about us


e. k. smith landscape design was founded in 1987 in Pittsburgh, PA by noted landscape designer, Elise Keely.  Elise approaches every new project with a commitment to creativity, exceptional workmanship and client service and strives to create fabulous gardens that meet her client's expectations. Clients are involved in every step of the process, including working with Elise to learn about horticulture and its intricacies.

e. k. smith landscape design is committed to creating landscapes and gardens in Pittsburgh that are not only appropriate to the site, but are also architecturally sensitive. Elise is determined to design projects that will mature properly, keeping the future in mind for her clients and their gardens.

Our Team

Elise Keely's passion for landscaping began in the mid 1960's.  She gained hands on experience and an early love of horticulture while taking care of extensive gardens in New Hampshire. She then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, which enhanced the artistic skills and vision that she now imparts on her landscape design business.

Elise spent time as an art and French teacher and then as a designer of architectural stained glass windows after she graduated from college, but her first love was always landscape design. She moved to Pittsburgh in 1987, taught landscape design courses at Sweetwater Art Center and the Pittsburgh Civic Garden Center and lectured to local civic groups and garden clubs. This exposure to the community, and the network that it created, launched her business.

Recognized by her peers for her dedicated work and commitment to excellence, Elise has been the recipient of the Garden Club of American Zone V Horticulture award. She has also dedicated her summers over the past 17 years to training and inspiring future landscape architects through her internship program.

e. k. smith landscape design represents the highest quality in all aspects of landscape contracting, design and workmanship. Elise and her team of contractors are all highly knowledgeable, and represent the best in the industry. 

e.k. smith landscape design's areas of expertise include:

Emma Tizio has been immersed in the garden since childhood in her parent’s Pittsburgh backyard.  She found a beauty in the landscape, which drove her to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University. During those years at the University, Emma was able to use time gaining valuable experience via an internship at Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Garden and studying abroad in Germany, focusing on Sustainable Urban Design. The summer of 2014 is when Emma first met Elise as she was given the opportunity to work under her in an internship program. Her love of the field only grew from there, and they have maintained a working relationship since.

Upon graduation in 2015, Emma took a position in Boston, MA as a designer and project manager with a small design/build company. She spent the next five years obtaining crucial field experience and watching many of her residential designs come to life.  While living in Boston, Emma also received a certificate for completing the Green School course through the University of Massachusetts, which helped her gain knowledge of environmentally responsible plant and land care practices.

The year 2020 brought Emma back to the Pittsburgh area where she continues remote work in Boston as well as joining forces on projects with Elise.