Tiny Terra Ferma offers Manayunk a ‘garden primer’

There is a new green concept in town. At a recent First Friday event, Tiny Terra Ferma, a landscape design and gardening shop, made its debut on Main Street. 

Business partners Annie Scott and Jeff Lorenz are no strangers to the green scene in Philadelphia. Scott, a 2007 graduate of the Conway School of Landscape Design, has worked on numerous residential designs and large-scale ecological restoration projects, and has worked on various projects with the Schuylkill Project.

Lorenz has served the community as a sustainable business consultant who specializes in storm water management, native plants and city gardening. The two’s combined expertise tailors their retail offerings; Tiny Terra Firma focuses on sustainable urban gardens that feature drought tolerant, edible, and/or native plants.

Scott and Lorenz have been planning their business model for over six months.

“What we wanted was to be a garden primer,” said Scott. A studio in the back of the store encourages prospective clients to brainstorm ideas that are visualized through sketches and conversations with the consultants. “We want to cultivate that relationship,” said Lorenz, between design and plants.”

It is this focus on providing a “green” education along with retail service that horticulturist Paco Verin finds exciting.

“Green is a trend. Organic is a trend. ‘No pesticides’ is a trend,” Verin said.

He added that Tiny Terra Firma contextualizes these trends by helping people understand the function of the ecosystem and equipping them to care for nature. Even the smallest of urban planters can restore ecological damage. By considering how green spaces participate in a neighborhood’s larger topography, city dwellers can protect nature’s habitats. And when unpredictable weather patterns come along, green investments can minimize erosion and storm water issues.

Tiny Terra Ferma is open Thursday through Sunday, and by appointment Monday through Wednesday.

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