This charming yard features dwarf fountain grasses, boxwoods, and limelights, with sweetbay magnolias on either side of the French doors and honey locusts mirroring each other at the planting-bed corners.
How we know him: In 2000, Michael Derrig founded Landscape Details, one of the Hamptons’ premier landscape design and building firms. Its full-service approach encompasses every aspect of a home’s outdoor spaces, from initial design to ongoing maintenance—the company even has its own tree farm. “We do everything from large-scale planning to small, intimate garden spaces,” he says. “There’s a vast set of skills that we need to be able to pull a whole landscape together.”
Getting started: A graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in landscape architecture, Derrig says, “I was always interested in building things. On my 10th birthday, my mother bought me a circular saw, and I built my first brick patio when I was 12 years old and living in a condominium in New Jersey.”
Form follows function: “Key elements to a good design are the right proportions, the right special concepts, the right structure to how the spaces are going to unfold. The aesthetics have to complement the basic needs of the site.”
What’s hot? “People are looking for a simplified landscape. It’s clean lines, more geometry, and sleek rectilinear designs. It goes along with the modern and transitional look of indoor spaces—that’s being brought outside, too. But the biggest thing, I’d have to say, is that bluestone is out and white stone is in. Fifteen years ago, everybody put in bluestone patios, but nobody wants it anymore.”
Environmental consciousness: “Sustainable and toxic-free landscaping is important to us. We try to come up with the best creative solution with the least impact on the environment, and everything is site-specific within its own micro-climate.” About the East End’s organic trend, Derrig adds, “I’m seeing a lot more vegetable gardens.”
Office appeal: “I’m excited about our new office in East Hampton. It’s only two minutes from where I live, and it’s an old restaurant that I converted. And I built a big garden out back with a reflecting pool where we can host events.” 103 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton, 725-0018