As much as water and light, the Hamptons is also about our gardens. We inherit and/or create them. They reflect life’s seasons in their buds, blooms and withered refuse. Or so we were thinking, as Mark Fichandler described how he, co-chair Barbara Slifka, and the 31st Annual Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) Garden Tour team had to imagine how the gardens would look in full bloom next week, as they walked through their skeletal bones in February. Now, it’s our turn to walk through the gardens, open to the public, Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., to benefit the Animal Rescue Fund. It’s a glimpse not only into seven private East Hampton Village gardens, but the vagaries of their planners: mortal and divine.
The gardens of Dr. Richard Axel, Susan and Frank Dunlevy, Alex Goren and Brooke Kroeger, Carol and Paul Mendez, Jackie and Alan Mitchell, Scott Sanders and Peter Wilson, and Frances Schultz will be on display to those who purchase $85 tour tickets. Free entry to Madoo Conservancy is also included. Libby and Shahab Karmely will open their home, built originally for Sarah Diodati Gardiner, for cocktails, on Friday, June 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to $175 ticket holders.
“We always do different homes and Hamptons towns each summer,” Fichandler told us. “We keep it geographically tight, so you don’t have to traipse all over the East End. It’s challenging to find fabulous, new, different and underexposed sites. It’s a real team effort between Barbara and me, the committee and ARF employees to do so.
“This year, there’s quite a nice variety, starting with this really charming village garden 1920s cottage,” he continued. Frances Schultz, a contributing editor to House Beautiful magazine, named it Bee Cottage, after the tiny buzzing workers that are drawn to beauty.
Carol and Paul Mendez have a low light garden. “Everyone has shade,” Mark agreed, “and everyone says, ‘What am I going to plant?’ There’s also a pathway that wanders around the house that you’re going to love!”
“The Richard Axel landscape is all about specimen trees pruned within an inch of their lives that are just magnificent,” Fichandler continued.
“Right on the corner of Further Lane and Two Mile Hollow Road is the Asian themed garden of Scott Sanders and Peter Wilson,” Fichandler added. “It’s got a lot of elevation, which is unusual in the Hamptons and quite vertical: You go up and down and around.”
For more information or for tickets visit www.arfhamptons.org or call 631-537-0400 x219.