Landscape designer and Massachusetts Certified Horticulturalist, Susan Opton is a graduate of The Landscape Institute of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and practices private landscape design and consultation for residential projects nationwide. She is an active member APLD, NEHLDA, ASLA and COGdesign.
In 2001 Susan relocated from Los Angeles to the East Coast. A love of the outdoors and greenscape practices led her to a career change from her work in healthcare. Susan began Terrascapes as a landscape designer in 2003 and currently employs four landscape designers/project managers and eight fine gardeners focusing the work area in Needham, Wellesley, Weston, Natick, Dover, Medfield, Sherborn, Brookline, and surrounding areas.
In 2007 Susan worked closely with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Her desire to learn the best horticultural practices and to get involved with the Rose Kennedy Greenway project inspired her to join the Society as the on-site landscape designer. In this role, she took on many projects at the Society’s Elm Bank location in Wellesley. Susan designed the seasonal plantings in the Italianate garden located outside the historical Cheney – Baltzell manor house at Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA. These gardens were originally designed by the firm of Olmsted and Vaux of Brookline 1908-1928.
Other projects included concept plans for the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway parcels 12 & 13, during Mass Hort’s stewardship for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. In addition to her role as landscape designer, Susan also served as a landscape design instructor for the Norfolk Agricultural High School landscape design segment through the Massachusetts Horticultural Education Department.
Susan is an active volunteer for COGdesign, Somerville, Massachusetts, a non-profit service organization offering:
- quality landscape design for community-based groups;
- meaningful professional experience for student and practicing landscape designers;
- volunteer opportunities for those interested in strengthening communities by creating and improving neighborhood green spaces.
In addition to her volunteer work with COGdesign, she is dedicated to beautifying community spaces. In 2004 Susan designed a dedication garden for the retiring principal of Hillside Elementary School in Needham, MA. 2005. Susan helped beautify local Needham community spaces through her membership in the Needham Garden Club. In 2011, Needham Town 300 Committee invited Terrascapes to participate in their “Adopt a Space” program whereby Terrascapes now directly maintains a Needham community space for the town at the intersection of Highland Ave. & Chapel Street in Needham, MA.
A root philosophy of giving back to the environment and helping others is at the core of Susan’s landscape design and practice. She donates her landscape design expertise to many local auctions in order to help other individuals and organizations meet their fundraising goals.
Susan has been designing gardens in Boston Metro-West areas for the past 9 years and including outward areas such as Hudson, Melrose, Plymouth, Andover and Pembrook.