There’s a lot more to landscaping than just mowing and pruning. Our environment affects our psychology in subtle but profound ways. A bit of greenery can completely transform an area from a place we avoid to a place we enjoy. Changing the way your property looks can increase its property value, make the people who work on the property happier and more productive, make the businesses at the property more profitable from the increase of customers, and of course, it also benefits the environment and the community as a whole.
I’ve broken the benefits of landscaping into three broad categories: 1) Economical benefits. 2) Health and Psychological benefits. And 3) Environmental benefits. In 2003, Marc S. Frank compiled a list of factoids gathered from various sources such as The Journal of Environmental Horticulture, the U.S. Department of Energy, and The Journal of Architectural Planning Research. I’m going to give a brief overview of the various benefits of landscaping by providing several of Frank’s gathered quotes in this blog. Then, over the next month, we will look at each category in more detail. To read the complete list click here.
- A study by Joel Goldsteen of the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Arlington, showed that, of all the architectural and urban design variables evaluated, landscape amenities had the highest correlation with the occupancy of rental properties.
- Proper arrangement of landscape plants around buildings can substantially reduce both heat loss and cold air infiltration through walls and floors during the winter months.
- A Washington State University study shows that live interior plants may increase worker productivity and reduce stress. Productivity increased twelve percent when people performed a simple task on a computer in a windowless room with plants compared to workers who performed the same task in the same room without plants.
- In one study of college students under stress from an exam, views of plants increased positive feelings and reduced fear and anger.
- In a survey of one southern community, 74% of the public preferred to patronize commercial establishments that had structures and parking lots planted with trees and other landscaping.
- A mail survey of licensed drivers in Washington state found that the presence of trees and green space appears to positively influence both consumers’ attitudes about the character of a place and the prices that shoppers are willing to pay in local businesses.
- The organization Partners for Livable Places maintains that plants are the fastest, most cost-effective agents for changing negative perceptions of an area, enhancing the economic and social conditions and improving the psychosocial health.
- Plants improve air quality. “One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions. Landscape plants, including shrubs and turf, remove smoke, dust, and other pollutants from the air. One study showed that 1 acre of trees has the ability to remove 13 tons of particles and gases annually.”
These facts are simply a brief overview. There is a lot more to dig into and explore. Join us in two weeks when we cover the economic benefits of landscaping in more detail.