West Market Community Association: Tending a Lush and Leafy Community
There’s an obvious upscale elegance to West Market at Reston Town Center, situated between shady woods and a tranquil lake 10 miles outside of Washington DC in Reston, Va.
Classic brownstone townhouses. Wrought iron fences. Stately brick. Emerald carpets of leafy English ivy. An elegant cascading fountain.
It’s a high-end community with high expectations. Residents expect their neighborhood to look great all the time
Level Green Landscaping has handled the community’s landscape maintenance since October 2022.
Here’s a look at what it takes to care for West Market’s impressive landscaping.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
The high-end neighborhood, built in 1988, is home to about 1,000 people, with 442 units comprising two different types of home ownership: townhomes and condominiums.
Common areas include a clubhouse where residents can gather or hold events, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool. Walking trails wind throughout the community.
Many of the residents are original owners, here since 1988, says Shirley Kang, the on-site property manager for the community.
Proud to live in the beautifully built community, they expect pristine landscaping.
“Our biggest contract is landscaping,” Kang says. “I’m not an expert in landscaping. That’s why I need Level Green to educate me. I trust their expertise.”
Details, Details, Details
When Level Green crews show up at West Market for the day, half of the crew members hit the ground mowing, including using push mowers on the individual homes’ small front yards.
Everybody else is on detail patrol, hitting the many elements that need tending, trimming and tidying.
The association’s weekly maintenance contract covers most of the property, including the common areas and homeowners’ front yards.
Crews cover all the crucial tasks needed to keep the community’s landscaping tidy and healthy, from mowing and blowing to weeding and trimming.
Residents expect eagle-eye inspections, with crews keeping an eye out for weeds, faded flowers, dead tree branches or signs of any plant disease or pest damage.
Crews monitor tree health, too, trimming as needed, making sure wayward branches don’t hang over sidewalks, and elevating tree canopies as needed for visibility and healthy growth.
Kang always knows exactly what’s happening out there.
“I love it when they let me know ‘This is the day we’ll be there and we’ll be doing this service,’” she says. “There’s clear communication.”
Once crews are on site, Level Green Operations Manager Telma Ramirez keeps things running smoothly.
“I have Telma here on site and she’s been excellent,” Kang says.
Ramirez knows Kang has a lot on her plate. As she patrols the property each week, she takes photos of any trouble areas and sends them to Kang on the spot.
“I look over the whole property and if I see something, I let her know immediately,” Ramirez says. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, Shirley, these flowers need replacing,’ or ‘The irrigation in this area isn’t working.’ Good communication makes things easier for everybody.”
On days when Level Green crews aren’t on the property, Kang can reach her Level Green account manager by phone or email, she says.
“They’re very responsive to our requests,” Kang says. “They’re right there responding back to me or they’re right here within a few hours looking at the property and doing an inspection.”
Enhancing the Property Along the Way
It’s not enough to just keep a property maintained. The goal is always to make it better.
The Level Green team has written 43 proposals for landscaping enhancements in the first 14 months on the job, and the West Market community has approved a number of them, from removing aging plants past their prime to installing fresh new ornamental grasses that add grace and movement to the landscape.
Lots and Lots of Plants
West Market is a lush and leafy community, from its surrounding woods to carpets of elegant English ivy to a number of planting beds — more than your typical HOA neighborhood.
Here’s a look at a few of the community’s favorites:
This popular ornamental grass has a graceful, vase-like shape that adds a soft, airy texture to the West Market landscaping. When it’s in bloom, the foliage is topped by silvery seed heads.
Red Twig Dogwood
Red twig dogwoods brighten the community’s winter landscaping with blazing red branches. These standout shrubs also provide four-season interest with beautiful spring blossoms, variegated leaves during summer, and berries from summer to fall.
A favorite of West Market residents, creeping phlox is a low-growing, spreading plant that explodes in spring with clusters of fragrant, five-petal flowers that stretch almost an inch across. Butterflies love them.
There’s lots to love about West Market’s Skip laurels. Their dense foliage is glossy green year-round, and fragrant white blossoms bloom in spring. In fall and winter, Skip laurel trees produce red berries that attract songbirds.
Nothing says welcome to long-awaited spring like the cheerful blooms of bright yellow daffodils. Drifts of them are planted along with red twig dogwoods for an appealing pop of red and yellow in the landscape.
Showy summer flowers, pretty bark, and brilliant fall color make this popular tree a year-round favorite.
All these plants, shrubs and trees need painstaking care, from frequent weeding to pruning to monitoring for pests. The fast-growing English ivy that carpets much of the property needs trimming every other week, Ramirez says, to keep it tidy.
Partnering with Residents
West Market has a four-member landscaping committee of residents who are savvy about plants and love choosing their own seasonal color plan. Last summer they decided on spectacular orange Sunpatiens, sun-loving impatiens that offered wow-worthy mounds of vibrant color spring through frost.
The committee developed a booklet that outlines exactly how they want certain plants pruned, and Level Green crews follow their instructions.
Committee members do a monthly walk through with property manager Kang and their Level Green account manager to survey the landscaping, point out needs to be addressed, and talk about future improvements.
Residents should be particular about the landscaping, Ramirez says — it’s their home.
“When they go outside to have their coffee or read a book or spend time with their plants, they want a nice view,” she says. “It’s important.”
Comprehensive Care for Luxurious Lawns
West Market has a detailed turf care strategy to keep their lawns healthy and thriving.
That means targeted visits for fertilizing and weed control throughout the year.
Crews visit twice in the spring — first in March or April to apply fertilizer, pre-emergent crabgrass killer, and post-emergent broadleaf weed killer to target weeds like dandelion and clover.
A second visit in May or June repeats the process. Crews visit a third time in July or August to spot spray only for any broadleaf weeds that have popped up. Spot spray is better for the environment, but still targets weeds.
Then, a final round of fertilizer goes down in October or November to help the West Market turf store nutrients for the winter and emerge strong and healthy in the spring.
Beyond that, aeration and overseeding ensure the healthy roots and thick turf needed for lawns that impress.
The final element needed for thriving turf? Dependable irrigation.
Keeping Irrigation Flowing
Monthly service inspections send crews to check the water pressure, adjust spray heads, and make any needed repairs. Timely adjustments make sure the West Market irrigation system stays efficient, saving water and money.
Irrigation maintenance also includes proper spring start-up and fall shut-down procedures.
Will There Be Snow? They’re Covered
West Market’s contract with Level Green includes snow removal, but crews didn’t get to show their snow management skills their first year — there wasn’t any snow.
But snow crews are ready as needed.
Planning for the snow season starts months before the first flakes fly, and a hallmark of Level Green’s snow management is constant communication — the kind of service a client like West Market appreciates.
Level Green keeps clients updated on their snow plowing plan of attack before a storm hits — and throughout the bluster.
Kang will get email alerts about impending storms five days, 48 hours, and 24 hours ahead of time and will get regular updates on the plowing plan.
Plowing crews take photos of their progress with their cell phone cameras to keep her posted.
Attentive Team, Happy Clients
“My residents have been very happy,” Kang says. “I love working with experts I can trust. I could not do this job without Level Green.”
Looking to take your commercial property to the next level? Contact us today and see how Level Green Landscaping can help.
“When they go outside to have their coffee or read a book or spend time with their plants, they want a nice view. It’s important.”
Level Green Landscaping