May/Jun
2013

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Written by Trish Amundson
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Gorgeous garden spaces for outdoor living

Elegantly framing her family’s residence, Suzanne Dinusson’s gardens represent nature’s abundance with blooming perennials, textured foliage and colorful annuals. There, Suzanne hosts a variety of activities such as intimate get-togethers, bridal showers and birthday, graduation and retirement parties. These welcoming garden spaces reflect her and her home and are a haven for her family and guests.

Forging a Plan
“My gardens first evolved when we remodeled our home 16 years ago,” says Suzanne. “We were telling some friends that we needed to get some shrubs, and they mentioned Garten Marketplatz.”

The Dinussons visited local perennial farms and obtained recommendations for a landscape design based on various considerations such as shade, water flow, privacy, texture, beauty and even deer. After formulating a design, Suzanne began choosing plants including hydrangeas, hostas, impatiens and roses for her first garden. She now has 10 different gardens.

These well-designed outdoor living spaces are an extension of the Dinusson home, where large windows overlook the plush and vibrant grounds. The exterior spaces blend with the home’s interior design and feature similar colors and floral patterns. Curvy, soft floral shapes and a natural cottage look flow throughout both—from the design of heirloom place settings to flower arrangements to a landscaped patio that functions as an outdoor dining room. “We really like being outdoors, and we eat all of our meals outside unless it’s pouring rain,” says Suzanne.

The gardens include interesting designs and elements that add privacy as well as winding pathways and terraced flowerbeds of rich tones and lush vegetation. Greenery spills over the edges of decorative pots, flower borders and vine-filled arbors, while ornamental wrought-iron gates, decorative fences, birdbaths and statuary are delightful landscape additions. Quiet patio spaces soothe the soul while wicker furniture and a white wooden glider provide a place to relax.

A Garden for Every Party
The Dinussons generously host community members in their gardens, including approximately 500 guests during the 2012 Rochester Garden and Flower Club Annual Garden Tour. Suzanne also donates garden luncheons and dinners as fundraising event prizes to local charities. She enhances the al fresco dining experience at these events by serving different courses in different gardens or by including natural, special touches.

“When I’m creating a menu for a special party—friends for dinner or a non-profit luncheon—I incorporate products from the [Rochester] Farmers Market and from nature, such as herbs from a garden, decorative flowers on the plates and a fragrant bouquet on the table,” explains Suzanne. Suzanne tends to her gardens herself and doesn’t mind working up a sweat keeping them in shape, especially when she can enjoy and share the wonderful results.

“My gardens are an extension of who I am,” says Suzanne. “They are bright and colorful—and full of beauty and grace. They have a subtle sense of structure, which screens and adds privacy to create living spaces, flowing together like well-planned rooms in a home.”