Pittsburgh Mayor Proclaims May 11 'Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day'

Pittsburgh, PA

On Friday, May 11, Pittsburgh will recognize Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day, as proclaimed by Mayor William Peduto. Activities will be held at the seven founding gardens: Carrie Furnaces (a Rivers of Steel site), Chatham University Arboretum, The Frick Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden on this honorary day of celebration.

The Pittsburgh Garden Trail a collection of gardens in the Pittsburgh region that are open to the public, providing opportunities for visitors to interact with nature in a variety of beautiful and peaceful settings. Each garden is distinct, including outdoor and indoor areas for a variety of displays, exhibits and special events that garden lovers will enjoy throughout the year.

Terra Design Studios is a founding partner of the organization, and continues to support outreach efforts and development.

'Bicentennial Blooms' Summer Garden Show opens at Monticello Sculpture Gardens

Godfrey, IL

It’s not every year that a state turns 200! Terra’s sixth annual Summer Garden Show, Bicentennial Blooms transforms the Monticello Sculpture Gardens into a season-long celebration of all things Illinois. Along with state-wide events to commemorate the anniversary of when the Prairie State joined the Union, the Gardens - located at Lewis and Clark Community College - will join the festivities through a celebration of flowers and foliage across campus. 

Each designated garden area also features interpretive panels that highlight fun facts and historical trivia of the state and region - an outdoor alternative to sitting in front of Wikipedia for an afternoon! 

Kingwood Center Gardens Kicks Off Garden Gateway Project

Mansfield, OH


In September 2014, Kingwood Center Gardens selected Terra and their team members, Seckel Group, The Acorn Group and EMD Consulting Group, from a national pool of candidates to design a Master Plan for the Gardens that respects the history of the Center while providing opportunity for increased revenue. Terra’s team prepared an interpretive prospectus, strategic vision, architectural evaluation, and a site plan that ties those components together.

This spring, Terra officially began work on the next phase of the Master Plan – The Garden Gateway Project. The Plan includes an Entrance Terrace, Bosque Event Terrace, and Fountain Terrace, as well as a Grand Perennial Garden and Pavilion, Central Mall, Cypress Garden (pictured above), and Woodland Edge Auto Garden.

San Antonio Botanical Garden's Family Adventure Garden Celebrates Grand Opening

San Antonio, TX


Congratulations to the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Executive Director Bob Brackman on the official opening of their Family Adventure Garden! After a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches, the gates opened to an eager public who were ready to explore the Garden’s fifteen adventure-provoking themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery.

“The Family Adventure Garden will allow kids to really frolic and play, but at the same time they’ll be learning the story of water and the South Texas landscape. With our expansion and an explosion of diverse programming, there has never been a better time to get outside and enjoy everything the Garden has to offer,” says Bob Brackman.

Terra Design Studios collaborated with Texas-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects and the Natural Learning Initiative to design for both education and fun. We are thrilled to see this project come to life – and are especially happy to hear that the Garden is already attracting a record-breaking number of visitors.

Read more here!

Terra presents final Environmental Learning Center Master Plan

Vero Beach, FL


A little over eleven months after kicking off the project, Terra’s Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson returned to Vero Beach, FL to present the final master plan to Environmental Learning Center staff and board members. After meeting extensively with the Master Planning Committee, Terra and team members PNF Architecture & Design, David Cox Consulting, Knight, McGuire and Associates, Inc., and EMD Consulting Group presented two master plan options before refining them into a final plan with phasing opportunities.

The resulting Master Plan represents the blended vision of key stakeholders and the expertise of the Planning Team, and has earned the approval of both the full ELC Board of Directors and the full ELC Foundation Board. Key highlights include the Native Plant Gallery garden and event space, and the Butterflies and More! pollinator garden and House of Butterflies, rendered for us by our friends at Depiction Illustration.

Cindy Tyler presents 'Fundamentals of Master Planning for Small Gardens' at 2018 APGA Small Garden Symposium

Tucson, AZ

Along with colleagues Keith Kaiser, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, and Michelle Conklin, Executive Director of Tucson Botanical Gardens, Terra’s Cindy Tyler discussed the fundamentals any small garden needs to know when it comes to planning for and participating in a master planning process. The discussion included an overview of the master planning process, particular challenges and subsequent successes unique to small gardens, and the power that a master plan provides to both new and established gardens. A special focus was paid to how small gardens can work to implement elements from a master plan with limited funding and staff.

Terra Design Studios has worked alongside Keith for master planning work at Fellow Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, OH and on several projects linked to the master plan at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Terra is also currently master planning the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Terra Kicks Off Tucson Botanical Gardens' Master Plan!

Tucson, AZ


We are excited to announce we have been awarded the Master Plan project at the Tucson Botanical Gardens! This 5-acre urban oasis offers visitors a chance to experience the flora of the Tucson Basin along with other plant species that thrive in the desert climate and were particularly favored by the sites’ founders, the Porter family.

Terra’s Cindy Tyler and Ellen Biegert headed to Tucson to kick off the project, which will focus on improved visitor sequencing, honoring the site’s legacy, increasing earned income opportunities, and much more. We are joined by architect Grant Getz Design, and are looking forward to getting to know TBG’s staff, volunteers, Board, and more as we delve into their master plan. Stay tuned for project updates!


Garden Tourism Comes to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA


Terra Design Studios is proud to be a founding partner of Pittsburgh Garden Trail, a new directory of our region’s unique garden destinations!

From Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, to the Carrie Furnace Iron Garden Walk and Chatham University Arboretum, the collection of seven garden locations on the Pittsburgh Garden Trail gives visitors a chance to discover some of the region's not-so-hidden and hidden horticultural gems. 

Offering different landscapes, uses, settings, and species, the Garden Trail aims to inspire by highlighting the beauty and ecological diversity of Western Pennsylvania.

The organization's press release is featured on the American Public Garden Association's site, or you can visit www.pittsburghgardentrail.com to learn more. And stay tuned for the official city-wide launch coming in Spring 2018!

Monticello Sculpture Gardens’ “Solar Flair” Summer Flower Show Culminates with Solar Eclipse Event

Godfrey, IL


Solar Flair, the Monticello Sculpture Gardens’ 2017 Summer Garden Show, is a celebration of light energy, lunar cycles, and how plants connect us to the cosmos.  Designed by Terra’s Ellen Biegert and Rob Thompson, the thematic plantings in key areas across the Lewis and Clark Community College campus invite students, staff, and passers-by to witness the wonderment of the ultimate solar power – photosynthesis – beautifully showcased by out-of-this-world plants!

In concert with the Garden Show, cosmic-themed art retrospective featuring artist Michiko Itatani has been on display in the Hatheway Gallery through September 22nd.

Solar Flair, which opened in May 2017, culminated on August 21 with the viewing of a total solar eclipse, where the extraordinary “ring of fire” was visible. Lewis and Clark was fortunate enough to be on the cusp of the path of totality, and was sure to offer anyone present an opportunity to celebrate this rare event!


Prairie Garden Trust Master Plan Update

New Bloomfield, MO


We received a heartwarming update from one of our favorite clients, Henry and Lorna Domke from Prairie Garden Trust, on the status of Phase One improvements made to their homestead at the direction of our master plan. With a clear direction in mind for trails, plantings and plant maintenance, and visitor amenities, they have added new paved trails, parking and entrance areas, restrooms, and overlook platforms for many of the key vantage points of the site. Along with the ongoing effort of controlling invasive species, the staff horticulturist has also been developing major areas around the main entrance, the Visitors Center, the lake and ponds, and along the edges between forest and prairie and savanna.

In Lorna’s words, “Some elements of the plan may not be used for decades… but the primary and initial plan steps are just about complete, and we’re so, so happy with it! Best of all, our visitors are enraptured, too!”


Terra Releases Testimonial Video

Pittsburgh, PA

After celebrating our ten-year anniversary, and then continuing on to one of our busiest and most successful years to date, we took some time to reflect on Terra’s inspiring clients, peers, and projects that have brought our guiding principles as a firm to life over the years. This introspection was too exciting to contain internally – and resulted in the development of our first promotional video!

Terra’s Cindy Tyler has long said that, “As future trustees of our planet, children will only protect what they love, and only love what they know.” This video showcases our commitment to making this philosophy a reality.

Special Thanks to Jane Taylor (Michigan State University); Mary Helen Butler and Jim Duncan (Active and Former Directors, Memphis Botanic Garden); Eric Tschanz (Former Director, Powell Gardens); and Bob Brackman (Executive Director, San Antonio Botanical Garden) for their enthusiasm, support, and inspiration!  

Thanks also to 232 Creative for their expertise and good humor as we developed this project!

Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center Featured in ‘Beaver Times’ Article

Beaver, PA

Terra’s Rob Thompson, teaming with architects Pfaffmann + Associates, worked closely with the Directors of the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation to complete a site and building restoration at the historic train station in Beaver, PA. After developing an updated site plan for the grounds in 2015, Terra then produced detailed planting plans and provided peer review as the site was under construction.

The award-winning station is now host to more than 8,800 visitors a year, for events ranging from public art classes to non-profit fundraisers to wedding receptions and other family celebrations.

Most recently, the Heritage Foundation finalized the unique ‘Event Lawn Belvedere,’ a bandstand-like outdoor venue that repurposes the turret roof of a nearby, now-razed 1890s mansion. The Belvedere project is featured in the Beaver Times – read more here!

Franklin Park Conservatory's Children's Garden Breaks Ground!

Columbus, OH


In a special ceremony held in front of the future Children’s Garden site, Bruce Harkey announced the groundbreaking for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The event recognized the groundwork laid by FPC’s Master Plan 2.0 and gave special mention to Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s commitment to the Garden and to FPC’s mission to connect their community to educational, cultural, and social experiences.

Terra completed the master plan and schematic design for the Children’s Garden before moving on to construction documentation and administration for the project. Cindy had an opportunity to address the crowd as well, to introduce key features of the Garden that will specifically target reconnecting youth to their green world in an effort to combat nature deficit disorder.

Mead Botanical Garden Continues to Evolve

Winter Park, FL

Pictured back left: Bev Lassiter, Rick Daley, Linda Keen, Tom McMacken Pictured front left: Cynthia Hasenau, Cindy Tyler, Sue Foreman

Pictured back left: Bev Lassiter, Rick Daley, Linda Keen, Tom McMacken
Pictured front left: Cynthia Hasenau, Cindy Tyler, Sue Foreman

After performing a Master Plan Peer Review in 2015, Terra Design Studios returned to Mead Botanical Garden this spring to present a Concept Master Plan to key staff and members of their Board of Directors. Terra originally worked with the Garden to lay the groundwork for this master plan, and held a week-long intensive charrette that allowed our team to gain valuable insight into the site and its current features that support its mission to serve as “an urban oasis where nature, people, and culture are in harmony.”

Our presentations at Mead are not all work and no play though – there is always time for a selfie with this fun group, even if it is in-between reviews of drawings, workshops with staff, or even a trip to neighboring Leu Gardens for inspiration!