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Landscaping Included? 55+ Active Adult Communities

One of the many benefits of moving to a Del Webb Community or any active adult community is that you don’t have to cut your grass or clip your shrubs anymore.

In fact it is mostly presented that “Landscaping is included”.   But is that true?

Having now lived in a Del Webb Community now for the last nine months, I can give you my perspective on that question.

Yes, cutting grass is something that is done on a regular schedule. In the Summer it is done weekly and in other seasons, done when needed.  The landscaping company hired by the homeowners association does cut, edge and blow and mostly does a good job.  You will not need a lawn mover to cut your grass, unless you want to.  Some people do, believe it or not.

Some people have a fenced back yard and they like to cut their own grass in the fenced area.  If not, the homeowner association charges an extra fee to cut, because of access issues.

Now the pruning of the shrubs in the front is included but some people want it done more frequently and either do it themselves or pay a company or person to prune.  Also if you add plants yourself, you will need to maintain them.  Any dead plants, the homeowner will need to replace at their own expense.

Fertilization and weed control is provided but I can tell you not to the extent it would be done if you hire a private company.  My neighbor and I have contracted with a lawn company and our yards look a little better than average.

You know when I moved here, I gave away or got rid of almost all my landscaping tools and equipment.  It is true I don’t need a mower or edger but I wish I had kept a shovel, an axe, a hard rake and other tools.  I really don’t have room for a wheel barrow but could use one. I did buy two water hoses and two sprinklers, for front and back.

Some maintenance that I did is to some replace some patches of Bermuda grass in bald spots, planted some flowers and did some aeration. In the Fall I need to spray for a fungus making spots in my Bermuda lawn. Also even though I have a pest control company, I am going to spay insecticide around the perimeter of my home.  Oh, I did have my Crepe Myrtles trimmed back in February.

They did put down pine straw in early Spring but that faded pretty fast.  I just put down mulch around my front tree and bought two bales of pine straw to freshen up my island and beds.

I have been watering myself in this hot weather but both my neighbors say they have an irrigation system and I should get one.  They may be right. I also heard the water bill for a sprinkler system can be quite expensive.

I am retired and in pretty good shape so this first year I have enjoyed doing a little around the house.  But I could see for many people this would be less than enjoyable and something they didn’t count on doing or having done.

Since this was posted originally, I have started to use a local landscaper more and more for small things I used to do. There are too many fun activities that I can be doing to get into landscaping like I used to.

So is landscaping included?  Well yes, but if you solely reply on the homeowner association supplied company, your yard will be lacking and probably below average for your 55+ community.

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Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities Retirement

Sense of Community

This article brings to attention the importance of having a sense of community as you age and how to proceed building one.  As it turns out this was a very good thing to before you needed it. But it’s now too late.

Retirement is disappointing for some people.  They are taken out of their work world and have nothing to do and nobody to do it with.  They just don’t know what to do with themselves.

When people change their surroundings like that, when they retire, it takes a while to get their new bearings.  It did for me and it will for you too.

What is this retirement life that is supposed to be so good, all about?

One thing that I have written about before is how activities is the answer in giving you something to do.  It is exciting to find something fun to do that you really like. I have done that with bocce, race walking, and pickleball.  I love all of those activities.

Those activities would be no fun and impossible to do all by yourself.  You need people, hopefully ones you like, to do them with you.

When we retired, Mary Ann and I became involved with the new Park Place Active Adult Center in Johns Creek.  That’s where I started walking with the Park Place Pacers, playing bocce three times a week and being in charge of entertainment for the monthly dinner.

It’s also where we met, Don, Lamont, Genette, Pam, Skippy, Jim and Peggy, and so many others that we became friends with. I joined the activity committee.  We knew just about everybody. It was our community. Senior Centers really do offer a lot.

We liked it so much, we started looking at Active Adult Retirement Communities that offer that same sense of community with all kinds of activities right in the same community.  Our new friends would be our neighbors.

Sense of Community Paired with Amenities that meet all our needs

Looking back after living in a Del Webb Community for two years, I see that the sense of community was almost immediate.  People were so friendly, open and accepting right off the bat.  The rewards are immediate.

People benefit but they also give back.  Many people step forward to be the captain of their bocce teams like Mary Ann and I are doing right now. Or be an officer in one of the many clubs and groups.  Or even helping with group dinners, or maintaining the trails as the environmental club is doing. They also give much help to those outside the community like elementary schools, Veterans shelters,  food banks, and the list goes on.

Our sense of community is also strengthened because we have survived working life and made it to retirement and are active, engaged and living our passions.  We come from many difference backgrounds and regions of the country, but we relate on so many levels.

When we visited Village at Deaton Creek for the first time, we were paired with an “ambassador couple” who lived here and took us around the community to tour all the impressive amenities.  At the end of the day, upon returning to their home, before we departed he left us with a bit of wisdom. He said, those amenities are pretty impressive, but we have found it’s the people who really make this a community a desirable place to live.  We agree.

So if you are retiring or already retired and are not getting the most out of your retirement, looking for something to do and somebody to do it with,  then you may want to visit your neighborhood Active Adult Center (Senior Center).  Or if you can, move to an Active Adult Community.

Robert Fowler