United States of America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Philadelphia
St. Andrews (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
A contemporary, architect-designed house was built circa 1978 on a steeply sloping property comprising two-thirds acre that had to be cleared of weed trees, bittersweet and brambles. The first plantings were daffodils and dogwood trees, under the existing canopy of red oak trees. Thirty years later there are gardens with year-round interest provided by winter blooming trees, shrubs and perennials, 40 specimen of Yakusimanum rhododendron, 40 different species and cultivars of hydrangeas, pieris, holly, and, notably, unusual woodland groundcovers including hardy gingers and geraniums. The design includes layers of different textures and shades of green, using abundant and varied plant materials, including succulents that usually do not thrive in the Mid-Atlantic region. Wissahickon schist found in the sandy, woodland duff of the slope has been dug up and re-purposed as garden steps.
The level areas of the property have good drainage, and the owners add 40 yards of mulch each year to further improve the soil. The soil in the region is acidic, which is a challenge to the owner as are the deer and other wildlife. One objective of the garden is to be chemical-free, with occasional IPM (integrated pest management) to treat infestations.
Persons associated with the garden include Alice Hamilton Farley, RLA (landscape architect, since 1978); Richard J. Farley, FAIA (architect, 1978).
The folder includes worksheets and a write-up of the property's history.