Landscaping Improvements Underway on Richmond | WESTCHASE DISTRICT

New plants enhance the look of the Richmond esplanades, courtesy of the Westchase Community Association.

The esplanades on Richmond between Gessner and the Sam Houston Tollway are receiving a much-needed makeover, courtesy of the Westchase Community Association. Crews working for Miller Landscaping are removing and replacing the existing irrigation and plant material, then following behind to install new irrigation and a new plant palette.

This ambitious landscaping program is being funded by the Westchase Community Association. WCA serves the property owners in an area loosely bounded by Gessner, Westheimer, Woodland Park and the Westpark Tollway. Property owners that are within the WCA boundaries pay association dues, which fund the organization’s improvements in the area.

WCA is managed by Woodbranch Management, which is overseeing the design and installation of this landscaping. Kim Wells, property manager with Woodbranch, says they started by surveying all 112 esplanades within the WCA boundaries, before reviewing design concepts presented by Bruno Land Design, the landscape architect.

Crews are removing all the old plant material and irrigation in advance of the new planting.

“We lost lots of plants in the freeze,” noted Wells. And while maintenance crews have worked hard to make irrigation repairs, it was time to install all new irrigation as well. Said Wells, “It’s been 25 years since these esplanades were installed. They were ready for a facelift.”

“We critiqued everything,” said Philip Schneidau, president of Woodbranch Management.  “We worked to balance height and color. We want colorful plants, but we don’t want any annuals that require a lot of maintenance. We trimmed the existing trees to raise the canopy and filled in the esplanades with shrubs. But we were also careful to not plant bushes that would grow too tall and impede motorists’ visibility.”

The plant palette includes: Bicolor Iris;  Red Yucca; Dwarf Kaleidoscope Abelia; Giant Liriope and Gulf Muhly Grass.

“These are all low-maintenance, hardy plants that are drought resistant,” said Schneidau. “With proper maintenance, they should look good for a long time.”

A total of 15 esplanades are being updated on Richmond Avenue between Gessner and the West Sam Houston Tollway.

Crews began their work on Richmond at Gessner in March and are working their way west to the Beltway. They’re expected to finish in mid-June. In the fall, the project will continue on Richmond from the Beltway to Woodland Park. “When the crews make it a little further down Richmond, people are really going to sit up and take notice,” said Schneidau.

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