Who We Are

Close at Hand offers ecosystem services and products for urban homeowners. We design, fabricate and installs unique and custom garden features to equip individuals and communities to garden efficiently, live sustainably and maximize their enjoyment of their outdoor space.

The composition of our business combines artistic talent with a firm knowledge in fabrication and building techniques. We have years of experience in multiple fabrication modalities and gardening.

Close at Hand is incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania and licensed with the City of Philadelphia. We have general liability insurance along with supplemental welders insurance and worker compensation insurance. We are an approved “RainCheck” contractor with the Philadelphia Water Department. The company is fully insured and has been in business since 2011.

Lena Helen 

Community advocate, educator, artist, and gardener. As a founding member and first president of the Kensington Community Food Cooperative grocer, Lena successfully led the organization to fund-raise and secure a ten-year commercial lease for the grocer. Her experience with project management and best business practices is an asset to the practical application of running a business. Lena has training in cooperative business and board leadership practices from Cooperative Development Services. She is a certified Master Gardener and has a Master in studio art from Maine College of Art.

See what inspires me on my Instagram. A visual log of landscapes that inspire my work in urban regenerative landscaping in Philadelphia.

Paul Filanowski

A self-taught artist, mechanic, fabricator and toolmaker. He has decades of experience designing, engineering and fabricating one of kind structures, mechanical devices and tools for a variety of industries. Paul’s in-depth knowledge of materials-their plasticity and applications, his spatial fluency, as well as his proclivity for quality, gives him the professional edge customers can rely on. Paul has a passion for all things kinetic. He won “The People’s Choice Award” in the 2008 Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Paul is a Tree Tender with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and leads plantings with PhillyTree People.

Martha Street Mechanics Website for my metal work, fabrication, and machine mechanic services.

Our Customers

“I am so thrilled with how the backyard looks!  Paul and you did a terrific job and we are excited to have more usable outdoor space!  So thank you very much and congrats on a job well done!”
Sarah, Fishtown resident, June 2015

Our customers are urban home-owners, non-profits and government organizations who are committed to the improving the quality of life for themselves and their community.  They care about the environment and value relationships. Our customers are happier as a result of the personal assistance we give them with identifying their specific horticultural needs and ensuring that we are around to follow up with our work .