Landscape Architects are trained to design and build all aspects of the exterior environment beyond the walls of the house. We site the house before it is constructed. We are trained and registered design professionals who incorporate civil engineering, hydrology, grading, botany, horticulture, design, architectural history, building construction, soils, geology, barrier free design, urban planning, site planning, architecture into every garden we design and build. We are highly trained and skilled and it takes many years to become a Landscape Architect (5 years of an Undergraduate degree and 3 years for a Masters degree). What we bring to the planet is important...the skill and ability to build a beautiful and sustainable outdoor environment which connects the garden to the home or park to the community. We introduce and build healthy, organic soils in our gardens, and hardy, native plant material, and ensure sustainable organic maintenance practices are adhered to with moderate irrigation which ensures overwatering is a non-issue.
Our practice has taken years to build, years of gardens, over 350! Word spread and we have always been busy throughout the year working on gardens of varying scale. We are building gardens year round.
Leslie: I grew up building hedgerow houses and gardens on my parent's historic Virginia farm ‘The Riggory’, a Scottish word for rock outcroppings. My early love for the garden was expressed every day. In my teens, I worked in my French cousins magnificent 11th century castle, in their ancient garden and vineyards. It was there that I came to understand how to design, build and maintain extensive gardens.
I graduated with a BA from the University of Virginia with a degree in Government and Foreign Affairs and worked as a journalist. Missing the world of farms, vineyards, horticulture, nurseries, and the art of creating gardens, I made a bold transition, and went for a 3 year Masters in Landscape Architecture. Graduating with the ASLA Distinction award from Virginia Tech, I was hired by the great master Dan Kiley, our nation’s most distinguished post modern landscape architect. Dan lived in East Charlotte, Vermont and his was a most venerated and remarkable life, inspiring and influencing architects and landscape architects for generations. His masterpieces changed the way we looked at and understood landscape architecture. He was a great teacher, a great designer, a great person and plantsman.
I took Dan’s words to heart. We are a quality driven, client focused small firm. In our quest to always find a new way to express the garden, we draw upon sources from literature to art, to our years of travel and knowledge of history, great gardens and architecture. We peel away the layers to find the kernel that is the truth of the feeling of a space. We do this with every project.
Scott: My family came to America with William Penn in 1700 and settled in the county they had bought from Penn, naming it Lancaster. For generations upon generations, my family has farmed the land on some of the richest soil in the world. My early ancestors learned from the Pequea and Conestoga Indians how to farm the land and they all lived at peace with one another. We are stewards of the earth, and I grew up taking care of farm chores starting at 5am. We had 500 Hereford cows to milk a day, they had to be milked each and every day. I also had to go to school! From an early age, I learned responsibility and how to figure out how to do things. I could not make mistakes as it would cause injury to the animals or to myself.
I have a degree in Architecture from Penn State and a 5 year Professional Degree of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech. I have always loved the vernacular of Lancaster County, and there are so many beautiful and historic houses to learn about. Architecture is something that I think about on a daily basis, therefore our gardens have a strong architecture to them. We bring this strength to all our gardens. Since I was very young, I have been the one who fixed this or that on our old William Penn farm. The integration of both architecture and construction and a deep understanding of the land is ingrained in me.