Landscaping Case Study: Brightview Senior Living Community in Annapolis
Everybody knows landscaping is like a big leafy welcome mat for your home.
Fragrant flowering trees, glossy boxwood shrubs, and bright, bountiful flowers make you happy you’re home.
It’s no different if your home is at a senior living community.
So Brightview Senior Living trusts Level Green Landscaping for the landscape maintenance at five of its mid-Atlantic locations, including one in Annapolis.
Located at 1935 Generals Highway in Annapolis, Brightview Annapolis is Brightview’s fourteenth community in Maryland and third in Anne Arundel County. The 165-apartment home community features senior independent living, assisted living, and Wellspring Village, dedicated to innovative dementia care.
Level Green account manager Carlos Suarez-Aguilar tells how crews keep the Annapolis Brightview location landscaping thriving and impressive.
Maintaining the Feeling of Home
“Most of the residents at Brightview have had their own homes,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “Some are master gardeners. They want that same feeling here of being at home. It’s important to them. It makes them happy.”
“A lot of residents are moving from homes they've been in 30, 40 years, some 50 years,” says Brightview maintenance director Aaron Smith. “So we really seek to make this place a new home — somewhere they can call home.”
That means diverse, appealing landscaping — pretty beds and planters brimming with bright annuals; lots of perennials; trees for shade and beauty; and an impressive explosion of color each spring from 2,000 tulips.
Level Green’s weekly maintenance visits keep it all looking great.
“When people come in, their first impression happens in the first 90 seconds,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “That means making sure the front entrance always looks its best. No weeds in the beds, pulling any dead plants, making sure shrubs are always trimmed.”
Level Green crews keep the lawn green and healthy, the flower beds free of weeds and dressed with fresh mulch.
Crews cover the property, mowing, trimming, weeding, edging, pruning, deadheading, always on the lookout for potential safety issues.
Fertilizer and weed control keep the turf healthy, green and impressive.
“Their biggest thing is communication,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “And making sure things are taken care of right away. Nobody wants to ask twice.
“We try to stay in touch weekly,” he says. “Once a month I take Aaron out to lunch or we have a sit- down meeting so I can see if there’s anything we need to change, to make sure he’s happy.
“After working together for a while now we’re very comfortable with each other,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “We’re very honest. He gives me honest feedback.”
Proactivity: A Huge Plus
“If I see something, I say something,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “It’s about being proactive.”
He and Level Green crew members strive to spot issues before they become problems, from dead or dying branches that could tumble down to plant diseases or insects that can spread and damage landscaping.
“They know I’m always out there looking,” Suarez-Aguilar says.
Smith appreciates the attention to detail.
“We want a landscape that's not only functional, but looks good for residents, and prospective residents,” he says.
Seniors living at Brightview expect not just a beautiful landscape, but a safe one.
That means no tree limbs hanging down to snag pedestrians. No grasses flopping over onto walkways. No loose or missing pavers.
Crews keep plants neatly trimmed and tree canopies at proper height for pedestrians.
Brightview’s Wellspring Courtyard is designed for residents with dementia.
“It’s for the residents to find a little bit of calm and peace out there,” Smith says.
“We have to make sure we keep the gate locked as we go in and out, for the safety of residents,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “That’s super important “
The Brightview property includes several retention ponds, which collect water from rain and runoff and release it slowly, at a nice, easy rate that prevents flooding or erosion. They need crucial care.
Ignore these hard-working ponds and they can fail, and not drain properly.
Municipalities want to make sure that doesn’t happen. So they conduct regular inspections of these ponds.
Level Green crews make sure plants around the pond stay healthy so they help filter pollutants from the stormwater, but they can’t be overgrown.
Crews are always on the lookout for cattails and other invasive plants that can block water flow and crowd out beneficial greenery.
Erosion is a concern, too, causing soil and sediment to wash into the ponds.
Routine maintenance keeps the ponds working smoothly and ensures they pass annual inspections.
The ponds are a good example of how Suarez-Aguilar helps Brightview with prioritizing projects and budget planning.
When he walked through recently to check on the ponds, he discovered a few issues that need to be addressed before the next county inspection.
“It can get pricey,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “I advised them on what needed to be done so they can plan for it in their budget.”
“Carlos does an excellent job at helping me determine what things are more of a necessity,” Smith says.
The Plan for Pretty Plants
Suarez-Aguilar keeps a close eye on the property’s plants to make sure they’re healthy and thriving and don’t need replacing.
There’s plenty to patrol.
Annuals offer a bright welcome. Level Green crews install flowers in the spring then replace them with a fresh new batch in the fall.
Summer annuals include petunias, vinca, lantana and assorted tropical plants that add a vacation vibe.
When the summer blooms fade, Level Green crews are prepared with fall replacements — pansies, petunias, dusty miller, and ruffly ornamental kale. Elegant topiaries in planters anchor the front entrance.
Brightview residents delight in the explosion of 2,000 red, orange and yellow tulips each spring.
Other plants on the property include boxwood shrubs; inkberry; variegated liriope; plum trees; river birch and Crape Myrtle “that look beautiful in spring,” Suarez-Aguilar says.
No Water Worries
All those plants need dependable irrigation. Routine maintenance is key.
Irrigation maintenance includes proper spring start-up and fall shut-down procedures for backflow devices and irrigation lines and summer service checks to make sure the Brightview irrigation system is covering every inch of the landscaping and running just right — without wasting water.
"Throughout the growing season there are always issues to stay on top of,” Suarez-Aguilar says. “Maybe a zone won’t turn on or is staying on too long. An Irrigation head might be stuck.”
During especially hot weeks over the summer, they increased watering to keep the lawn and landscaping thriving.
No Snow Woes
Level Green keeps clients like Brightview updated on their snow plowing plan of attack before a storm hits — and throughout the bluster.
Facility directors get email alerts about impending storms five days, 48 hours, and 24 hours ahead of time and are updated throughout the storm.
Plowing crews take photos of their progress with their cell phone cameras to keep managers posted.
Suarez-Aguilar calls Brightview a “high-touch customer,” with zero tolerance for slick parking lots or walkways.
“Even if there’s just a dusting of snow, we show up,” he says. “If there’s an emergency, they need to know the paramedics or the fire department can get in there.”
The next day when the sun is shining, Suarez-Aguilar is still vigilant. If the temperature drops down to the 20s or low 30s at night, all those leftover puddles freeze.
Treating that new ice is essential to keep people from slipping.
“Even after the storm has passed, we go back and do ice checks for three or four days,” he says.
Proudly Calling Brightview Home
Everybody wants to be proud of the place they call home, whether it’s a sprawling farmhouse, a tidy condo or an upscale senior living community.
“Residents want their home to look good because when they have friends and family visit, they love to show off the place, from the front of the parking lot all the way in,” Smith says. “It starts with that landscape.”
Looking to take your commercial property to the next level? Contact us today and see how Level Green Landscaping can help.
"Residents want their home to look good because when they have friends and family visit, they love to show off the place, from the front of the parking lot all the way in."Carlos Suarez-Aguilar
Level Green Landscaping