There is usually an overall plan to maintain the general greenery that includes trees and shrubs. Adding some seasonal color in strategic places can really make a difference. It’s what everybody notices and having the committee address those needs and examine the costs involved will give several homeowners the chance to express their taste and opinion in a positive way.
Water usage is a major issue in all parts of the country. There are some communities on the West Coast where water sprinkler run-off is an offense punishable by city fines. Water is expensive and irrigation can have a huge impact on the common area water bill. There are so many advances in technology in this field that it requires real study. Your neighborhood techie will have a field day examining all the options. There are satellite systems, regular clock oriented systems, computer systems that evaluate the ground moisture, systems that can tell if it’s raining or not and just as many different kinds of sprinkler heads. Give this chore to a detail-oriented person or group to look into. It will pay big long-term rewards.
Most communities have a Maintenance Manual for their building and its mechanical systems. The Maintenance Manual catalogs all the working equipment, identifies manufacturers, warrantees in place, service record and service schedules. It guarantees continuity in maintenance in an environment where board members change every year and the community manager can change every three or four years. Who is going to remember all the details? It makes sense. It also makes sense to have a similar book for your landscaping.
The first step is to catalog all the shrubs and trees. Then have a professional nursery person estimate replacement cost. You’ll be astounded at what your landscaping is worth, and the community will pay much more attention to the asset. Then write down the maintenance schedule for each item. When to water? When to prune? When is eventual replacement expected? It’s really part of your Reserve Study.
Dealing with all the little folk that occupy your green space is a separate responsibility. Understand pesticide use and the liabilities involved for you the board member. Are there children in the community? Are there pets? Are they likely to be effected by pesticides? A regular program of pest control that addresses termite prevention and other ongoing threats is an integral part of your landscaping program.
As you can see, there are plenty of details that need examining. There are usually plenty of people willing to contribute their time and opinion in this most visible area. Take advantage of your neighbors’ time. The more people who are involved, the less likely you are to have a revolution when the program is completed.