The 2014 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 8th, to make
available to the community an exciting collection of six local gardens.
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 2014 Gardens
Cottage on the Cove
Joe longed for a home
on the water. Karen, with her passion for gardening, was in need of
more sun. In 2000 they found a small cottage for sale in Wincoma that
had been uninhabited for several years, was neglected, but was their
first and only choice.
The prior owner was a Harvard grad of landscape
architecture and had once tended the garden with care but now the
grounds and the house were encased in English ivy. As Karen and Joe
cut back the ivy, they found a brick patio, a meandering wall and many
shrubs. They removed bittersweet, honeysuckle and poison ivy by hand and
on the lower level they cleared a forest of black locust trees. Once
each area of the property was cleared the gardens were designed around
existing trees and shrubs. With much transplanting, they created the
feel of a well-established garden.
Karen is a garden designer with over 20 years of experience.
Her designs include selections of shrubs and perennial groundcovers, a
theme repeated throughout this property. A natural garden that enhances
the sloping terrain and water view was the ultimate goal.
Hurricane Sandy brought down a double trunked 70 foot tall
oak, damaged two retaining walls and the fence. The damaged gate
overlooking the harbor is a reminder.
This garden is a labor of love. Joe has carefully built the
walls and has recycled the former patio stone to add stone details on
the property. The wall at the bottom of the back staircase shows his
Karen uses well-worn garden
ornaments to maintain the charm of the older home and grounds. With no
outside help they have created a beautiful setting for this small
cottage on the cove.
Through the Postern Gate
In 1976, my wife and I moved from a four-room apartment into a
twenty-room colonial home, completed in 1933. When we came here, the
grounds were extremely overgrown. It took four years of intensive work,
to clear the property before we could plan the landscape. Since the
house is formal, and large, we decided on an estate look in front and an
English garden in the Italianate style in back. Over the next thirty
four years, the grounds and associated hardscape have evolved to what
you see today.
As you enter the driveway through an allée of Japanese
dogwoods, pass to the left of the Japanese threadleaf maple. The front
door is flanked by a spreading English yew and a Japanese dwarf white
pine. Ahead, is the stylized moongate to the Zen garden, which will be
seen later. Left of the gate is an impressive stand of double-file
viburnums and two large hollies. The tree opposite the front door is an
You will enter the back garden through the postern gate,
passing under a pergola supporting a trumpet vine. The small tree ahead
is Franklinia, named for Benjamin Franklin in the 1770’s. The major
courtyard is a fifty-foot circle, created by the removal of sixteen
ten-wheel dump trucks full of soil, and the construction of the wall
with 2,000 concrete blocks and 14,000 bricks. The delicate trees are
crepe myrtles. Pass the screened porch, turn left to the Zen garden,
our most recent addition.
Turn around and walk up the viburnum tunnel to the English
flower border, the shade garden and” Cryptomeria Walk.” When you are
ready, exit the gardens through the large gate in the fence to the right
of the shade garden.
This garden is our labor of love and our joy. It continues
to be an outlet for creativity and is a work in progress.
you drive north on West Neck Road, past the Lloyd Harbor Police Station,
You will find 2 Banbury Lane on the left. You will walk up the hill to
a home in a wooded setting and a garden twenty years in the making.
Peonies and roses line the driveway but twenty years ago the property
was nothing but debris and overgrowth. Now there are many specimen
plantings that make for a magnificent setting and a home that reflects
the efforts and vision of the owner.
Around the pool you will see boxwood, roses, hydrangea,
viburnum and a weeping cherry. Fountains and birdbaths give the feel of
an English garden while the mahogany pergola with essential cooling fans
and lights and an award-winning Jacuzzi are spectacular modern features
of this summer outdoor entertainment area.
As you continue your stroll you will find an unexpected
hidden garden with a working fountain outside the basement entrance.
You will enjoy the circular rock garden and plantings of annuals and
perennials that make this garden visit a memorable delight.
Diverse Natural Garden
This large, long-established garden welcomes guests to many growing
conditions. Wet, dry, sandy, marsh, full sun and shade are the various
challenges to the homeowner, a talented gardener
Natural gardening, with a diverse plant population, catches
your eye as you wander through the property. The entrance from
Hawthorne Court is delineated by mixed borders of hydrangea, spirea and
azalea, a variety of astillbe, fern, hostas, and Solomon Seal. The
garden flows to the left of the house down a short flight of steps past
dogwoods and hydrangeas. A sweeping lawn appears punctuated with
specimen trees edged with azaleas, Siberian iris and natural woodland.
Next to the house is a swimming pool. Outside the pool fence is a
garden with red twig dogwood, black pussy willow and dwarf crape myrtle
and abelia. Down the grassy slope lies a pond fronted by a grove of
bamboo. An old tree surrounded by a bench gives shade to the visitor
who wishes take in this tranquil setting.
Moving around to the other side of the house, one encounters
a large lawn boarded by natural gardens that blend the untamed wetlands
with the more manicured layouts closer to the house. Up near the side
of the home you’ll view a variety of hostas of all sizes. Lady’s mantle
flourish in the damp soil. Harry Lauders Walking Stick, creeping pussy
willow, dwarf rhododendron and azalea flank either side of the steps.
Look up to see the white flowers on the underside of the Japanese
Just last month, three 100- foot white pines, originally
planted by the homeowner’s father in 1950, were removed. Gardeners are
constantly developing their gardens, and this bare, newly sunny area now
presents the next challenge.
This ever evolving property is full of delightful surprises
in plantings, colors and textures that blend in to the natural wetlands.
5. Visions and Views
"Perfection is attained not
when there is nothing more to add,
but when there’s nothing left to take away."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
when my wife and I first entered our house, we gazed out the back bay
window and witnessed a wilderness of outsized perennials and overgrown
yews. The vegetation blanketed nearly everything and the yews stood
like massive immoveable green boulders. Fortunately, Linda saw past all
of this and recognized the potential that was hidden beneath this
If a weed is a plant that is not valued where it is growing,
then Linda and I spent the first few years getting rid of a lot of
weeds. As it turns out, the yews not only looked like boulders, but
also proved to be nearly as difficult to remove. Gradually, however,
the garden revealed itself. The first year we discovered a hidden stone
wall behind the pool. A season later we unearthed a path beside the
barn that lead to a natural stone fireplace. Over the years, as we
peeled away layers of undisciplined growth, the garden took shape and
Linda attended to the plants and shrubs while hardscape
became my passion. We have had the able and invaluable assistance of a
Master Gardener and, together, the three of us have created the
sanctuary that Linda saw in her mind’s eye thirty-one years ago. We
think of our garden as another living space that exists outside of the
four walls of our home and it has been, and remains, a source of
pleasure and comfort.
6. On the Mill Pond
When we moved into our house on Mill Pond in 1987, the landscaping
consisted of some very nice trees and extremely over-grown, oddly shaped
yews. There wasn't a flower in sight. Back then the only thing I knew
how to grow was impatiens. I knew nothing about gardening, but I
started taking classes at the New York Botanical Garden and quickly
At first I planted hydrangeas everywhere--they seemed to look
good with the house--then lots of boxwood, grasses, hostas, day lilies,
roses and just about every perennial imaginable. I also developed a love
of unusual annuals and as a result, I wound up starting Willow Garden
Design, a business that specializes in container gardens. I like to mix
perennials, annuals and succulents in containers. I have pots all over
the property. I used to have a lot of perennial beds, but the
maintenance was overwhelming so I scaled back. A well-placed container
in a bed is sometimes all the color you need for impact, plus it's a lot
easier to maintain. For years I have been trying to grow lavender but
it always seemed to die. I accidentally discovered that it flourishes
planted in drive- way gravel as long as it gets enough water. Now I
have it growing in a gravel bed that runs along the bottom level of the
backyard close to the pond. It seems very happy there.
You are welcome to come to our Victorian home and to enjoy
the water view as you stroll about the garden with its beautiful
planters and fanciful surprises. You may rest for a while with a cool
drink and some sweet confections and you are invited to the patio to
browse our Garden Boutique’s offerings of plants, gift certificates and
|Ticket Sales at
Through the Postern Gate
Diverse Natural Garden
|6. On the
Refreshments and Boutique