Landscape Committee News

June/July 2020

Mews – a place of retirement or concealment, especially a place for birds to molt or fatten; to confine.

What a perfect name for a quarantine location.

The Landscape Committee has not met since being mewed.  Confinement has kept us apart, but truth be told, there are few of us, and we are in need of new members. We meet once a month on the Tuesday prior to a board meeting. Members contribute by serving as a liaison between the committee and the Mews community, meeting and working with contractors, researching gardening best practices, writing newsletters, and/or taking relevant workshops or seminars. Best of all you get to meet more of your neighbors. No green thumb required, but an interest and enjoyment of plants and the environment is.   

If you are interested, contact Sue Davis at

Dead Tree removal

Trees come and go, but the intensive drought last summer certainly took a toll on many of our trees.  Dead trees in Court 11 include a Cherry (Tag #185) and a Japanese Maple (Tag #170).  In Court 12 a Dogwood (Tag #199) is also dead.  These are scheduled for removal on July 28, weather permitting. All trees on Mews common property have been tagged and categorized.  A PDF of this list can be found here and in the Landscape section of this website.

EcoAction Arlington

The Landscape Committee has again applied for free trees, this time three, from Arlington County. A Swamp Oak was planted in Court 6 last year and is thriving.  The Landscape Committee requested trees for Courts 1, 3, and 11 this year.

If you haven’t noticed there are new trees on our property along the King Street fence.  These are part of the King Street rejuvenation project.  All are doing well mainly because we have wonderful volunteers taking care of them.  So please give a Big ‘Green’ Thumbs Up to Carolyn Creevy, Judith Guerny, Garon King, and Janice Peters and her husband.

New plant list

The Landscape Committee is working on a recommended plant list and a list of guidelines for homeowners wanting to plant around their homes.   

Conservation Garden

Progress is being made on the Conservation Garden near the single tennis court by the pool.  The quarantine hobbled initial efforts to start and now the excessive heat is a factor.  The contractor, Nate Erwin has taken time to study the area during some of the harder rain events this spring.  Seeing how and where water puddled helped inform the project direction. 

As designed, the bed- a combination of leaf mulch and sand- holds and retains water, allowing it to seep out slowly to the surrounding trees.  The bed is planted with Virginia natives with long and/or expanding roots that will assist with controlling the water flow.  The hope is that this low cost method will control water issues in that area.

End of the Year

This year has been a busy one for the Landscape Committee.  Our first meeting was last July after Judith Guerny stepped down as Committee Chair.  Fern Birtwistle and Sue Davis assumed Co-Chair positions.  Most of August was spent reviewing previous documents and determining our roles and responsibilities.


  • Electronic waiver forms
  • Monthly newsletters 
  • Tree Tagging
  • Reestablished communications with Environmental Enhancements
  • Received free tree from EcoAction Arlington
  • King Street Rejuvenation Project started with December and March plantings.
  • Began Conservation Garden by the single tennis court
  • Creating binders for yearly activities, archival material, and native plant resources.

Ongoing Projects

  • Establishing community work days
  • Establishing a list of native plants for Mews Community
  • Establishing guidelines for Landscape Garden Waivers

Your Landscape Committee, Fern Birtwistle, Jamie Boone, Sue Davis, and Penny Glass