“Those who are unwilling to invest in the future haven’t earned one”. (H.W. Lewis)
Larry Holmes writes:
It has been my pleasure and a great experience to work with the community of Murray Mission Homeowners, a 35 year old neighborhood, totaling 586 homes in the San Luis Rey Valley of North San Diego County. A modestly priced neighborhood of 1500 to 1800 sq ft houses in Oceanside CA, which had a 1970’ s landscape Raphiolepis, Xylosma, Moreae, Canary Pines and Ivy; old and boxed for years. Straight three foot planters along the front walls of each home. Once fescue lawns now full of Bermuda.
Murray Mission is led by a group of the most forward thinking Board of Directors I have ever worked with in my 43 year career. Being proactive they started on a renovation project that has been in progress for over ten years. They had four major goals:
- Reduce lawn areas without compromising the neighborhood feel and aesthetic beauty of real grass, while still providing neighborhood children real grass play areas.
- Reduce their tree care budget.
- Reduce their concrete replacement cost due to the tree root damage.
- Reduce water consumption.
The process was straight forward and executed well. First they established an annual budget using realistic numbers that matched their goals and they developed a plant palette, which was adjusted over the years based on the success or failure of the plants. They implemented strong CC&R’s and enforced them making a great effort to listen to the homeowners input.
As individual areas were assigned to us we developed a theme based upon their plant pallet, a plant list for each individual address was created. Once this was agreed upon we came in and killed off all the old Bermuda, Fescue mixed lawns and remove 95% of the plants and ground covers. Next we redesigned the areas to reduce some of the lawn areas and spray painted where the new concrete mow strips would be installed.
We did a sprinkler system renovation to meet the new designs, heads were capped, moved, eliminated or left in place based on the design. A new Octabubbler drip system was installed on the old planter spray lines to water each shrub individually. In some areas new drain lines were installed.
An added feature to the neighborhood was to introduce landscape boulders, adding a lot to the landscape and giving us a more natural look. Concrete mow strips were installed, plants and trees installed and drip lines installed. Finally we installed acres of Aloha Seashore Paspalum sod. A low water grass introduced by the University of Florida.
Their final step was to replace their antiquated controllers with new Calsense 3000 state of the art weather based irrigation management controllers with flow monitoring and radio communication.
Still looking to the future and as the continued drought in Southern California went on year after year the question was asked what else can we do?
We had the opportunity to set up a beta test location with Aqua Cents; a polymer injection process for lawns. In cooperation with Aqua Cents we injected approximately 1½ acres of lawn using their innovative technology to attempt to save even more water for the association. The process is designed to capture the water that would normally leach out below the grass root zone. By the polymer capturing and storing excess water we should be able to further reduce our water consumption….
It has been a pleasure to be part of this renovation, and now that we have done all of these water saving steps they will be in a position to enjoy their new landscape without the large water consumption they had in the past. Unfortunately, their cost of water has gone up dramatically over the last several years; however we have a very attractive landscape and are still staying within their budget; something that would have not been possible with their old landscape and irrigation system.
“You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realization”. Denis Waitley
Holmes Landscape Company
4616 North Avenue