HC&G Celebrates 20 Years of Gardening

HC&G's editor at large reminisces on 20 years of gardening in the Hamptons.
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HC&G’s editor at large, Alejandro Saralegui.

For the past 20 years, HC&G has been chronicling all things green for an audience of passionate, devoted gardeners. Some things have changed, such as the movement away from the Hamptons holy trinity of boxwood, hydrangea, and ‘New Dawn’ roses to the latest obsession with native meadows. Other things, meanwhile, have remained the same: our good fortune with weather, soil, top-notch suppliers, and talented garden designers and landscape architects, not to mention the fact that gardening is and always will be hard work. Minimalist gardens have lately become the rage, although they are anything but low maintenance.

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A sculpture is the focal point of this garden by landscape designer Edmund Hollander. Photograph by Tria Giovan.

As HC&G’s editor at large, I have had the great pleasure of visiting our area’s most stunning gardens, many of them among the best in America: from Mrs. William Rayner’s Woody House on Georgica Pond to Leonard and Louise Riggio’s sculpture garden in Bridgehampton to the extraordinary natural landscape at the home of Sandy and Steve Perlbinder in Sagaponack. Additionally, our community is deeply involved with and supportive of local garden tours, rosarian societies, and internationally regarded public gardens such as LongHouse Reserve and the Madoo Conservancy, where I have my day job as executive director.

How will Hamptons gardens evolve in the years to come? Gardens have been a part of home life since the first Colonists arrived on the East End (just take a spin through the early-18th-century dooryard garden at Mulford Farm for proof), and the pandemic has led to a revived interest in our agrarian DNA. Climate change, challenges to species health, and reduced resources have led many gardeners to work their land organically. The upside of the effort: saving our ponds, bays, and groundwater, protecting animal species and the natural food chain, and ultimately saving the planet. As the saying goes, the future is ours.

The print version of this article appears with the headline: 20 Years of Gardening – Green Acres.