Our Story begins here
Gradually…over the course of a couple or so years… a romance blossomed…
…within a place… and in this place a hidden gem was discovered – a garden. A garden that, over time, had become overgrown and seemingly neglected – groomed & cared for only when special visitors were invited into her midst.
The hidden garden in Philadelphia, was seen only from a distance and once a year – in May during a Garden Party fundraiser. Few people paid attention and most did not know the landscape was part of the House’s History at all!! It took a couple years to realize there were flower beds – with incredible potential – hidden in a jumble of weeds edged with old wooden boards and white flowering Impatiens planted each May. Little by little – with 2 or 3 garden volunteers who showed up once in a while – weeding ensued – plants were moved around – meetings began to organize the garden’s care – and Laureen was hired as head gardener to tend the Colonial Revival Garden!
Archival notes were introduced as part of the story of the House Museum. Written by Letitia Wright, the woman who initiated the design of the Colonial Revival Garden of 1913. As the garden became healthy and alluring, the annual Garden Party began to migrate from the lawn into the garden and folks visiting the Museum also began to visit the garden!
Surrounding the property, a woodland strip and a chain-link fence offered the potential of views into the garden and landscape from the adjacent city park. The woodland was overgrown with vines and weeds and little by little these were removed. When the arborist began to leave the wood chips, they were spread beneath the tree canopy. Specialists were consulted while native and historically appropriate ground cover and perennials were planted into the healthy soil. The landscape came to life and was loved.
For 10 years Laureen Griffin, owner of Garden InSites, was caretaker of Stenton Historic House Museum’s landscape and head gardener of the Colonial Revival Garden.
Founded in 2015, Garden InSites, serving Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, is devoted to the creation of healthy and well designed landscapes. Our designs incorporate landscaping elements such as water features, patios, fences, and fire pits. The gardens are seamlessly integrated into each landscape creating outdoor living spaces, front yard neighborhood appeal, intimate garden spaces, natural habitats, beautiful vegetable gardens, and more. Gardens can be colorful greetings along driveways and front doorways or vibrant woodland spaces. They can exist anywhere a garden will live.
Garden InSites is fully insured and our employees are covered by workers compensation. Our employees are passionate gardeners and horticulturists committed to maintaining our clients’ gardens. Our contractors are dedicated crafts people who care about their work. To ensure our clients’ gardens are at their best we apply design and horticulture principles and tend to the gardens regularly so they continue to thrive.
Laureen Griffin, Owner
Laureen is an experienced professional with a diverse range of interests and skills. She began her career as an architectural designer in New York City and has since traveled the world and pursued a successful career as an artist and arts educator. Her passion for creating with her hands is evident in all aspects of her life, and she especially enjoys spending time outdoors. In 2005, Laureen took on the role of caretaker for the historic landscape at Stenton Museum in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood where she lived for a decade. During this time, she continued her artistic pursuits while also studying horticulture at the Barnes Foundation to prepare for her new career as a professional landscape designer and gardener. She is now ready to share her wealth of knowledge and expertise with clients who are looking to transform their outdoor spaces into beautiful and inviting environments.
Avery's primary passion is acting, and she enjoys being active and spending time outdoors. She joined our team in April 2021. During her tenure with us, Avery has also developed a passion for gardening and has become an expert at pruning! In her spare time, she gardens for her neighbors and friends.
When it comes to gardening, Hayden is mostly interested in feeding people. He loves to forage and learn about all edible plants. Hayden has been at Garden InSites for two seasons and hopes to make it three!
What it is like to work at Garden InSites
We have pretty reasonable working days when it comes to landscaping. It can get hot and muddy out there, so if it’s feeling too intense, we’re not shy about ending a little early. We also don’t usually work in the rain. Laureen can be a bit of a perfectionist, but that just means we stay on track and get things done efficiently. Balancing speed and carefulness can be a challenge, but it’s all part of the learning experience! Plus, you’ll definitely gain a wealth of knowledge about plants and how to take care of them.
What we look for in employees
We are looking for outdoor enthusiasts to join our plant-loving team. We would love to have you on board if you have a passion for learning about plants and have the ability to recognize weeds! It is essential that we maintain a clean and safe working environment while also guaranteeing our clients’ satisfaction. We look for people with the endurance to keep up with all the various tasks: mulching, planting, heavy lifting, weeding, and pruning. Each team members’ unique talents and specialties are appreciated and needed here. Whether you enjoy working with annuals, tropical plants or digging heavy shrubs, we want you to know that your skills are valued. We take pride in our hand-pruning techniques and careful, meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that our gardens are beautiful and healthy.