A designer’s not-so-secret cut garden offers a fresh family hangout as well as gorgeous blooms.
Hidden behind Sarah DiMascio’s garage Chestnut Hill Tudor Revival is something wonderfully unexpected – a glorious profusion of blooming flowers, herbs of all kinds, and more than enough veggies to share the reward with neighbors (and the occasional squirrel). The garden, peastone patio, and three raised beds offer DiMascio, her husband Joe; sons Logan, six, and Jack, three; and a pup named Finley, a peaceful, secluded area to relax, entertain, and get your hands dirty.
When the couple bought the home in 2016, an idea was planted in the interior designer’s head. DiMascio, whose design firm ST Studio is based in Chestnut Hill, wanted something to grow vegetables, so she and her husband installed two small, raised beds in the garden. Some time later, they hired John Haven of LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects to develop a master plan for the area. After seeing the beds, “he ran with the idea for a cut garden” — a place that grows flowers meant for bouquets and table settings, says DiMascio (who uses the surname Trumbore professionally).
But DiMascio didn’t want to use the space just for gardening: She wanted her family to hang out there, too. “It became the goal bookend of the overall design,” Haven says, drawing people away from the patio seating at the back of the house. “It’s in the circulation loop around the property, so there’s a lot of movement and passage through the garden.”
Phil Mastroianni Corp. Landscape Construction fenced the 28-by-42-foot space and surrounded it with boxwood hedges. Daffodil and tulip bulbs bloom first in spring, buried in the new cedar beds before winter. Then, with the help of her two sons (who enjoy digging in the dirt), DiMascio begins planting tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, snapdragons, cosmos, and zinnias.
Nothing brings the designer more joy than retiring to the garden — “I’ll bring my laptop and my coffee and get some work done,” says DiMascio, “or we’ll watch the guys play with their trucks in the pea rock ‘ — but gorgeous bouquets of flowers grown right outside her back door feel like the icing on the cake.
LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects
Phil Mastroianni Corp. landscaping