When We Work With You, It's All About You.
But on this page, it's all about us!
At the age of 12, I realized I was a “plant person.” I fed that obsession by gardening for neighbors in my northern Maine hometown until college. At Connecticut College, I double-majored in Botany/Anthropology, and worked in the Arboretum. I was fortunate to learn under the tutelage of two influential botanists. One was the legendary, always-animated-in-the-company-of-a-plant, William A. Niering. Several times, I also visited the home and grounds of Niering’s predecessor, Richard H.Goodwin and his wife Esther. They, and others, instilled in me a great love and appreciation for natural landscapes and eventually, I became a Certified Landscape Designer from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
I settled on the Cape on 1986 (met Thom Huettner two weeks later) and was in business by the following year. Over the past three decades, I have had the privilege of working on numerous projects both small and large scale ranging from work for the Town of Dennis and their ancient cemeteries and various landscape issues, to directing the Falmouth Friendly Lawn project and recently completely redesigning and installing at the Yarmouth Police Headquarters, a 9-11 Memorial Park and adjacent garden of Memorials to Fallen Officers. In addition to these larger scale engagements I have equally enjoyed and worked on several residences across the cape and greater Boston area from completely new construction design, to reshaping existing gardens, or solving a specific smaller issue of an area within a garden.
I'm passionate about plants and our environment. I've been accused of being a tree-hugger and may even talk to the plants and to myself when I'm out roaming your yard, putting the pieces together in my mind. But every project begins with trying to be a good listener – to understand not just the scope but most important the story you want your garden to express. I have come to appreciate over these years that a critical part of a successful project is really understanding what you as a client desires both now and in the larger picture - since plants are always growing and evolving they represent a living canvas of organic art. It is the changing palette of color and interest that follows the seasons that is part of thoughtful landscape design – from knowing when a tree will lose (or not lose) its’ leaves to how those colors change month to month to knowing what bees, birds and butterflies will visit different parts of the garden during those times of the year. These considerations have come with experience and now a “second nature” instinct of what makes a garden work both as a look and a story.
About Shannon Goheen
Thom is a construction design wizard and hones his craft on various beautiful structures at his home and for others. Thom and Shannon often collaborate to see how any required garden structures can seamlessly fit into the overall design of a landscape. Thom brings his visual aesthetic sense and technical expertise to the landscape layout and construction process.
From an early age, he helped his father, an elevator construction mechanic, in carpentry and other home projects where he grew up in New Jersey. Thom received extensive training in mechanical drawing and became an architectural draftsman while still in high school. He worked both part-time and summers for architectural and engineering firms before completing college with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. Thom has since worked as an engineer for Ingersoll-Rand, marketing manager for Ringfeder Corp, and architectural and construction firms. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a registered EIT (engineer-in-training) and holds a construction supervisor’s license in the State of Massachusetts. He has done post graduate study in architecture at the Boston Architectural College.
He's community-minded, having spent years reviving the village of Dennis Port), still serving on the Town of Dennis Road Safety Task Force and Clerk of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC). He was the head designer of the recently installed 9-11 Memorial Park at the Yarmouth Police Headquarters on Higgins Crowell Road that features fabricated
stainless steel monuments, lighting and signage. He also masterminded an 11’tall welded custom trellis for a recent wedding celebration.
Additionally, Thom builds unusual and highly creative shadowbox frames for his wife's art, loves to fool around with his old dune-buggy, and sees the potential in most everything.
About T.hom Huettner
Horticulturist and Nurseryman, Dennis, MA
Our horticultural industry has always had consistent past plant performers. Coupled with these are new introductions each year that enhance our landscape options. It is refreshing to see some individuals who have the ability to incorporate both the new and the old to achieve a desired effect. Shannon is one of those individuals
We wanted to use native plantings that would require "manageable" maintenance in the future. Shannon understood our vision from the start and was able to capture the essence of what we were hoping for in an elegant yet natural design. She is our "yard whisperer! We wholeheartedly recommend Second Nature Gardenworks!”
Joe and Donna Potts
I have worked with Shannon for 12 years on two different sites. On this site we had an opportunity to create something beautiful, yet fitting and Shannon did just that, creating a beautiful native plant border that separates lawn from four acres of wilderness. I like working with Shannon through concept to design and implementation. Shannon is at the top of her trade