United States of America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Philadelphia
La Colline (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Beginning in 1998, the gardens on the .75-acre La Colline site in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia were completely redesigned to reflect the French architectural influences of its Second Empire-inspired house. Naturalistic woodsy gardens at the edge of the property evolve into more tightly organized and controlled planting spaces closer to the main house. On the north and west sides of the main house a series of outdoor "rooms" connect an original side porch to a newly installed 30' x 30' rear terrace. These rooms are linked together visually with the repetitive use of plant material and forms such as yew and boxwood hedges, espaliered pear, Manhattan Euonymus, ivy, clematis, and topiary. The terrace features clipped yew and boxwood hedges, masses of hellebores, and a "hedge" of pleached European Hornbeam trees, while its most stunning horticultural features are a matching pair of Full Moon maple trees and a mature Katsura tree. Additional elements include a fountain and aquatic garden. In the front garden, located on the southwest side of the main house, a highly stylized, elliptically shaped lawn is ringed with mature hollies and masses of golden spirea. There is a perennial garden in front of the stone retaining wall flanking the entrance to the main house. Throughout the garden containers are planted seasonally with masses of controlled color, punctuating the overall design of each garden space.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include Nina Schneider (landscape architect, 2003 to date); Leslie Purple (garden designer, 2000-2003); Alice Farley (garden designer, 2000-2003); and The Plant Connection (garden designers, 2000-2003).
The folder includes worksheets, site plans, and additional information about the house and garden.
Garden was featured in Denise Cowie, "A Study in Green," Green Scene, January/February 2011, p.12-15