We have all probably worked in an office, shop or restaurant with a dismal view out the windows. I worked at a wonderful, friendly company for a few years. However, the building did not have any windows. Sometimes I needed a break to step outside to re-connect to the world even though no lovely trees or flowers were planted.

Typically, many employees may feels powerless to change the environment, so the lack of beauty is ignored. I call this the brick wall syndrome; everyone just ignores the wall. However, this syndrome is easy to remedy. It only requires a creative mind, patience and a bit of work for one person to change the environment. The remedy is even easier if multiple employees love gardening.

Here are some pictures of different corporate buildings and/or landscaping around the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Some of the plantings are decidedly simple and some definitely complex. My hope is that the following pictures will inspire you to change the brick wall where you work. A beautiful place is a calm refuge in an otherwise crazy world, even if you love your job.

Cherry tree copyright April Campbell copyright April Campbell
flowers copyright April Campbell
Spring blooms on a cherry tree in an office complex.These purple-blue flowers look outstanding against a tan office building. This familiar and long blooming favorite was planted directly outside an office.

copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
Victory Christian Center lot copyright April Campbell
The landlords in this office complex must love plants. I would want to rent here.These shrubs added beauty for months for the employees. A beautiful group of multiple colors of green hedges trimmed in different heights, capped off with shrubs and small plantings adds appeal to this church parking lot.

Flowering shrub copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
Just a simple, easy to maintain shrub adds so much to an otherwise boring commercial wall.A fancy light under a beautiful tree shines a new light on work.Who would not be delighted to look outside and see this beauty?

copyright April Campbell
Japanese Maple Tree copyright April Campbell
Fall trees copyright April Campbell
The side area of this commercial building looks beautifully decorated with ornamental grasses, other easy care plants and river rocks.A Japanese maple tree looks stunning against this boring white corporate building.How beautiful is this parking lot?

Builder's model flowers copyright April Campbell
Fall leaves copyright April Campbell
Crab Apple Tree copyright April Campbell
The flowers outside this builder's model home add cheer.The sun and wind played games with these leaves outside my office window this year. This crab apple bloomed outside my window for a couple springs while I worked as a staff accountant.

copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
This lovely landing is outside a medical emergency building.The spring flowers and shrubs add curb appeal to this corporate parking lot. Even the post office planted a tree. (This is a memorial tree planted to remember the individuals that died in the Oklahoma City bombing.)

Red buds copyright April Campbell
copyright April Campbell
yellow tulips copyright April Campbell
These redbuds are planted between a parking lot and Main Street.This area looks great with seasonal flowers planted.A simple grouping of tulips adds brilliant color to this corporate lot.

flowers copyright April Campbell
Even a construction area looks better decorated.

Here are some simple steps to help you beautify your workplace:

  • Always ASK your employer first. It is possible that there are funds in the budget to spruce up the workplace. By asking permission to plant, you might find unexpected help.
  • Have a plan and be ready to explain it.
  • Browse Dave's Garden PlantFiles to research plants. Do not plant poisonous plants.
  • Note: A water garden may cause the landlord's (or your employer's) insurance to increase. Get special permission to add any type of water; there may be city requirements also if a water feature is added.
  • If the building is rented, you may also need permission from the landlord so the gardeners do not "chop down your cherry tree".
  • Decide on an acceptable plan. If you must also maintain the area, be sure to keep it simple. You might be delighted to keep the area up at first, but a long-term maintenance plan may be time consuming and expensive if you choose the wrong plants.
  • Analyze the area; how much sun and shade does it receive? Does water run off the building where you plan to plant your tree or flowers? Will the plants block the traffic sight line? Will the roots of the tree damage the foundation? Will the vines grow up into the roofing or into the bricks?
  • Look for plants that add beauty all year long and/or that do not need replanting every year. Also, look for plants that do not require constant watering in your area.
  • Do you or other gardeners have plants that have spread in your own garden(s)? Save funds and transplant a few to your workplace.
  • Make sure your planting will not interfere with underground utilities and easements.
  • Visit with other employees. Are there other gardeners in your workplace? Would anyone else be willing to help provide plants or labor? Do you have other gardening friends that will help you plant beauty at your workplace if you will help them create a workplace garden also?
  • Do not work on the garden during paid work hours unless this has been explicitly approved. You know your workplace; be wise. Go through all of the proper channels. A lovely garden you created is not much comfort if you lose your income.
  • Plant and enjoy the beauty.
  • Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Thank you for reading this article. Please feel free to comment below.