Ashley McDermott's Southampton garden includes flower-filled spaces perfect for outdoor entertaining.
Cheerful red wicker chairs encircle the fire pit surrounded by white hibiscus and hydrangea.
“I wanted something that looks as good in the spring and fall as in the summer,” says writer Ashley McDermott of her Southampton garden. “Part of the reason I fell in love with this house [is that] it reminded me of my childhood home in California, surrounded by year-round flowers.”
To create her dream garden, McDermott enlisted Nantucket landscape designer Elizabeth O’Rourke, with whom she had worked before. The garden includes many different flowering trees, like pear, apple, and cherry, along with peonies, that explode into bloom in spring. “I selected a white, pink, and lilac palette,” says McDermott of the landscape that includes a number of outdoor “rooms,” as well as a cutting garden used to fill the house with flowers. “My teenagers love lunch in the sunken walled-in garden,” she says. “We hang out around the fountain, enjoying the boxwood, which surrounds white tulips, for breakfast and dinner.”
The nearly two acres of gardens also play host to an annual family party. A dance floor is created under a giant oak tree, while torches guide guests through the gates, past rose topiaries, antique benches, and hand-painted blue-and-white pots filled with white impatiens and white roses. Says McDermott, “We spend as much time outside as possible!”