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Friday, May 20, 2016

Volunteers are working hard to make Annandale beautiful

The median between Little River Turnpike and the service road.
There might be lots to complain about in Annandale (see the viral video, for example), but some residents are working hard to make the community beautiful, including the Annandale Women’s Club and local shop owners who have planted flowers done some nice landscaping. 

On Friday afternoon, we caught up with Charlotte Sell, president of the Women’s Club, planting flowers in three large pots in front of the shopping strip on Little River Turnpike with Mr. Tofu, Lambros Goldsmiths, and Ara Fusion Restaurant. “A little beautifying goes a long way,” she says.

Charlotte Sell plants flowers by Little River Turnpike.
The club installed the pots a few years ago, and Lambros Magiafas donated the money for the plants, about $40 per pot. Sell was putting in geraniums, salvia, vinca, sweet potato vines, asparagus ferns, dahlias, and cannas. The plants will need a lot of watering, and she hopes the retail personnel will help with that.

A few years ago, Helen Winter of the Women’s Club who is also in charge of beautification and business recognition for the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee (ACBDPC), donated the large pots in front of the ABC store on Little River Turnpike, and the store manager keeps them filled with flowers. She also donated the flower pots at the Annandale Shopping Center on Colunbia Pike and planted the irises in Toll House Park on Little River Turnpike.

Over the years, Winter has given more than 100 awards to local businesses on behalf of the ACBDPC for keeping their properties nicely landscaped and litter free. The most recent awards went to the Speedway gas station (formerly Hess) on Little River Turnpike and John Marr Drive and the Citgo station on Columbia Pike and Tom Davis Drive.

The Annandale Women’s Club put in the two big flower pots at the entrance to George Mason Library, Sell says, while “two Master Gardeners did an amazing job landscaping at the library.” 

Fairfax County is responsible for much of the landscaping in central Annandale, including the roses on the median along Little River Turnpike, the golden rain trees along Little River, and the plantings along John Marr Drive. Golden Rain trees were selected, Winter says, because “they don’t get too tall so they don’t get in the way of the power lines, and they are beautiful.”

Winter donated two cherry trees recently in memory of her husband, William D. Winter, a former World War II veteran who died in died in December. One tree will be planted at the Annandale Shopping Center; the other will go to Dan McKinnon, former ACBDPC chair, who helped her with the paperwork in getting William, a former Navy ensign, buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  

Unfortunately, though someone stole the ornamental grasses in front of the Wendy’s on Little River, Sell says. “It’s very disappointing. They left the pansies alone and put the mulch back, so whoever did it knows a little bit about gardening.”

Despite a few little glitches like that, Annandale is really blooming this spring. “I think it looks pretty good around here,” Winter says. 


  1. Amen, and thank you!

  2. Thank you!

  3. Wonderful thanks goodness for knock out roses to reorient one's eyes from all the crap.

  4. Great Job Women's Club and Charlotte Sell!

  5. like planting roses on the beach but thank you Charlotte for trying.