By Melanie Clement
Five proposals were received this year for provision of landscape maintenance services to Lakeport Cluster. Of the five, we have chosen to continue our relationship with Blade Runners as our general landscape maintenance and snow removal vendor for the next three years.
Meadows Farms installed liriope this October along the sidewalk heading up Lakespray hill. This will help mitigate soil erosion and provide a landscaped appeal to the street. Thanks to Henryk Gorski and Melissa Green for volunteering to water the new plants while they get established.
A very special shout-out to the Lakeport kids crew that participated in garden maintenance to assist the committee co-chairs with sprucing up overgrowth around Triangle Park. The photo to the right shows Eva Collingham, Henry Strickland, Ilana Collingham, and Mary Strickland.
As you may recall, Riverbend Landscapes removed two hazardous Bradford pear trees next to Triangle Park and a dying Leyland cypress next to the sidewalk on Sunrise Valley Drive. They also trimmed some additional trees and treated a couple of others. Owner Rich Shelton used a rented stump grinder to grind the stumps, and this month Meadows Farms will plant two flowering native snowcloud serviceberry trees on either side of the Triangle Park parking area to replace the Bradford pears and an emerald green arborvitae on Sunrise Valley to replace the cypress.
Meadows Farms will also plant a crepe myrtle in the median across the RA path from the Safeway brick wall, prior to Riverbend’s installation of a Helleri holly hedge to replace the hedge removed two years ago because of canker. In order to mitigate storm water runoff near the dock, Riverbend extended two downspouts so the water would empty onto the RA path instead of running down the hill where the roses are, and they will plant six junipers to retain soil there.
Restoration of the natural area on the hill to the right of the RA path leading from Sunrise Valley Drive to the Lake Thoreau pool will also begin in November and will include a number of native trees, shrubs, and ferns, all paid for by the County. As previously mentioned in Ripples, the County had damaged this section of Lakeport Cluster property last fall and agreed to reciprocity.
Please note that according to Claudia Thompson-Deahl, RA’s Environmental Resources Senior Manager, the areas between the backs of homes on Lakeport and Lakespray and along Sunrise Valley and South Lakes Drives should be considered “natural” areas. She advised that whenever possible, we should remove invasives (non-native species that spread from landscaped areas and yards into natural areas) from our natural areas and encourage owners to remove them from their yards. We recently had to pay to remove English ivy that had encroached on the natural area between Lakeport and Lakespray and was damaging back fences and growing up trees. Examples of invasives include English ivy, periwinkles, winged burning bush, autumn olive, and other plants in RA’s brochure and the longer list at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/invsppdflist. If you have one of these plants, please consider replacing it with a native. Also, please note that the Lakeport Handbook “prohibits the discarding or storing of debris, trash, or other items from private property on Lakeport common grounds, including natural wooded areas.” This includes Christmas trees, tree branches, raked leaves, and other debris from an owner’s yard.
Landscape co-chairs Melanie Clement and Gail Pitches continue to walk around the community taking notes for future enhancements, identifying hazards, and trimming dead branches. If you have suggestions, please let them know by emailing Melanie Clement at firstname.lastname@example.org.