Over the years, Bernard Schwartz’s Southampton garden has witnessed a memorable family wedding and a host of A-list attendees.
One of Southampton’s loveliest gardens belongs to tall, handsome Bernard Schwartz, who recently retired after 34 years at the helm of the satellite communications firm Loral Space & Communications. Recently widowed, the philanthropist and advocate of progressive public policies enjoys spending the summer on the magnificent four-acre estate that he and his wife, Irene, started working on more than 30 years ago.
“There was not much of a garden, a neglected apple orchard, and only one house,” he says of the property. Protected by lowlands, it faces the Shinnecock Reservation. “We loved seeing the water. Irene created the plan, putting in a pool, terrace, and many flower gardens. She lived long enough to see the project completed. My two daughters and four grandchildren can now enjoy her creation.”
Ray Smith and Madeleine Piro maintain the garden, with its pots brimming with flowers and trellis dripping with roses. Peonies and other perennials cheerfully welcome guests, their colors radiating like beacons across the well-manicured lawn. A cutting garden provides arrangements all season, and this year Schwartz is adding a vegetable garden. Two sculptures by Arthur Carter, installed by the Schwartzes about seven years ago, are focal points, providing a stately contrast to the foliage. The restored orchard produces baskets full of fruit from its 10 bountiful trees. And the allée has special meaning for the family, as it was the site of the wedding of one of their daughters.
Schwartz entertains often on the partially covered porch, once even hosting presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “We bring the garden inside, decorating our dinner table,” he says. “Southampton has never looked better. The community is well-maintained and beautiful. It is an extraordinary place!”Ray Smith & Associates, 27 Henry Road, Unit 1, Southampton, 287-6100; Madeleine Piro, Serene Scapes of Long Island; firstname.lastname@example.org.