As you walk or drive through the neighborhood, you see mostly beautiful
homes, lawns, and landscaping. It doesn't take much to keep your property
looking great. Just follow the rules and guidelines in the Declaration of
Master Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions of Waterford Lakes. Your
reasonable neighbors on the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) use the
same guidelines when they check the properties from time to time.
Here are some common Lawn 'n Order Problems:
1. Grass growing up fences and sides of houses. A string trimmer will take care of this problem, or, if you want to bond with your lawn, a hand trimmer will, too. (See a really great LAWN TIP later in this section)
2. Dead fronds (fan-leaves) hanging from palm trees. Cut 'em off and toss 'em out with the yard waste. But make sure that they are totally brown before cutting. If they are still green or yellow, the tree isn't done with them yet. Be careful gathering and tossing...wear gloves or carry a supply of Band-Aids in your watch pocket. 'Dem devils bite. OUCH! But you knew that.
3. Trees and bushes encroaching on sidewalk area. But don't cut the tops of trees, unless you want them to become bushes. The apical meristem at the top tells the tree how to grow like a tree.
4. Big weeds among the landscape plants, bushes, flowers, ornamental grasses, chrome balls, and pink flamingos. First get some mulch, then pull the weeds, then immediately slam mulch down to prevent further weeds.
Here is a Low-Impact Home Improvement Exercise Program that you can do to check out your property. It's more than just a good idea; it's the law.
o Go out your front door. Walk a few feet, turn around, and look at your house number. Remember it; you'll need it later.
o Walk along your sidewalk. See any green metal or plastic structures about 3 or 4 feet from the sidewalk? Those are highly sophisticated phone, cable, or electric junction boxes, known in the industry as ugly green things (UGT's). Some UGT's have labels that say how far back bushes should be. Read each label and make sure that nothing is planted too close. UGT's need adequate ventilation, just as you do. And the utility diggers need room to dig around them.
o Walk by any trees and bushes that are near the sidewalk. Do you have to bob and weave to avoid putting your eye out? So do we. Trim them so basketball players can walk by with their heads held high.
o Did you know.... You may be housing beautiful but deadly bushes on your property? If you were to touch the leaves and afterward rubbed your eyes, lips, prepared food, and became ill, chances are the culprits are poisonous bushes, such as Oleander or Chinaberry. (And we knew this BEFORE it was on "Millionaire.") Technically this is not a violation, but you may want to think twice about having them. Whatever you do, DON'T eat or touch those berries - and warn your kids about the dangers!
o Grass clippings down the storm sewer are a no-no. Yes, yes, those sewers look big enough to swallow an SUV, but the problem is that they are connected to biologically balanced retention ponds, and decaying yard waste causes excess algae, gives the pond bad breath, and uses up oxygen that the fish and turtles need.
o Do not take your weed-whacker down to the ponds and start whacking. The aquatic weeds are there as part of the ecosystem of the ponds, and the community hires caretakers for the common grounds and ponds.
o LAWN TIP: A secret of professional landscapers is to edge several inches away from the fence or wall; then spray the area between the fence or wall; then cut with a broad range grass and weed killer, such as Round Up or Spectricide. You will then not have to do any trimming in these areas since the wheels of the mower will run inside the dead area. Periodically, re-edge and re-spray the area to keep a neat and clean appearance.
o CONCRETE TIP: Are your driveways and sidewalks looking dark, stained, grimy and slimy? It's time to power-wash them again and clean off all the dirt, stains, grime and slime. And remember -- driveways cannot be painted without prior ARC approval!
Our water restrictions have been on TV, radio, newspaper, Internet, and a mailing from Orange County. All efforts and means to inform the population have been utilized, with the exception of a banner plane flying over (too bad - EVERYONE reads those). So in case you have missed the other media messages, we'll give it a shot here. Most of our residents are complying with the water restrictions, thank you very much. You know who you are. Some are not complying. You may not know who you are, so listen up:
Still remember your house number? Good. Does it end in a 0, 2, 4, 6,
or 8? Then it's an EVEN number, so you may water on Sunday and Thursday
before 10 am and after 4 pm. Does your address end in a 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9?
Then it's an ODD number, so you may water on Wednesday and Saturday before
10 am and after 4 pm. It does NOT mean even numbered houses can water on
even numbered days of the week, or odd numbered houses on odd numbered days
of the week. No matter what your house number is, you may NOT water at any
other time. That would be NO watering on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, and
you may NOT water between 10 am and 4 pm.
If you don't believe us, call the St. John's Water Management District (386) 329-4500 or (800) 451-7106 There may be a menu (sigh), so follow the menu directions. Their website is http://sjr.state.fl.us/welcome/contactus.html
(page added Aug 2005)