Linda Gottuso-Guay: A Natural Gift
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA ROSA — When asked how she got into landscaping, Linda Gottuso-Guay credits both an innate ability and an uncommon opportunity. “I really believe part of it is genetic,” she says. “I come from a family of farmers on my mother’s side, and my father was a great artist and musician, so I was gifted with a passion for both nature and art. Later, when I met my husband, James, he recognized the natural talent I had. He was a structural engineer, and after we got married, we decided to put our talents together and form a landscaping business. Between his knowledge of construction and my artistic eye, we make a great team. We’ve been working together for more than 40 years, and now our daughter and her husband have joined us in the business, so it has become a real family affair.”
Today, as vice president of Manzanita Landscape Construction, Inc., Linda says she enjoys the process of arranging plants to both practical and artistic effect. “With the sheer diversity of plants available, knowing how to arrange them is crucial. I enjoy taking all the different elements and making them work together to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces.”
When she’s not remodeling landscapes, Linda can often be found working on her own home and property in Santa Rosa. “Over the years, James and I have made a lot of custom touches to our home,” she says. “I’m always redoing the interior or the landscape—that’s the designer in me, I can’t help it.” Linda also enjoys cooking at home and spending time with friends and family. “Many of our past clients have become good friends, so if we go out to dinner or host a party, it’s usually with them. We feel very blessed to have these long-term relationships.”
When asked what she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Linda says she’d divide her efforts between travel and philanthropy. “My husband and I have an RV, and we would love to take it out for a month at a time and tour the country. Assuming I had the money, I would also like to be involved in philanthropy. I love animals—I used to raise therapy dogs—and I would definitely be interested in supporting a cause like ending animal abuse.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite kind of food?
A: I’m Italian, so Italian food, of course.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Plants. I’m a plantaholic.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: It’s a tie between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: A cat.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
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A: There are a few. One is the snow skis my parents bought for me when I was a child. They didn’t have a lot of money, so that was very special. As an adult, I’d have to say the best gift was my children. I’ll also include the love notes my husband has written me over the years—I’ve kept them all.