Landscape Committee News – August 2020

New Trees for the Mews!

The Arlington Tree Canopy Fund Fall 2020 has just awarded the Mews Community three trees. These will go in Court 1, 2, and 11, and include a Linden, a Swamp Oak, and Hackberry. The Landscape Committee will be recruiting volunteers to water the new trees when they arrive this fall.

In other news:

Most of the time people forget that there are seven distinct communities in Fairlington.  Each of the villages is different and unique, but we have commonalities as well.  Teresa Cordova from the Commons recently reached out to all the Landscape Committees across Fairlington to share information and best practices. Each community has mutual concerns from dying trees to healthy grass to landscaping companies. The hope is that we can share our problems and expertise to educate the community about what a landscape is. The hot topic today is a return to Native plants.  

So, why Native plants?  Bradford Pear, once everyone’s sweetheart, is on the ‘do not plant’ list.  Day lilies, a garden staple, are getting snubbed.  English Ivy, ground cover to end all ground covers – forget about it.  After years of planting non-natives, it’s clear that native plants are already adapted to this climate making them heat and drought tolerant, they attract insects and birds, and are just as attractive as their non-Native counterparts. For those of you who follow these posts, here is a link from May’s newsletter about planting Natives.

The group has met twice, and there was no lack of conversation.  Whose grass looks the best?  Do organic fertilizers work?  What rules and protocols do residents follow in your neighborhood?  What special projects does everyone have?  How can we share all of this?  Which landscaping company do you use?

For the Mews, it was good to meet with other dedicated individuals who value the importance of Native plants; individuals who are moving Native plant theory into practice.  An example is the shade garden at 2934 Columbus Street in North Fairlington. The group is also planning a new monthly post in the All Fairlington Bulletin featuring articles on turf, shade gardens, and cicadas.  

This Fall the Mews team is working on creating a list of suitable Native plants to use in the Mews.  The hope is to get our landscape to a 50/50 level – half native, half non-Natives. We are already working in that direction.  The King Street Rejuvenation Project and the Conservation Garden near the swimming pool contain only Native plants.  

If you are interested in what we are doing and want to be part of our team, contact Sue Davis at  New members are always welcome, no green thumb required.

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