More emphasis is being placed on creating safer public spaces as we navigate living in a COVID-19 world. Using structure in design is not only a feature of aesthetics. It provides much-needed privacy and direction. It can help facilitate natural social distancing, as well. Using plants as living walls or way finders offers opportunity to bring nature into functional design.
“Plants are perfect to define spaces for directional flow and social distancing,” says Justin Hancock, senior director of marketing at Monrovia. “Large topiaries, trellised shrubs, and ornamental grasses define a space and create green dividers. Espalier trees, varieties that are trained to grow in a pattern along a frame, add an artistic design element. They all add natural beauty to every area.”
Using greenery provides more than natural structure. Research shows that plants create a more relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. They can increase positive energy levels and feelings of enjoyment. One study even found that people associate beautifully landscaped areas with a higher quality of life.
It can be a challenge to create a welcoming and inviting area that is safe and well-spaced. Here are three ways plants tackle the challenge with beauty from large, public spaces to intimate restaurants.
Privacy and Spacing
Plant several large evergreens in a decorative container or the landscape for a natural screen. The glossy, bright green foliage of Emerald Colonnade® Holly is dense, making it an excellent choice for privacy or as a or windbreak. Blue Arrow Juniper adds soft, blue-green color and narrow form. It ideal for areas where space is limited.
Need ready-to-go design options? Monrovia offers several patio hedge container plants that create instant walls. “Hedges, such as Waxleaf Privet and Boxwood are beautiful and functional instant design pieces,” adds Hancock. “Their naturally dense, deep green foliage is perfect as a separation screen or defining areas for dining or relaxing.”
Direction and Flow
Plants can serve as instructors for directional flow. Intentional placement of Purple Fountain Grass can direct customers and visitors along a pathway, offering a beautiful, natural sense of movement. Mint Julep Juniper and espaliered Chollipo Euonymus can direct turns in public spaces or block areas where you do not want customers to go.
Natural beauty also creates head-turning design. Trellised Purple Queen Bougainvillea and espaliered Victory Pyracantha act as living fences that bloom. Purple Queen’s deep purple bracts stand out against its deep green leaves. Victory Pyracantha features small white flowers in the spring that become red berry clusters in the fall.
Creating social distancing spaces while using stunning design elements is easy. Call on nature for a calming, beautiful way to define any space.