The 2013 Garden Tour
We welcomed spring
surrounded by lovely gardens, immersed in
appealing gardening ideas.
We enjoyed a day with
people who love gardening and gardens as much as we do.
The Society arranged, on
Sunday, June 9th, to make
available to the community an exciting collection of six local gardens
(plus a special bonus).
These gardens, each with a different theme, were chosen for their
unique qualities and to provide an interesting cross section of the
plantings and designs available in the area.
The gardeners were all available at each of the sites to discuss their
plants and plans.
Thank you to our Sponsors who have made this
Garden Tour possible.
The tickets were $25 per person.
The 2013 Gardens
Plant Collectors Garden
this property is less than 1/6 acre, it’s packed with nearly 290
varieties of perennials, shrubs, and small trees. Specimens have been
sourced from all over the country via mail order, as well as regular
road-trips to Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton and Broken Arrow
Nursery in Hamden, CT.
Included are over 5 varieties of Weigela, 6 varieties of Japanese
Barberry, 11 varieties of Heuchera, 12 varieties of Hydrangea, 23
varieties of ornamental grass, 27 varieties of flowering vine, and much
The limited space has provided a great opportunity to experiment
with creating small tree standards from a few select specimens that are
traditionally found as shrubs.
One of the more choice and unusual specimens is a variegated form
of River Birch whose foliage is splashed in irregular brushstrokes of
cream. A unique Bottle-Brush Buckeye shows off its long droopy wand-like
flowers. Included in the Japanese Barberry collection are 3 columnar
forms with different colors of foliage: one in plum, one in chartreuse,
and one in rust.
Come and join us in exploring the beauty of the Front Fence
Garden, the serenity of the Pond Garden, the whimsy of the Tear-Drop
Garden, the variety of the Dog Bone Garden, and the enticing fragrances
of the white-picket fence enclosed Vegetable and Herb Garden. You’ll
find much to explore and enjoy.
2. Manatee Bay--A
Like life, our gardens
constantly change. Over the years the berm garden that frames the pool
has been tamed and restructured. The pond area has been restored and
transitioned into shade gardens. The pond is restocked with koi and
goldfish that are descendants of fish that prior owners returned to us.
Storms have savaged the white pines, but they live on. Nana left us in
the Fall of 2011 but her garden continues to bloom. The gardens that we
planned, planted and nurtured make us all feel at home.
bought this property seven years ago, relocating from Bay Hills.. To
make it “home,” it needed gardens. In 2006, while the contractor’s
crews worked inside, we began the redesign of our gardens, pruning and
reshaping evergreens and privet and removing Miscanthus grasses from
around the pool. We planted our favorite perennials taken from our
former properties, such as daylilies, “Lullaby Baby” and “Joan Senior”
which celebrated our daughter’s birth and my mother’s love of
gardening. Hostas “Paul’s Glory” and “Jack of Diamonds” represented our
sons. We worked into the gardens plants that had been in my parents’
Bay Hills gardens and plants that came from friends. Mom transitioned a
stretch of non-descript lawn to “Nana’s Garden.” My husband claimed the
back side of the garage for misfit plants and his raised vegetable
garden. We commandeered the contractor’s backhoe to dig my perennial
garden along the privet hedge. We kept some of the gardens that we had
inherited from earlier owners. The ornamental junipers, known as the
“poodle-trees” flank a structure that was once a children’s summer
play-house. The imposing white pines where planted by the original
owners to mark the borders when they built the house after World War
II. Each spring we look forward to the daffodils and tulips that were
planted by my friend and a former owner and they are a reminder of her.
3. The Hillside
by a visit to Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France, this garden was Linda’s
birthday wish and it was her husband, Skip, who created this natural
eclectic garden. For two decades Skip has been adding new elements of
interest. All of the construction and planting has been with plants and
objects discovered by happenstance or fortune; friends and family have
contributed plants from their own gardens and two pieces of iron
sculpture, the dinosaurs, are on loan from the NY Tech art department
and look quite at home.
In September 1993, four
large trees were felled and moved to build berms. A bobcat expert
cleared and scraped out a 20’x40’ depression for the surplus swimming
pool liner that formed the pond. A stream and cliff for the waterfall
were completed and a nursery closeout provided many large rhododendrons,
and andromedas as well as Korean boxwoods. About five years later, a
trip to England inspired the building of the grotto. Rocks were bought
directly from a quarry and were delivered on an 18-wheeler.
The garden compliments the
Southwest design of the house and a rustic sculpture of Kokopeli invites
you in. There is a spectacular view from the deck. The garden has many
unique attractions: sculptures, water features, tree house, lily pond,
grotto, vegetable garden and more. A recent addition is the grape and
vine arbor and the grove of crepe myrtle and climbing roses. From there
one has a view of the gardens below.
Still a work in progress,
this Bay Hills garden reflects the owner’s appreciation for nature and
instills a sense of wonder and serenity for all who come to visit.
4. A Country Home
original house at 73 Bay Avenue dates back to about 1886. The land had
been part of the Simpson Farm, which stretched from the ridge of Bay
Avenue toward the harbor. In 1919 Fannie Brice, of Ziegfield Follies
fame, bought the house so that she could have a “country home” for her
family and where she could entertain her friends and famous guests. She
owned the home until 1946 when she moved to California. There were two
other owners between 1946 and 1983 when Lynn and George Pezold bought
the house. They have done a beautiful restoration.
Originally there was a
clear view down the hill to Huntington Harbor. When Fannie Brice
purchased the property it was planted with apple trees that bore
abundant fruit. In March, 1920 The Long-Islander reported that the
harvest of the previous fall had produced so many apples that Fannie
Brice purchased barrels for them to be sent to a New York City
orphanage. By the 1980’s the water view was mostly obscured during the
summer due to the growth of tall trees. There were older plantings.
“Senior citizen” mulberries, fruit trees and maples predominated at the
rear of the property. There were old roses to be rescued. A very
popular ground cover, now disparagingly known as “gout weed”, had to be
cleared. The line of “Annabelle” hydrangea was once one overgrown bush!
Lynn is a recent
president of the Nathan Hale Garden Club. She enjoys the peaceful,
natural setting and expanse of her landscape, which is planted with low
maintenance and native species. Garden tour visitors are invited for
refreshments on the lovely old-fashioned porch of this 1880”s country
home. Plants, gifts and garden items will be available for purchase.
5. The Memorial
2001, my husband, Thomas O’Neill, lost 68 people at his investment
banking firm, Sandler O’Neill & Partners, which was located on the 104th
floor of Two World Trade Center. Included among those who died were our
twenty-one year old nephew, our daughter’s childhood best friend, our
neighbor’s son, and many, many loved ones. It was utterly devastating.
Shortly after that day, I
decided to plant a memorial rose garden. I wanted to create a peaceful
and serene place where our family could go to remember the people we
I hired a landscape
architect to help me design the garden on a stretch of lawn by the side
of my house in Wincoma Beach. We chose 12 varieties of David Austin
English roses because they are fragrant and cultured from old roses. Two
rows with 68 bushes in different shades of pink were planted. At the
end of the rows stands a bronze fountain with a plaque dedicating the
garden to those who died and to the family and friends of Sandler
O’Neill. It also features a plaque containing a Native American prayer:
I give you this one thought to
keep, I am with you still, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain
When you waken in the mornings hush, I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at
Do not think of me as gone, I am with you still, in each new dawn
This rose garden has been planted
and annuals surround the garden. When I go there now, I do remember the
people we lost. I remember their smiles, their laughter, and the time we
spent together. I remember the good things.
in loving memory of family and friends
from Sandler, O’Neill and partners who
lost their lives in the World Trade Center
on September 11th, 2001
6. A Perennial Paradise
My garden is a
sacred passion for me. I began creating and designing it twenty six
years ago. Around 1991, I discovered Beth Chatto’s remarkable book,
where she advocates that each plant be given its specific cultural
requirements in order to thrive. For example, a clematis requires sun,
shaded roots, manure, good drainage, and sweet soil (lime). Each plant
in my garden, since then, has gone into the ground with its proper soil
amendments, light requirement, and other needs. My study of plants to
accomplish this goal, led me to be hired as a perennial specialist at
several local nurseries for over a decade. Now I am retired and, with
the splendid assistance of Carlo Nardelli over the past three years, I
have re-created most areas in the garden for lower maintenance in
respect to my aging!
The garden and ½
acre corner property sit beneath a leafy canopy of oaks, dogwoods, white
pines, etc... Half of the property surrounding the house is fenced in
and planted intensively with unusual dwarf shrubs, false cypresses,
grasses and perennials. Around the front of the property, outside the
fenced area, are many cultivars of viburnums, cryptomeria japonicas and
hydrangeas, in particular.
In the inner
sanctuary, paths wind through the plantings and around the two woodland
ponds in this ’all seasons’ garden. Since it is also a registered
wildlife habitat, many plants cater to butterflies, bees and rabbits. In
addition, I must admit that I am an avid plant collector and the
collections include many forms of: hostas, sempervivums, hardy
geraniums, hellebores, epimediums, heuchera, grasses, ferns, more
hydrangea serratas & macrophyllas and metal insects with a few antique
|Sold Out Ticket Sales at Kissam
|1. The Plant Collectors
|2. Manatee Bay - A Garden