Secret Gardens of East End Inns
by jamee gregory
Is there anything more enchanting than a beautiful garden? For me, time spent outdoors in a breathtaking botanical setting that someone has cared enough to cultivate completes a peaceful Hamptons weekend. There are two inns out East that offer visitors the opportunity to indulge in the pleasures only a magnificent garden can provide.
Amagansett’s Inn at Windmill Lane was in disrepair, covered with vines and rotting trees, when it was first discovered. With the help of Matt Stengel of Hampton Rustic, the inn was reimagined as several separate buildings (a main house and three guest cottages) with gardens, walkways, and fences covered in new dawn roses, uniting the property. European beech hedges and eastern red cedars, 60-foot dawn redwood, viburnum, taxus, and holly encircle the perimeters. Rolling lawns were installed, and arbors were constructed as focal points; the largest is covered with Kiwi vine, while the others are bedecked with climbing hydrangea and beech. Lavender grows beneath flowering hedges of blue hydrangea. “The gardens definitely revived the whole corner,” says Stengel. “People stop when they see them.”
The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton, revived by owners Bob Rosen and Antonella Bertello, is equally charming. Gardener Felix Palacios tends to climbing French hydrangeas and boxwoods, along with a vigorous 200-year-old wisteria vine covering a pergola. Fragrant gardenias surround the back door, and scaveola and white impatiens thrive here, along with immense arborvitae, maple, lindens, and cryptomeria that screen the inn and carriage house. Hydrangeas add texture and color throughout the property, and a new herb and vegetable garden is created each year. Magnolias bloom in the spring, and soft ferns dot the property, which, as guests wander around, feels like their very own Garden of Eden. Inn at Windmill Lane, 23 Windmill Lane, Amagansett, 267-8500. The Baker House 1650, 181 Main St., East Hampton, 324-4081
photography by eric striffler (baker house, windmill lane)