United States of America, Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Pittsburgh
Smith Garden (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Installation of the Smith Garden was begun in 2011 on the two-acre property with a new L-shaped house and a smattering of mature trees; in 2013 this garden won their local Great Gardens Contest Large Garden Category award. Ornamental trees including holly, hemlock, Japanese maples, dogwood, serviceberry, spruce, oaks and pines were added to the standing white oak, beech, white pines, maples, tulip poplar, oaks and cucumber magnolia after other diseased and dead trees had been removed. The upper garden directly behind the house is entered through an arbor decked with rose and clematis. The center circle of lawn is surrounded by sun-loving perennials including day lilies, phlox, iris, and peonies. Throughout the garden there are repeated stands of smoke bush, lilacs, landscape roses, David Austin roses trained on obelisks and trimmed blue spruce with holly borders. Stands of holly and red twig dogwood create winter interest. Blue stone steps lead to the main patio and pergola; garden beds in this area are planted with dwarf conifers, sedums, spring bulbs, a succulent garden with a fountain, and a blue bush clematis the owner has moved from one garden to another for many years. On the lower elevation the shade garden has oak leaf hydrangea, hemlock, hostas, bleeding heart, spreading English yews, viburnum, rhododendron, spiraea, mountain laurel and buckeye.
Opposite the house across the driveway there is a stand of white pines with a mass of sumac for fall color. The walkway to the front door is composed of large flagstones that are permeable since underground springs have created problems in this garden. Planted areas with wet feet had to be raised. A bio-retention swale at a lower elevation planted with swamp white oak, bald cypress and other water tolerant plants collects the storm water run-off from the house and driveway. More property was purchased in 2013: close to one-half acre that was formerly woodlands but was inundated with wild rose, grape vine, honeysuckle, poison ivy and other invasive plants. This eyesore on the approach to the house was reforested with mostly native woody plants and herbaceous perennials, a wood chip walkway, wildflower meadow, wetland plants by a stream and grasses in the twenty foot set-back along the road required for utilities. Altogether 66 trees, 12 evergreens and 70 shrubs were planted, including beech, red maple, river birch, hawthorn, redbud, swamp azalea, dogwood, holly, and conifers. The wildflower meadow with coneflower, false indigo, bergamot, and aster attracts birds, honey bees and butterflies. Comprising the ground layer under the trees and shrubs are native plants including lobelia, swamp hibiscus, fern, and milkweed.
Persons associated with the garden include John Lloyd (former owner); Adam Wagener (former owner, 12/31/1883- ); Hays and Letty Lytle (former owners, 12/01/1925-); John H. Follansbee, Jr. (former owner, 2/20/1961-); Jules Labarthe, The Design Alliance (architect, 2009-2011); Melissa Marshall, MTR (landscape architect, 2009-2010); Richard Liberto (garden design and horticulturist, 2013-2015); Mikell Schenck (designer, 2008-2012); Joy Benusa (horticulturist, 2008-); Chuck and Elaine Skalski (gardeners, 2008-); Dave Lombardi (stone mason, 2008-); Stephen W. Miller, Bartlett Tree (arborist, 2009-); Kutchko Nursery & Eisler Landscapes (installation, 2010-2015).
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
This property is featured in "Nurturing a Newborn" by Kevin Kirkland, published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 5, 2013, p. B-1-B-3; "Transcendent Creation" by Susan Banks, published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 21,2015, p. F-1-F-5