Visions of Light, Line & Space

Cape Cod Garden  /  GARDEN ANNUAL 2022 /

Writer: Susan Dewey

Designer Dorrit Kingsbury brings European influences, more than a decade of award-winning Californian experience, and an appreciation for classical proportion and balance to Cape Cod landscapes. Photo provided by Kingsbury Garden Designs The simple beauty of late afternoon light sweeping across a summer lawn. Hedges of luxuriant evergreen, vivid frames for winter-bare hydrangeas. A line of Kwanzan cherry trees in full bloom, bright flags of spring. For designer Dorrit Kingsbury, beauty is all about capturing each landscape’s light, line, and space highlighted by carefully chosen horticultural and structural elements. She seeks to create this artful choreography for each property’s unique living spaces, whether she is working for clients in her native California, or on Cape Cod, the new home where she lives and works eight months of the year. After looking for a house for three years, in 2016, Dorrit and her husband, Jim Henning, found a house to buy on Cape Cod. They were both drawn to this, “New England mecca,” as Dorrit describes it, having vacationed here many times with close friends. Although her connections to California are deep—and have shaped much of her career as a highly sought after designer of singularly understated, yet elegant, landscapes defined by spatial considerations as much as botanical ones—Dorrit says she welcomed a change in her life. “I don’t want to be defined by one job, by one place forever,” she says from her winter home in Palo Alto. “I wanted my life to open up. And we both have always loved Cape Cod.” The couple were looking for a house a little off the beaten path, one with some privacy, perhaps on a pond surrounded by woods, preferably with some big old trees that would frame the new landscape taking shape in Dorrit’s mind as she scanned listings online.  “I…

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Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, former associate publisher and editor at Cape Cod Life Publications, lives in Centerville where she grows vegetables and flowers for Cape farmers' markets, designs perennial gardens for her son’s company, Dewey Gardens, and enjoys living on beautiful Cape Cod year round.