Sarah Trumbore Designed Her Home Garden to Be a True Family Hangout

A designer’s not-so-secret cutting garden provides a fresh family hangout as well as beautiful blossoms.

Pink zinnia, verbena, and lavender. / Photo by Jared Kuzia / Styling by Alisa Kapinos/Style Productions

Hidden behind the garage of Sarah DiMascio’s Chestnut Hill Tudor Revival is something wonderfully unexpected—a glorious profusion of blooming flowers, herbs of all varieties, and more than enough vegetables to share the bounty with neighbors (and the occasional squirrel). The garden, pea stone patio, and three raised beds provide DiMascio, her husband, Joe; sons Logan, six, and Jack, three; and a puppy named Finley a peaceful, secluded area to relax and entertain, as well as get their hands dirty.

The seed of an idea was first planted in the interior designer’s mind when the couple bought the house in 2016. DiMascio, whose design firm ST Studio is based in Chestnut Hill, wanted somewhere to grow vegetables, so she and her husband installed two small, raised beds in the backyard. Sometime 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 cutting garden”—a spot to grow flowers meant for bouquets and table arrangements, says DiMascio (who uses the surname Trumbore professionally).

Interior designer Sarah DiMascio stands in her cutting garden where she grows flowers, herbs, and vegetables, including pink zinnia, verbena, and lavender. Crabapple trees and David Austin roses populate the back of the garden. / Photo by Jared Kuzia / Styling by Alisa Kapinos/Style Productions

The family enjoys dining on the terrace, located on the other side of the yard from the cutting garden, or in the screened porch behind it. / Photo by Jared Kuzia / Styling by Alisa Kapinos/Style Productions

But DiMascio didn’t want to use the space solely for gardening: She wanted her family to hang out there, too. “It became the destination bookend to the overall design,” Haven says, drawing people away from the seating terrace off the back of the house. “It’s on the loop of circulation around the property, so there’s a lot of movement and passage through the garden.”

Phil Mastroianni Corp. Landscape Construction fenced in the 28-by-42-foot space and surrounded it with boxwood hedges. In the spring, daffodil and tulip bulbs that were buried before the winter in the new cedar beds bloom first. Then, DiMascio, with help from her two sons (who love to dig around in the dirt), starts planting tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, snapdragons, cosmos, and zinnias.

Nothing brings the designer more joy than retreating to the garden—“I’ll bring my laptop out there and my coffee and do some work,” DiMascio says, “or we’ll go to watch the boys play with their trucks in the pea stone”—but beautiful bouquets of flowers grown just outside her back door feel like icing on the cake.

DiMascio says she got her inspiration from cookbook author Ina Garten’s garden in East Hampton. Both the finials and the raised beds built by the landscape contractor are made of cedar. / Photo by Jared Kuzia / Styling by Alisa Kapinos/Style Productions

The potting bench, made by DiMascio’s father, was modeled after one she saw online. “I changed the dimensions a bit so it could fit under the eaves of the garage,” says the designer, who painted it “Essex Green” by Benjamin Moore cut with 90 percent black, so it’s very dark. / Photo by Jared Kuzia / Styling by Alisa Kapinos/Style Productions

Interior Designer
ST Studio

Landscape Architect
LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects

Landscape Contractor
Phil Mastroianni Corp. Landscape Construction