'Garden Dialogues' Planned by Cultural Landscape Foundation on June 15 To Feature Three Homes - 27 East

Residence

Residence / 2258736

'Garden Dialogues' Planned by Cultural Landscape Foundation on June 15 To Feature Three Homes

icon 13 Photos
Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Cottage Garden by LaGuardia Design Group. ERIC STRIFFLER

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Dune Meadow by LaGuardia Design Group. MICHAEL STAVARIDIS

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Longview by LaGuardia Design Group. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

The LaGuardia Design Group office. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

The LaGuardia Design Group office. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

The LaGuardia Design Group office. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

The LaGuardia Design Group office. ANTHONY CRISAFULLI

Brendan J. OReilly on Jun 5, 2024

Three landscapes by Water Mill’s LaGuardia Design Group at private homes will open for ticketed visitors on Saturday, June 15, for “Garden Dialogues,” a program by the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

Garden Dialogues is a series held across the United States that presents landscape architects, architects and their clients in conversation at their project sites. Christopher LaGuardia, the founder and principal of LaGuardia Design Group, as well as a member of the Cultural Landscape Foundation board of directors, explained that Garden Dialogues is a fundraiser for the foundation and an exclusive private garden tour for a limited number of people to gain more insight into a garden than the typical garden tour.

“The goal is to have the clients and the designers speak to the audience about the process of building the garden, the challenges, the victories, etc.,” he explained.

LaGuardia and two of his LaGuardia Design Group partners, Ian Hanbach and Daniel Thorp, will each present a garden on the June 15 tour, which will start at the firm’s office and garden in Water Mill. Buses will take the guests to the three featured landscapes, and the last stop, at a home on Meadow Lane in Southampton Village by architect Blaze Makoid and builder Wright & Company, will include lunch on the ocean.

Dune Meadow

 

Thorp presents Dune Meadow, on Meadow Lane.

“It’s a coastal project, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and then Shinnecock Bay to the north,” Thorp said. “So it sits on a fairly kind of precious site, relative to coastal erosion and bayfront erosion.”

It also had “vertical challenges.” Because the house is in a flood zone, it needed to be built raised up, he pointed out. “The other challenge was that on the north side of the house there’s an existing wetland. So that came with a pretty large set of setback restrictions for the building envelope,” he added.

The area they could work in was squeezed between coastal setbacks from the ocean and wetland setbacks from the bay, consolidating the building envelope in the middle of the site, he said.

“Through working with local environmental agencies, we were able to spread out the site development from the south side of the house basically all the way to the dunes on the ocean side of the house through a coastal dune remediation plan,” Thorp said. “So the site grew from basically that half-acre building envelope to almost the entirety of the 7 acres, through working hand in hand with local environmental agencies for approvals to re-contour the existing dune system, which had become pretty dilapidated due to lack of maintenance and erosion, and been overtaken by nonnative, exotic species.”

The bayside had the same issue of being overtaken by nonnative vegetation.

“Given the rising tide on the bay side, there’s a lot of flooding issues across the surface of Meadow Lane, where the water levels rise from Shinnecock Bay,” Thorp said. “Because it’s a barrier island, the water floods right over the top of Meadow Lane.”

He said that 40 or 50 years ago, culverts were added to Meadow Lane to collect the water on the south side of the street rather than allowing it to flood the road. But then at some point, probably decades ago, the culverts were purposely blocked off to keep the water off the property. Thorp expects this was done because a previous owner wanted an ornamental garden with plants that would not survive in ponding water and would never naturally occur there.

“We actually unclogged the pipe, let the tidal waters flow through and reestablish the front of the property as a tidal wetland,” he said. “So once that saltish, brackish water rushed through the culvert pipe back from the bayside into the property, that began to reset the ecosystem.”

Freshwater plants died off, and LaGuardia Design Group planted tidal species, including Spartina grass, Juncus grass and switchgrass, which can live in brackish water.

Thorp said they took a property that had been malnourished and unsustainably developed and brought it back to a more natural and native state.

He said it’s important to look beyond the project scope that’s tailored to the client and look for the opportunity to make a major environmental impact at the same time. “All this development is going to happen, but we feel fortunate to be on the front lines of it and have the opportunity to right some wrongs in the past that were counter to the success of the site.”

He said the goal is to change the narrative and perspective on what these projects are all about: “Yes, they’re luxurious and exorbitant, but it’s also about sustainably redeveloping some of these sites that have serious issues out here.”

Cottage Garden

 

LaGuardia said Cottage Garden was an interesting project where the client was very involved in the design. “In fact, we left entire planting beds empty for her to be creative with. And so we did more of the bones of that garden,” he said.

Tony Piazza of Piazza Horticultural in Southampton also worked with the client, was integral to the garden design and will join the Garden Dialogues conversation, LaGuardia said.

LaGuardia Design Group created the master plan and got the infrastructure in place. “And then we allowed her space so that she could really feel like the garden was hers, and not just turnkey, walk away,” LaGuardia said.

The home at the site is a cottage that was renovated and updated by James Merrell Architects and expanded with a modern, flat-roofed addition.

Longview

 

Hanbach will lead the discussion at Longview, which started as a new construction project in the Two Trees subdivision in Bridgehampton, working with architect Martin Sosa of Arcologica on a “blank canvas.”

“We worked collaboratively with Martin and his team in siting the house and making sure that the architecture and the landscape were integrated, thoughtfully cohesive,” Hanbach said.

The clients are year-round residents, he explained, so the challenge was to create a landscape with layers of interest in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, not just seasonal for the summer. They addressed the challenge through their choice of plant material, using plants that will bloom in early spring and have beautiful fall foliage and berries in the winter.

He noted that the clients are very well traveled and have seen a lot of things and been to a lot of high-end resorts. They wanted a melding of resort-like detailing and lifestyle layout, with a very rustic and agrarian influence.

“The subdivision was an old horse farm, and so there are nods to that background,” Hanbach said. “As an example, there’s a black paddock fence out front, and that marked the properties on the subdivision.”

The clients also own many spiritually influenced sculptures from wellness retreats that were integrated into the master plan. “As you move into the different outdoor rooms, those become part of the experience,” Hanbach said.

The garden rooms are not necessarily compartmentalized, he said, but the relationship between the architecture and the geometries in the landscape layout is obvious. “They’re speaking to each other, and they’re meant to relate,” he said.

Hanbach has participated in Garden Dialogues events before and said he enjoys speaking to an audience that is not captive, but captivated.

Great Allies

 

LaGuardia said the Cultural Landscape Foundation is one of landscape architects’ great allies.

“They’re an advocacy group, in a lot of ways, to protect works of landscape architecture that sometimes are threatened by development,” he said. “Sometimes they’re threatened by neglect, and then people figure they just want to rip it out and start over, when, in fact, it was perhaps something done by a very famous designer that no one really knows about.”

The tagline of the organization is “Connecting people to places,” he said, noting that the foundation offers guidebooks for 20 cities around the country, a database of landscape projects around the United States, and oral histories with practitioners, some of whom are now deceased.

Register at tclf.org. The Saturday, June 15, tour will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $200.

You May Also Like:

Cover Crops for Better Soil

During the 1930s the Southern Plains region of the country was in the grips of ... 19 Jul 2024 by Andrew Messinger

Steven Stolman and Rich Wilkie: Living With Seaside Ease and the Gift of Entertaining

Living with finesse comes naturally to Steven Stolman and Rich Wilkie. Their Southampton condo displays ... 18 Jul 2024 by Staff Writer

The Summer Gardening Season Is off to a Fast Start

The summer gardening season is off to a fast start. The weeds are plentiful, the ... 12 Jul 2024 by Andrew Messinger

Water Hogs of the Hamptons 2024: Superusers Raise Costs for All

The Suffolk County Water Authority says that it sees some evidence that messaging about smarter ... 11 Jul 2024 by Michael Wright

Scott Baxter: Art and the Value of Sophisticated Living

Art collector Scott Baxter’s Wainscott home is a feast for the eyes. Injected with cultural ... by Tristan Dyer

Marders Offers Free Sunday Garden Talks

Marders in Bridgehampton is presenting a series of free garden talks on select Sundays throughout the summer and fall. Next up is “The Unending Battle — Fighting Pests & Fungus” on July 14. The start time for this talk and all the others is 10 a.m., with an expected event duration of one hour. On July 21 is “Building a Hummingbird Garden,” and on July 28 is “Planting for a Fabulous Fall Garden.” After taking the first week of August off, the talks resume on August 11 with “Houseplants: Choosing the Best — Their Care and Maintenance.” On August 25 ... 4 Jul 2024 by Staff Writer

Summer Reading for the Real Estate Obsessed

“Summer Rental” by Mary Kay Andrews will have you wondering if your life is going ... by Joseph Finora

A Honeybee Hoax?

For the past two decades, scientists and beekeepers have been sounding the alarm — honeybee ... by Lisa Daffy

Water Wise

As southeastern New York was in its first heat wave of the season in late ... by Andrew Messinger

The Fishels’ Refreshed Bridgehampton Residence Exudes Charm

Entering Maria and Kenneth Fishel’s Bridgehampton residence presents an immediate sense of purified hospitality. Visitors ... 2 Jul 2024 by Tristan Dyer