A garden landscape created from scratch helped give Dayssi and Paul Kanavos's new Southampton home old-world charm.
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and her husband enlisted designer Christopher LaGuardia to turn barren yard into a serene oasis.
Dayssi and Paul Kanavos fell for a shingled home in Southampton, but as its owners dragged their feet in closing the sale, the couple noticed a spec house being built next door. It was very large, with no landscaping, just a pool, and it overwhelmed its setting. “It looked like a meteor dropped from outer space,” says Dayssi, a hotelier and luxury real estate developer with Flag Luxury Group.
Frustrated with the slow pace on the first home, the Kanavoses bought the spec house instead, enlisting LaGuardia Design Group’s Christopher LaGuardia to help with the landscape. The couple sought a serene environment, a peaceful escape from their hectic city life, with plants that would flower at different times of year, but nothing high maintenance.
LaGuardia installed a meandering driveway and layers of shrubs, hedges, and trees. “Chris brought in mature trees to define the parking area, making the house look as if it had been here forever,” says Dayssi. “He scattered evergreens and Japanese maples, surrounded the pool with Limelight hydrangeas, and added a layer of white hydrangea macrophylla. It blooms all summer long.”
A cutting garden attracts birds, bees, and butterflies. LaGuardia also added herb and vegetable gardens filled with lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. “We love it,” Dayssi says. “We’re like kids, seeing what comes up. Starting with the cherries in late April, something always opens.”
In June, wisteria covers a giant pergola in front of the pool house, creating a shady romantic area where the family dines alfresco at a long stone table. A large, open grassy area surrounded by trees is a popular spot for the kids’ soccer and baseball games. Says Dayssi, “Chris really listened to us, creating a wonderful environment for our family.” LaGuardia Design Group, 860 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 726-1403