Our Ongoing client – Martha Custis

Our wonderful  ongoing client wanted a refresh today. We started by clearing “Vinca Vine” out from under an Azalea bush that she planted. It’s the first spot you see in our video. Later after the bush finishes it’s bloom, we are going to round it up a bit and today we trimmed off some of its undergrowth. It’s a more tidy look and easier to clean under.  Then we completed a serious weeding because we’ve had so much rain, the weeds have been growing like mad. We do both properties for both clients. But the other client works so we rarely meet up with her. The two neighbors are good friends and have a mutual understanding regarding yard upkeep and care, so it makes sense to do the two together.

Our client wanted the Rose bush dead-headed and while pruning during blooming phase, is not  the best timing, the bush had way overgrown,  since our late fall trim before the end of November. It bloomed until then.  It’s a quite amazing bush. We like to see some balance with an open path  between the two bushes, so we also trimmed the Azalea bush on the center side. Technically your bushes should not invade or overlap with each other.

We are, as of todays visit, going to go by on a more regular maintenance basis, to keep the area looking tidy and fresh.

Contessa” says…. its  all good. Our pleasure!

Preston Road – 3 years + Yesterdays – FINAL SPRING UPDATE

Our lovely client on Preston wanted so much to have a garden. We kind of immediately created a friendship which has been a bonus for both of us. We’ve carried it over to breakfast on a few occasions. Our resident works pretty much all the time, and so care and upkeep is an issue. We have followed her for three years now and we began with some growth in the beds but for some reason it was all located along the front and back edges. Not one plant in the bed.  Soil was poor and the squirrel population along with a huge tree that hangs low over her bed, frankly made it a constantly disrupted bed with falling limbs and squirrels digging their hearts out. They were having a ball. We have transformed the bed and created an entire nw look for her. And we now visit four times a year to freshen and abate. It’s certainly come together for her. We’ve added a new Hydrangea bush, mini evergreen trees in planters and worked very hard on soil restoration. It has paid off. Our FINAL VIDEO follows as of yesterdays “spring” additions.
Our client/friend is excited and really happy. We now have mostly all perennials and the large tree has been trimmed and the Squirrel population is way down.

FINAL VIDEO – it’s looking FINE!!

“Contessa” says…. It’s all good.

…….and it was tons of fun. We are very pleased with this transformation.


YOGA…(REVISED) rescheduled to Saturday, May 28 due to heat advisory

Today is forecast to be the hottest day of the weekend, with many locations reaching the mid-90s and heat indices approaching 100.


Hello Contessa Friends……

Please view the attached link to our YOGA class announcement and “Save the Date.”




The Weight of our Witness

May 23

Matthew 5:16

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” 

The witness of our life carries more weight than the witness of our words. Did you hear that? That’s what Jesus is saying when He tells us to let our light shine. Certainly the words of our witness for Him are vital, but they ring hollow if our life does not back them up. You see, the world is looking for authentic Christians. We know one when we see one, and we all want to be one. How do we shine our light? First we must have a light to shine, by receiving Christ as Lord and Savior.

We keep our light bright by growing in our relationship with Him through reading His Word, prayer and worship. As we grow in Him, we develop a hunger and desire to serve and please Him. This leads to the good works of service that shine before others.

So I ask you now – Where can you shine your light for Christ today? 

The Sabbath Day

Good Morning…my dear Lord,

You have brought me to a new days beginning. You have freshened me during the night. I ask you now to renew my heart. Bring me new strength and purpose for this day.  Forgive my mistakes from yesterday. I give you this new day. I want to walk closer with you.

All praise to you on this Sunday morning. I give you all my love and adoration today. All praises and honor I send to you this Sabbath morning. 

• AMEN •

Shade Perennials for a New Home Owner

We have had two consultations with a new owner who bought in November. He could clearly tell that garden bed space was non existent. He is successfully growing some healthy looking herbs in pots on his stoop. He’s from the southwest so mint is important to him because he makes Mojitos. He also is growing Oregano and Thyme and Basil and Sage, as enjoys cooking. We can see he is serious about his growing. All his herbs look really healthy. Unfortunately he has very little bed space to plant peppers or lettuce or onions or tomatoes. Because of the shaded plot and no back yard area he’s going to need to rent a garden plot at Chinquapin to successfully grow any vegetables. For some reason the previous owners had Laurel bushes placed in the front beds. Very low maintenance and they most likely wanted it that way. These bushes have grown to an enormous size. There is no bed space left. And two very crowded Hydrangeas are trying to survive. We are going to trim these Laurel bushes way back. Bring them to a manageable size so as to make an attempt to dig the root balls up. He offered them to PFX as a relocate, but they say they don’t need them. Our guess is they are just too large at this point to easily relocate them. So we will dig them up. Then we will amend the beds with some new rich soil and plant a few shade perennials. We’ve provided photos of some we recommend. And its possible to enlarge the beds slightly by removing the little amount of grass that there is on either side of the sidewalk and stoop. It’s certainly what we would do if we lived there. In our next post we will provide photos.  

Our resident wants to plant. And he wants to learn how to create a garden space. So we are going to visit the nursery this week to take a look at some perennials. Here are a few suggestions. He liked them all. So let’s see where this project takes us. It can be fun. It can cost some money and it will take some time. He is definitely up for it.

Shade Flowering Perennials 



Mixed Colors of Hosta 

Feathery Ferns

Woodland Phlox and Grape Hyacinth

White Peace Lily

We think a nice variety….and these will add color along with the two smallish Hydrangea bushes already in place. It will be fun to create, and our homeowner is so anxious to pull his project together. We are happy to teach, to watch and to guide.

YOGA Today


We were scheduled to begin a ten week Yoga class this morning….but due to heat indexes in our area, we have rescheduled to next Saturday, May 28. We are aware it’s a Holiday weekend, but if you are in town please do come and join us at 8 am, at “the triangle” in Parkfairfax at the intersections of Gunston and Valley Drive…. The beautiful grassy area is a perfect spot for Morning Yoga. 

We are conscious of excellent health and because it was 81 degrees at 8 am this morning, with humidity levels making it feel like 86 we wish to be cautious in starting a new class.

Below is a self-health check list that you can refer to. There can be occasions where you feel very well….but following a new exercise routine…..you head home and feel the results of fatigue, and you just know your body needs a cooling off period to balance your recent Yoga routine. For that reason we rescheduled this morning.

We are so enthusiastic to meet all of you next Saturday.  Please follow our blog – Contessas.net – for additional updates. 

Do find some “cool” today and truly enjoy your weekend.


Txt – 703-548-1882


What Flowers to Sow in May with @Lovely Greens | Flowers to Sow in Spring | What to Sow Now! – YouTube

What flowers to sow in May? My top picks of flower seeds to sow in Spring! Because maybe you’re wondering ‘what should I sow this month?’ This month, I ask a…
— Read on m.youtube.com/watch

We personally follow “Tanya of Lovely Greens” from the Isle of Man.

Today she shares what to sow during May.

Nasturtiums are one of her favorites and ours as well. And they are edible. Beautiful in a salad presentation.


“CONTESSA” says……. it all good.

YOGA…(REVISED) rescheduled to Saturday, May 28 due to heat advisory

Today is forecast to be the hottest day of the weekend, with many locations reaching the mid-90s and heat indices approaching 100.


Hello Contessa Friends……

Please view the attached link to our YOGA class announcement and “Save the Date.”




Gardening Today is Done……

We were out this morning at 7:30. It was nice. A little breeze, and very calm and quiet. We had a mission today to rake all the yellow fallen Holly leaves from under an enormous tree. Mission accomplished and deposited at the leaf pile. We tidied, watered and it was a morning.

A bunny joined us this morning. We tried not to invade his territory but he stayed a good twenty minutes, feasting on some sweet clover. It was a moment!

Left at Noon. 84 degrees. Calling it a day. But a task accomplished and now for indoor time. We’ve projects to “put on to paper” for a couple folks. Definitely next week when temps are steady and favorable in the 70’s we’ll do another nursery site visit. We’ve one new client who wants to go …..and one to buy for.

Our Weather will be quite warm for the entire weekend. Be safe, find cool….and hydrate. See you all next week.