By Cindy Dill, Landscaping Manager —

In addition to assisting residents with routine upkeep of their landscaping, caring for community spaces and courtyards, and maintaining clear nature trails, there’s much more to keep our Landscaping Department busy! Those are just a few things that Cindy Dill, Landscaping Manager, oversees in her department along with her dedicated team and a group of residents from the Landscaping & Arboretum Committees. Cindy routinely provides an update on the happenings of her department with the community in the resident publication “Tower Lines.” She’s happy to now be sharing it with the greater community this time around.

bluebird-eggs-350wAs we head into February and make the rounds to check on our 30 bluebird nest boxes throughout the community and prepare them for the new season, here is data from the 2019 monitoring. Eastern bluebirds: 56 eggs, 35 hatched. House wrens:116 eggs, 42 hatched. Tree swallows:25 eggs, 16 hatched. Chickadees: 4 eggs, 0 hatch. House sparrows:24 eggs removed. Reasons for unhatched eggs could be infertility, attacked by predators, or abandoned.  Our Landscaping Department staff check the boxes weekly during nesting season from mid-March through the fall. Let me know if you’re interested in getting some exercise and something fun to do outside to help us this year.

winter-pond-350wDon’t be too concerned if you start to see spring blooming bulbs emerging out of the mulch. Even with our erratic winter weather, they are pretty resilient. During late fall and early winter, bulbs are developing their root systems and already starting to sprout. If the weather is unusually warm, these sprouts may rise to the soil surface and show a few inches of green, which may cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown. As long as the flower buds stay below ground, they are well protected from cold.

In other news, we’ve recently formed a new Pond Committee, comprised of volunteer residents, Will Solivan (Facilities Director) and myself. We’ve had a representative from The Stream and Wetlands Foundation come to walk the area, as well as the Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District to assess the quality of the pond and the plants/vegetation in it. Some of the take-aways from Committee meetings have been:

  • To improve access to pond for residents, possibly adding a boardwalk along upper flat trail adjacent to handrail that is always wet, and adding rock/gravel at boat approach.
  • To improve the quality of water.
  • To improve/add amenities such as picnic tables, and possibly a dock/observation viewing deck.
  • The trees that ring the pond are a plus and should stay, but the underbrush should be removed (in sections) as it is mostly thick non-native overgrown scrub. Consensus is being partial to areas that are wild and natural as opposed to cleared and groomed.
  • McCullough’s Tree service to start in spring on cutting & clearing areas: around boats, where two big wooden benches are, where boulder/bench/fishing hole is, and the end of dam head trail & pond corner.

Spring is just around the corner, not long when we will start to see early-blooming bulbs like crocus & snowdrops, and perennial hellebore (Lenten rose), that will add interest to late-winter gardens. But even though we’ve had a mild winter, we still must get through March! Stay tuned for future updates related to the Kendal grounds and Arboretum!

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