The Villages - April 2018 - 30
For Landscape Manager Mike Harris and the rest
of the District Property Management Department,
stopping to smell the roses is part of the job.
As landscape manager, Harris works with contractors to maintain
the trees, grass and annuals around The Villages.
Even on a short drive around Florida's Friendliest Hometown, you
will come across plenty of well-manicured flower beds, palm trees
and grassy medians. Maintaining these is no easy task, and it is a
full-time job coordinating contractors and directing lawn crews to
According to Harris, more than
1.2 million annuals are planted
contractors do a
around The Villages on a yearly
little bit of their
basis - and that number does not
own thing makes
include the Village of Fenney.
each area different,
Annual plants are defined as
and it's great.
plants that complete their full life
cycle within a year or shorter.
Everybody loves it."
In The Villages, annuals usually
- Mike Harris
are replaced on a seasonal basis,
meaning you likely will see an entirely different set of flowers in the
summer than you will during the winter.
Harris works with contractors to find the right annuals for each
season, watching carefully for weather and temperature trends.
"We never tell the contractor what they have to use, but we
critique it a little bit and make them use what we know is successful,"
Harris said. "Letting the contractors do a little bit of their own thing
makes each area different, and it's great. Everybody loves it."
Palm trees are a Florida icon and The Villages would not be the
same without them. Not including Fenney, about 18,000 palm trees
are planted throughout The Villages.
Harris and his team prefer to keep palm trees completely natural,
except in high-traffic areas like sidewalks or town squares.
"We leave everything natural except for high-traffic areas where
seed pods or fruits can fall," Harris said. "We take the dead fronds out
of specialty palms, we take the fruits out of them because people can
trip on them. But other than that, we leave everything as natural as
we can - and they flourish."
Harris and the District Property Management department also
are responsible for the grass near roads and parks. Considering there
is more than 38.7 million square feet of grass around The Villages,
keeping everything manicured and irrigated is no simple feat.
Landscaping crews use a mix of Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda
and Bahia grasses, depending on location. Crews mow grass in the
medians on roads or near town squares and lay down new grass in
areas under development.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - April 2018
The Villages - April 2018 - Cover1
The Villages - April 2018 - Contents
The Villages - April 2018 - 1
The Villages - April 2018 - 2
The Villages - April 2018 - 3
The Villages - April 2018 - 4
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The Villages - April 2018 - Cover3
The Villages - April 2018 - Cover4