As a community matures, landscaping in older communities may show signs of aging. This is the time of year that many boards across the country are considering different ways to update and enhance their landscaping. It’s a good financial investment that can enhance the curb appeal, add direct value to individual residences, and increase the quality of life in an association. So, what are a few ways established communities can renovate and upgrade its green spaces? Have a plan – It’s hard to know where to start if you don’t know what you want. Find a professional to partner with – an architect or seasoned contractor – and share your vision. Your partner will help you navigate the thought process by focusing on high impact areas first, then smaller areas. Breaking large spaces down into sections, prioritizing them and then figuring out what is needed is crucial – and the right partner will develop the plan with you, in order to achieve your vision. Establish a regular program to replace plant material – Select new plants that tie in to your present landscape configuration. Also, choose plants that will bloom at different times of the year, so there is always some natural color around to brighten the view.
Replace shrubs – Shrubs have a relatively short life span – around ten years. They are often replaced or removed because of declining health or incorrect location. Consider replacing with drought-tolerant shrubs; they can thrive in either sunlight or shade, and also will bloom during the year.
Use ground cover – Converting small lawn areas or other greenbelt areas to ground cover, dwarf shrubs or tall grasses will often reduce maintenance and water costs. Associations with a well-conceived water conservation program can save money and better protect the value of their property.
Replace trees – Traditionally, communities planted Eucalyptus, Ficus and Melaleucas trees, which can grow large enough to crack curbs and gutters, lift sidewalks, and create hazards. When considering replacement tree options, research to find out how big the tree will be in 10 to 15 years, and the required maintenance. For example, trees that drop leaves in the fall mean more maintenance expenses.
Upgrade Irrigation – Old systems typically don’t provide much water conservation, while newer systems can be programmed to make every drop count. Many communities have reduced water consumption by up to 20 to 30 percent. Your landscape contractor can help to design the best system for you with new sprinklers, a hose system with emitters, or smart clocks.
Landscape is usually one of the largest and often the most visual part of a community. Enhancing it not only brings enjoyment to your residents, but it’s an investment that can increase property values. Check with local landscape professionals for help with making appropriate plant selections.
Executive VP Property Services
N.N Jaeschke, Inc.
New research from the University of Texas at Austin shows wind is largely responsible for droughts in California, not the amount of evaporated moisture or human activity.The finding, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, shows that while evaporation of the Pacific Ocean is a major source of California’s precipitation, the amount of water evaporating does not have a major impact on the amount of rain. The researchers note the Pacific evaporation rate does not really change from year to year, so rainfall rates wouldn’t change either.“Ocean evaporation provides moisture for California precipitation but is not the reason for droughts there,” Jiangfeng Wei, lead author and research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin, said in a press release.The finding helps scientists understand how the water cycle plays into extreme weather events, like the California drought, and could aid in drought prediction moving forward. The researchers say the current California drought is due to a high-pressure system that is disturbing atmospheric circulation.
Turf Rebates Still Available Through State Program Submitted by Lisa Lien-Mager on Wed, 07/06/2016 – 6:48pm in Water Supply Challenges Save Our Water Water News Rebates of up to $2,000 are still available for removing turf and replacing it with water-wise landscapes through a program administered by the California Department of Water Resources. The $24 million program budget is expected to support the conversion of more than 10 million square-feet of turf, or approximately 20% of the statewide goal of 50 million square-feet of turf. Up to $2 per square foot of removed and replaced turf will be rebated per eligible household. The total rebated amount, including any rebates the homeowner has already applied for from another agency, can’t exceed a total of $2 per square foot. Fifty percent of funding will go%2
Recently we completed a new entrance of trees and California native plantings at Rinconada Hills HOA in Los Gatos and the results were spectacular! The areas were originally sod/turf that we converted to the new drought tolerant plant material through sheet mulching and drip irrigation. Not only does it save money through decreased water use, the HOA received over $20,000 in rebate money while doing our part to conserve water. Although there are 108 acres of land with all sorts of challenges making this property unique, we have been enjoying our relationship at Rinconada Hills for over 7 years and want to thank the board and the homeowners for allowing us to provide exceptional service to them.