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"Garden As Art" Takes An Interest In Water Vistas

Lee Fryd

Water Mill Gate to Meadow. (Photo: Abby Lawless)

Guild Hall turns to the Hamptons' magical waters for The Garden as Art: Water Vistas on Saturday, August 27th. The annual aspiration romp through the backyards of the one percenters will kick-off with breakfast and a symposium on how to save our surrounding seas. "The ponds are all collapsing at the same time," Garden as Art Tour Chair Edwina Von Gal told us. There is no doubt, our sewage, pesticides and fertilizers are poisoning our greatest natural resource.

High profile Georgica Pond is troubled by so much blue green algae that it killed a dog who drank from it and this summer, landed on Page 6. Hook Pond, Wainscott Pond, Sagg Pond, Old Town Pond and Lake Agawam are among those also in trouble. "In the bays, we found such high levels of bacteria directly related to sewage, parts of 65 beaches on the East End were closed last year to shell fishing," lamented Von Gal.

The Jennifer and Marc Lipschultz property. (Photo: Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects)

"This is a wakeup call, a strong message that it's not just one small group of people that are acting badly or one isolated incident. The East End is in a water shed," she noted. "Everyone's septic is going somewhere. And we are all in it together. But, there are solutions. We made the problem. We can unmake the problem."

Von Gal hopes this event will remind attendees that our water sources are vital to the community. "So, we are urging people to come to the lectures. Then, go the gardens, and contemplate how important those views and those water bodies are to us," she said. "We have a responsibility. We have to work with nature. And that doesn't mean going in, cutting it all down, blasting and spraying. It's about understanding: give a little take a little."

The cocktail party grounds will provide spectacular views. (Photo: Laura Perrotti)

A few years ago, Von Gal semi-retired from her high profile landscaping business to concentrate on creating holistic yard and garden practices via the Perfect Earth Project which she created three years ago, inspired by the Azuero Earth Project she helped found in Panama. "It's about building the health of your soil," she explained. "It's like your body. If your body is healthy, you don't need drugs. If your soil is healthy, you don't need to add stuff."

Until a new sewage system can be adopted by the towns, she urges all residents to support the clean water funding referendum in November. Start thinking macro. The Perfect Earth Project will give you free advice on how to have exactly the same quality of landscape at no additional cost, without toxins. And remember: Clorox, strong detergents and pharmaceuticals flushed down your drains go right back into our drinking water.

The Lyn and James Adamson Garden. (Photo: Laura Perrotti)

Registration and breakfast is at 9 a.m. at the Guild Hall Sculpture Garden. The lectures begin at 10 a.m., on Saturday, August 27th, moderated by Carl Safina, renowned scientist, scholar, prize-winning author, and well-known media personality. The gardens — on and/or about the water - will include the properties of Lyn and James Adamson; Carole and Alex Rosenberg; Jennifer and Marc Lipschultz; and Water Mill Gardens. The Patrons, Benefactors, and Co-Chair Cocktail Party is Friday, August 26th from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Garden Committee includes Kathleen Bifulco, Dianne Blell, Lucy Cookson, Barbara Dixon, Pamela Eldridge, Carol Mercer, Cheryl Minikes, Michelle Murphy, Alice Ryan, Mary Ryan, Jean Stiles, Suzanne Sylvor, and Anita Thomas.

Tickets begin at $100.

Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-324-0806 or visit www.guildhall.org.

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