How Does Our Garden Grow, Then Wane?
Bidding Adou to the Summer Garden
With A Bit of Melancholy
Our East Hampton Garden
Bridget seems to know summer is coming to a close...
Each year we put effort into building an outdoor oasis
at our beach cottage in East Hampton.
We put up a good fight to the onslaught of deer, but
by mid-August they take hold of most of these buds.
For that reason, our patio garden is especially important. Under the protected pergola and close to the house, this a mixture of gardens sculptures, urns and potted flowers and herbs, is what truly thrives.
Diaries of a Complicated Garden
As a child, my favorite book was A Secret Garden. Something about the combination of this beautiful, neglected oasis mixed with this young girl wrestling with complex issues appealed to me. Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic fairy tale takes us to a young orphan girl sent to live with her uncle in his rambling yet lonely mansion. The secrets are set in the grounds with a neglected, cloistered garden she discovers, as well as a wheel-chair ridden cousin she did not know existed. The juxtaposition of this once gorgeous garden and her weak yet sour cousin set a nice base for a lovely transformation for everyone involved. The book also gave me a life-long appreciation for and love of gardens.
I do not profess, however, to be a gardener and that was my mother's forte in life, but I certainly appreciate a beautiful one and the meandering garden and "little rooms within a room" I call them that makes our outdoor landscapes special. Our beach cottage garden is not really a garden as much as it is aspirational. We have struggles with deer who have bitten our flowers to the quick, and have had to settle with having a nice patio garden in order to live in harmony with the ravenous families roaming the neighborhood. Either way, we love it and appreciate every last bud that survives and thrives. Under my pergola and on the patio closer to the back door the deer stay away and we've learned to work with this, and my husband planted wisteria and hedgerow around the pergola which are taking hold quickly. Each August, after a glut of hard work our garden transforms into our very own Secret Garden. So, it is with a special melancholy we pack up our car and head back to New York City for the school and work year, and I look back forlornly at our summer's work, a canvas that is just starting to fill in. What to do with this lovely piece of art we are just now starting to trim and perfect? Without the daily watering and the soon sudden climate change it will become just like the Secret Garden of my favorite book and fade away. Knowing this, I had incorporated antique urns, garden sculptures and points of focus so when the flowers fade there is still beauty. How lovely these garden relics look proudly wearing their patina. So, today let's dedicate this post to that transformation, a colorful summer garden fades to an Autumn oasis, mingled with garden urns and statues that hold their own against the grey washed winter in our future. I hope if any of you are making this transition as well, these images that follow will make it a little less painless.
Through my travels these past couple of years I've witness some gorgeous one of a kind gardens--here are snapshots I took inspiring a fall and winter garden...
garden gems in Kennebunkport, Maine
urban gardens in Paris' Maison Objet
a NYC garden at Elizabeth Street Gallery
a private, gorgeous garden in Venice, Italy
strolling the Garden District in New Orleans
checking out pretty homes and their gardens
spotting gorgeous garden shops in New York City