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Connection Corner

TEND landscape inc. x Organic Mechanics Soil Company x Fine Garden Creations

by Julie Snell, TEND landscape inc.

In 2015, the Friends of Rittenhouse Square selected TEND landscape inc. to assist with the redesign of the formal gardens at the center of the park. As it turned out, an SBN/GSI Partners trifecta was born when TEND, Organic Mechanics Soil Company, and Fine Garden Creations joined forces to see the design and implementation through from start to finish.

TEND’s design of the garden required a full renovation, beginning with the soil. When exploring ways to improve the existing soil conditions, TEND reached out to Mark Highland, owner of Organic Mechanics Soil Company. Together, TEND and Mark developed a custom specification using biochar, supplied by Organic Mechanics, and liquid biological amendments.

For garden installation and maintenance, we looked for a contractor best equipped for the challenge and selected Fine Garden Creations (FGC). Owner Liz Haegele personally oversaw the details of plant sourcing, scheduling, and installation. FGC’s expert crew planted over 300 boxwood shrubs, 5000 perennials, and 1000 spring bulbs. Currently, TEND and FGC are working together on the establishment and care of the garden. Fine Garden Creations maintains the garden with organic methods.

The Formal Gardens of Rittenhouse Square serve as a reminder of the success of like-minded collaborators committed to sustainable practices and businesses that value people, places, and the environment.


TEND, SBN and GSI Partner since 2013, is a full-service landscape architecture firm, located in Philadelphia. They value collaboration with their clients and colleagues and are driven by their mission statement: Design with maintenance in mind. Visit https://tendlandscape.com/ to learn more.

Fine Garden Creations, SBN & GSI Partner since 2014, is a landscape design, installation, and maintenance company that has been serving the broader Philadelphia area with great pride and dedication for over 25 years. With excellent customer service and innovative horticultural design, they have built a lasting legacy in the Delaware Valley. From highly respected cultural and city landmarks to backyards and rooftops, FGC invests creative passion and hard work into every project. We offer the stability of a large company and the professional touch of a small company. Visit http://www.finegardencreations.com/ to learn more.

Organic Mechanics Soil Company, SBN member since 2009, GSI Partner since 2013, is a wholesale manufacturer of premium, organic, peat-free potting soil. Their family run company based in Chester County has a philosophy that embraces environmental sustainability as a core value. Organic Mechanics Potting Soils are chock full of beneficial biology, and use only the finest 100% organic, all natural, and completely peat-free ingredients. They deliver superior results for sustainable home gardeners, professional growers, organic farms, arboretums and botanic gardens. They give back to our local community by donating soil to school gardens that teach children about the importance of growing and eating healthy food. Embedded in their local community, they were awarded a Gold Medal Product in The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Gold Medal program in 2013. Visit http://www.organicmechanicsoil.com/ to learn more.


Julie earned a Master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, is a certified arborist, accredited organic land care professional, and a founding principal of TEND landscape inc. Prior to forming TEND, Julie’s work focused on landscape management, developing her expertise over 14 years as project manager of high-profile public spaces in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

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