Inside Hamptons Gardens
BY JAMEE GREGORY
Joan and Bernard Carl’s breathtaking garden, Little Orchard, in Southampton was designed by Joan Carl, Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel
Want to peek behind the hedges? Look no further than Assouline’s Hamptons Gardens, written by East Hampton resident Jack DeLashmet and photographed by Mary Ellen Bartley and Doug Young. The green linen-bound book, which comes sheltered in a splendid lilac-covered box, will not disappoint.
I love the mix of both vintage and current photographs. Pal Marcia Meehan’s 1960s lawn party, with girls in cocktail dresses and men in ties and jackets, nonchalantly smoking, seems far removed. My late friend Anne McDonnell’s wedding to Henry Ford, in 1940, captures the essence of Southampton weddings by the hedges today, minus morning coats. Delicately colored gardens from the Roaring Twenties provide history, the past illuminating the present.
The text offers context, describing legendary estates and capturing changing tastes. Having myself spent happy evenings at Keewaydin, built in 1919 and formerly owned by Henry and Linda Mortimer (then Anne Eisenhower), it’s fun seeing present owners tackle the poultry house and stables, moving ancient trees and simplifying. New residents nod to their predecessors or look to the future. Gardens evolve from Victorian to ultra modern, like Larry Carlson’s Bridgehampton creation, a mowed meditation labyrinth. Barbara Slifka’s Sagaponack garden, concepted by Eric Groft of Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, makes sense. Easy-to-maintain designs command attention.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARY ELLEN BARTLEY & DOUG YOUNG