By Peter Marino
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“A friend came to visit me in early June when the garden is at its most beautiful and announced, ‘This could only be the garden of an architect—and an American one at that.’ When I asked what she meant, she explained that it was because I’d created a series of different outdoor ‘rooms,’ all squares or rectangles, with everything organized on a single axis that goes from the cow sculpture, on one side of the house, all the way to the bull sculpture, on the other side. And she was right! These are the sorts of things architects obsess over.”
– Peter Marino, from the introduction
Peter Marino offers an unprecedented look at the gardens of his Hamptons home on New York’s Long Island, where he has transformed a once indifferent property into a private paradise over the course of two decades. The quintessentially American landscape deftly juxtaposes formal aspects such as a proper rose garden and carefully curated plants, trees, and evergreens with playfully informal touches like flower beds planted in untamed blocks of purples, pinks, reds, and yellows, an apple orchard, and the nearly forty sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne whimsically interspersed throughout. Seasonal floral highlights include the bold blooms of azaleas in spring, vibrant roses in June, and a bounty of hydrangeas in summer.
“Fantasy has been a powerful element in my design for the garden. I have this ‘Alice in Wonderland’ idea in my head that a garden should be a place of wonderment,” says Marino. “The French use gardens to show grandeur and the English to show how things have endured for hundreds of years, but for me they’re all about fantasy.”
Photography © Jason Schmidt and Manolo Yllera.