Best of Boston Home 2011

In our quest to compile the ultimate guide to design and construction, we did our research just the way you would—by polling trusted industry pros, checking and cross-checking references, and pounding the pavement.


Great landscape design and maintenance lets us enjoy fresh air throughout the year.


Landscape architect Keith LeBlanc brings the spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted to a Brookline backyard. (Photograph by Kent Dayton)


Whether you’re surrounding an English garden or a horse pen, New England Woodworkers can roll out exacting, handcrafted fences, arbors, and deck rails for every style and purpose. But it’s the company’s environmental bent that makes it the hands-down winner: Every installation is built with timber from its responsibly harvested Maine tree farm or with FSC-certified hardwood.

Sagamore Beach, 508-833-5175,

Garden Center

Growers, meet your utopia: five acres of horticultural bliss, from the indoor greenhouse and bookstore to perennials and annuals galore—and did we mention the workshops and seminars? Then there’s the always impressive staff. Need advice on the vagaries of growing orchids, or a primer on fixing a drooping ficus? They have the answers. And for the gardener whose thumb has yet to turn green (or maybe never will), a flower shop on the premises sells arrangements that you can take all the credit for.

397 Boston Post Rd. (Rte. 20), Wayland, 508-358-2283,

Landscape Architect

Success in landscape architecture requires a big-picture approach that combines space, topography, scale, and the environment into one gorgeous, all-season experience, and Keith LeBlanc has mastered this. His team produces lush landscapes that work for any project size, from award-winning urban roof terraces to a complete 20-acre farm overhaul.

535 Albany St., Ste. 5A, Boston, 617-426-6475,

Landscape Construction

A young company with a big-name clientele, D. Schumacher has earned the respect of the region’s top landscape architecture firms through skill, dedication, and good old-fashioned fine workmanship. The company’s crew of 130 provides a full roster of services, and is particularly strong in masonry and long-term maintenance. Schumacher himself works on-site, constantly monitoring the acres entrusted to his care.

390 Pleasant St., West Bridgewater, 508-427-7707,

Jonathan Henke of Didriks

“The Real Payoff is being part of the community. At the end of the day, that’s one of the most rewarding aspects of running a small business.” —Jonathan Henke, owner, Didriks (Photograph by Jarrod McCabe)

Outdoor Furniture

For a city whose residents spend most of the year indoors, Boston is curiously blessed with an outstanding resource for outdoor living. Didriks stocks just a few lines of furniture, including U.K.-based Barlow Tyrie and California-based Modern Outdoor. Both are matchless in design and weather resilience. And to complete your outdoor entertaining service, the store also purveys elegant Heath Ceramics dinnerware, handmade Italian pieces by Match Pewter, and Belgian table linens from Libeco.

190 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-5700,

Pool and Spa Design

South Shore Gunite’s specialty is vanishing-edge pools, which provide unobstructed views of the landscape. Challenging to build and maintain, they benefit from an installer with real expertise—which is exactly what this 35-year-old company offers.

7 Progress Ave., Chelmsford, 800-649-8080,

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including home builders and contractors, interior designers, home accent décor, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.