These two bushes have been trimmed at our customers request. Prior to our visit, they had grown way outside the bed border, and on the sides they were overhanging the sidewalk entry and the natural breezeway between the property and an opening to the side and back of the building. And we have found that lower hanging trimming makes for such a tidy lower look. And it helps with cleaning leaves and debris from underneath. We also climbed behind the two bushes and trimmed them very carefully back and away from the brick wall, approximately 12 inches. This  easement allows for cleaning behind and under the bushes, making it easy fir the grounds crews to clean up. And then we created a 3 to 4 inch deep edging on the beds. This  allows for rain to roll off and helps keep the mulch inside the beds. Fresh new hardwood bark mulch about 1.5 inches thick was hand placed and spread. It’s our standard bed treatment. We refer to it as dressing your beds. If the soil under the bushes looks particularly dry, old and lacking a healthy color we generally recommend a soil abatement. Good garden soil added at your cost, does wonders for your bushes, your flowers and and your flowering bulbs and plants. In the case of this homeowner, we added new soil and new mulch and we raked the whole yard. This bed treatment raises the beds up about three inches and it looks like a showcase. It’s a very finished touch.  

A common comment from our homeowners is: “this is  common ground area.”  Of course it may be, but if you have invested in dressing up your beds, it’s very wise to “rake” the main part of your front lawn. When this  is done with a high quality rake, a large amount of dead grass comes out  along with the rake. What this does is bring new “air circulation” to  the grass, stimulating new fresh grass growth. You will be amazed to see new grass fill in within a weeks time. Your grass simply wanted some attention. It has been matted down by mowing and this smuthers any new grass growth. Makes good sense –  right?

At Contessa’s we call this entire process “dressing your lawn” to include bushes, edges, beds and grassy areas.  It’s tidy and looks fantastic

As residents pass by they always say….. Wow! It’s looking fantastic!  We agree and our homeowner is thrilled. They lived there twenty years and never cleared it cleaned their beds or grass lawn area. This  was a total of five hours work. They were embarrassed that they had let it go for so long without attention. And now Contessa has a repeat yearly customer. We love “helping and teaching” and we do both when we meet and work for our new clients,

invest some time in your yard and don’t forget to include at least some of your common ground area.  If everyone in Parkfairfax put in thus small amount of extra care – imagine how gorgeous our neighborhood would look.

Our Parkfairfax Condominium Community is one of the best kept secrets in Alexandria. Our trees and walking paths, large sidewalks, and beautiful variety of large and small trees, and the hidden wildlife here is truly amazing when you think that we live only 25 minutes from our nations capital building. We are so privileged to live in this wonderful neighborhood.


Pictured above is a grouping/privacy hedge called Photinia. These bushes have been left to their own devices. Poor soil. Lack of proper trimming and left to grow only from the top. And they are diseased. When this  occurs do report your concerns in “Buildium,”. Thus tool was created for your use. It works and it’s so worth letting our crews know about what you need. Be patient but please report. You and your neighbors will benefit. It’s all of our duty to care for our great community.

The lessons learned here are to trim your bushes, and if you need our help call us during April to put your name on our schedule. Because every year – you all call at the same time and to be fair to everyone we cannot just squeeze you in.  Please plan ahead and at the very least book an early appointment.  Our spring is our busiest season, so let us get you on the schedule, You will be glad you did! And if we happen to get an earlier than normal spring we can certainly adjust your time and date,  We thank you!


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