. Though cold Chicago winters can strictly limit the plants and blooms that are available to you, there are still several options that can bring some unique architecture or bright pops of color throughout even the coldest winter months.