Landscape Architecture, Ecological Restoration and Planning
The Hillside Garden created by SED Design is a feature project in a film on creating sustainable landscapes.
The outdoor living spaces are terraced on a hillside outside of Philadelphia overlooking the Whitemarsh Valley. The design is a model for managing stormwater in creative ways that engage people while cleansing our water supply and recharging our aquifers. Rain water is captured in a garden runnel that flows through the garden wall and cascades into the water garden below. Overflow then flows through the vegetated swale and infiltrates into the soil below where it is filtered and cleansed by the roots and microbes contained in the soil.
On this project, SED Design worked closely with the architect, C. Stanley Runyan, AIA, NCARB and principal of Runyan & Associates Architects, to create landscape architecture that complements the home.
Click here to view a published article on The Hillside Garden
This garden integrates production of vegetables, fruits and herbs with the outdoor kitchen and living spaces, a culinary connoisseur’s dream. Home garden food production assures the freshest and highest quality produce while utilizing land in a sustainable manner. The uses of trellises and arbors as garden architecture are also used to support fruiting vines and espalier fruit trees, making fresh fruits a regular treat.
Designed by SED Design, this garden gained recognition for its restoration of a derelict site. SED was selected after an extensive interview process to find the right designer for the space. We were chosen on the demonstrated ability to create an array of spaces for entertaining while providing privacy and an eclectic arrangement of plants.
Click here for a downloadable PDF of the publication
Making the most of a little space
With in Philadelphia City limits, space is not of abundance for this site. SED made the most of this 1/4 acre property by creating a woodland setting combined with interesting architectural elements. A copper gutter, recessed into a wood arbor, carries storm water overhead of the garden inhabitant. Eventually the water trickles from the gutter into a pond, creating a functional and beautiful element in the garden. Dry laid masonry, water collection and native plant selection all work together to create this tranquil space while being part of the sustainable solution rather than the problem.
5 YEARS AFTER
Notice the two sets of before and after images. With the right knowledge and the right plants its easy to have a low maintenance lush habitat in your backyard. Not only does it create a pleasing space hiding undesirable views, but it creates shade and habitat for people and animals alike.
Patio, Pool and Waterfall
This hillside pool is elegantly integrated with the surrounding woodland and draws inspiration from its unique environment. The pool is a metaphor of a sun filled glade immersed in flowering Mountain Laurels and Rhododendrons. Serving as a sculpture in the garden, The cascading waterfall creates tranquility throughout the garden and backyard.
Elegantly set in a refined lawn, the simplicity of this pool creates a tranquil setting to enjoy the outdoors. The minimal coping around the pool allows the eye to wander into the surrounding garden and beyond.
Swim under the waterfall of soak in the grotto spa. The pool tucks into the hillside allowing for the water to cascade into the pool. Steps from the pool lead the trellis covered spa establishing an intimate enclosure for the client and their guest to enjoy.
Asian Inspired Garden
Water cascades over intricately placed rocks and boulders in this tranquil backyard retreat. The pond and waterfall take advantage of the existing hillside to create a dramatic landscape. The 'Tea House' gazebo was engineered to cantilever over the edge of the pond to take advantage of a small garden space and create an outdoor living space shaped by the water splashing down the hillside stream.
Other portions of the garden are inspired by a Japanese mountain pass where stone steps wind through narrow passages and fern filled glades. The contrast of spaces creates a rich diversity of experiences.
PLAN VIEW BEFORE
PLAN VIEW AFTER
Woodland Garden and Aquaduct
In the Woodland Garden, natural elements are design tools used to provide beauty and function. Recycled stormwater and a palette of native plants create a moist, woodsy setting while providing sustainability for this small Philadelphia property. A copper gutter, recessed into a wood arbor, carries stormwater from the roof to a raised masonry basin, where the water falls with a splash. When it’s not raining, a recirculating pump keeps the water flowing. In large storms, overflow is directed into a percolation trench to irrigate plants and recharge groundwater. The dry-laid brick terrace also infiltrates stormwater. Native plants, suited to the climate, soils and hydrology, are utilized to augment this sustainable approach. This garden is used to conserve rainwater and provides a tranquil space for relaxation.
Landscape Architect: SED Design
Architect: Edward Goodwin, AIA, and founder of Goodwin Architects, Inc.
Where Sun Doesn't Shine
As with all things, one must know how to make the most of any situation. SED Design was approached to remediate the problem that existed beneath the deck. Dark and damp it is all a matter of choosing the correct plants. What was once a place to be avoided can now be considered the highlight of the property.
Click here for a downloadable PDF of the publication
A Culinary Garden
Revival Garden -
Lawn to Woodland
Waterfall, Pool & Terrace
Grotto & Spa
Japanese Water Garden - Publication
Under the Deck