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The Office of Landscape Architect, Tom Benjamin (413) 687-1135 tom@wellnesscapes.com LinkedIn

Design for this urban oasis site focused around two created ponds and working with the site's considerable topography. Path to top of rise is rewarded by stone bench destination affording view to upper pond and large boulder.

Design for this urban oasis site focused around two created ponds connected with stream. Extensive clearance of invasive trees exposed valuable native trees like Ash (shown here), around which native groundcover was planted.

Design for this urban oasis site focused around two created ponds connected with stream. Wetland plants such as Blue-Flag Iris (shown here) add beauty while securing stream bank.

Urban Residence
Boston, MA

One of Tom’s early residential projects included this hilly half acre property located across the street from Frederick Law Olmsted’s magnificent Franklin Park.  The Park’s borrowed views afforded the site with a wonderful backdrop in this dense, urban neighborhood.  Design work emphasized opening up woodland views.

Tom worked focused first on managing the property’s dense stand of trees and removing many invasive Norway maples to clear the site.  Invasive species clearance helped emphasize the property’s topography capped with a prominent rocky knoll upon which the stately 19th century home stood.  Tom took advantage of the site’s multi-tiered feeling by enhancing terraces and adding upper and lower pond features connected by a recirculating stream snaking its way down the slope through preserved large ash trees.  Tom developed a path system around these water features and then up to the top of knoll rewarding the walk with pleasant seating areas at pond level and looking down from the knoll above.

Tom’s design recreated a series of remnant native ecosystem types to emphasize the site’s different zones.  Black Tupelo, with its flaming red fall foliage, surrounded the lower pond and included a bioretention feature covered in native ferns, recreating a lowland forest system.  Higher up, partridgeberry and spring-blooming trillium softened placed boulders along the craggy upper pond.  Native vines cling to steep ledge rock at the top of the knoll with native wild geraniums surrounding a stone bench at the “summit.”

Project Highlights

  • Adjacent to Frederick Law Olmsted’s Franklin Park borrowed landscape
  • Taking advantage of site’s considerable topography to create paths and overlooks
  • Created two ponds linked by stream with intimate sitting areas
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