"You don't need chemicals to have a great garden," Edwina Von Gal, Garden as Art chair, addressed a clutch of visitors to the first stop on this year's Guild Hall Garden as Art tour. As she did in years past, Von Gal emphasized Guild Hall's commitment to environmental preservation, with a program focused on bringing key science to the beauty of nature.
At Carole and Alex Rosenberg's tranquil property overlooking Mecox Bay, purple tinged grasses enhance the look of the gray-shingled house, its vegetable garden, pool and pool house. Von Gal introduced the gardener, Holger Wineger, who explained how the designer team Oehme, van Sweden & Associates came to work together, and collaborate with the Rosenbergs, always with an environmental agenda. Winegar explained the origins of the shrubs and grasses. The black-eyed susans, he pointed out, came from Germany. Eluding authorities, Wolfgang Oehme hid his cuttings in a coffee can.
Our tour continued to another part of Watermill, to another view of Mecox Bay, to a property tastefully modern, with organic plantings. Frederico Azevedo of Unlimited Earth Care escorted visitors around the next property, on Kellis Pond in Bridgehampton. A meditation garden on moss brought a Zen-like peace. Ed Hollander was responsible for the last, in Sagaponack. Giant pastel hued hydrangea adorns the grounds, housing literally a playground, pool, yes, but full basketball and tennis courts too. The ample pleasures of seeing how gardens are designed for beauty with respect for ecology augment my need to be educated, and become nature savvy.
On August 27, guests can view the gardens for themselves, preceded by a discussion with Carl Safina moderating a panel of water experts on this most valuable resource: Sarah Meyland and Sandra Postal.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.