Log In   ·   Become A Member

Hamptons Winter Garden Activities

Mar Jennings

  |   1 Comment · Print Article

February is a great time to force branches of flowering trees and shrubs. (Photo: aloha_17/istockphotos.com)

I love the Hamptons in the Winter! As the tourists migrate back to the city the real troopers and diehards nestle away for the off-season, ready to enjoy the pleasures of lack of crowds and the ability to get reservations at restaurants! When I visit my Southampton rental it is the perfect time to enjoy the natural beauty that makes the Hamptons so wonderful. I wander in the village, take in the beaches, which allow dogs, and come to a peaceful place. It's a home away from home. But no sooner than I've relaxed than my gardener's internal voice starts up: I know there is work to be done.

Once you call yourself a gardener, there is no reprieve. That means there is always something that can be done in the garden. Early on, novice gardeners may feel deprived in the winter as they believe there is nothing worth focusing on—or that winter is a vacation from gardening. But as your skills and knowledge increase, quite often so does your passion. Here are a multitude of ideas to clue you in that "it's not too late to....and it's never too early for" gardening—even in the winter.

A sunny day. Perfect for cleaning up debris from recent storms or putting down a bit of extra mulch on something that was recently planted. It's also a good time to trim and reshape flowering trees, while assessing any winter damage that may require immediate attention. Consider prepaying or contracting for tree service throughout the season; it ensures that your trees get the attention they deserve and most likely will get you a discount.

Assess the situation. Take a walk in your garden with a pencil and pad, noting where you might want to move something or divide a perennial. You may consider removing a tree or selective branches to allow additional light into your garden beds. If you decide to remove a tree, make plans to plant another on your property; pick a strategic location, and pick a tree that adds year-round interest because of its shape and bark.

Prune time. I love wisteria. If you want it to flower, then it's not too late to prune and it's definitely not too early. Wisteria must be pruned twice a year, once in the early summer and again in the winter (ideally in February.) I love being outside trimming my wisteria knowing that soon I will be sitting under a canopy of beautiful purple flowers. For winter pruning, trim the long shoots down to three to five buds. You will also want to trim any long unruly shoots remaining from the previous season. Make sure your shears are sharp and that you make a clean cut.

Force it. February is also a great time to force branches of flowering trees and shrubs. Trim small branches of Forsythia, Bradford Pear, Crabapple, Ornamental Cherry, Lilac, Pussy Willow and Magnolia. Place them in a large container of warm water. Trim the ends at an angle two inches above the original cut and place in temperate water in a large vase. Flower preservative is a good idea but not necessary.

This winter, remember that the Hamptons is where you want to be. Not just because of the beautiful sea views, the crowd-less shopping or the fabulous restaurants. But also the ability to get things done without any distractions. (Besides, the world-renowned privet hedges are somewhat bare, so getting out allows you to take a peek, too!)

Maybe we'll run into each other. I'll be at Robert's in Water Mill quite a bit. There you will find me not just dining, but planning my winter garden activities—with a MARtini in my hand.

And there you have it.

Mar is an Emmy Nominated TV Host, Lifestyle Expert and best-selling author of "Life On Mar's, A Four Season Garden," that chronicles the evolution of his Westport, Connecticut garden. www.marjennings.com MarJennings

Related Articles:

Guest (Paul) from Hampton Bays says::
Great advice. I dread the Spring garden start because I feel behind, but this makes it easy to feel like I've gotten ahead this year!
Feb 19, 2013 2:44 pm


Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

BNB Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Brown Harris Stevens is the quintessential luxury real estate firm, with a history of leadership and a culture of professionalism and discretion dating back to 1873
Brown Harris Stevens is the quintessential luxury real estate firm, with a history of leadership and a culture of professionalism and discretion dating back to 1873. At every level of Brown Harris Stevens, you will find highly experienced, knowledgeable experts, single-mindedly devoted to your interests and your satisfaction. With offices in the Hamptons, New York City, Palm Beach, and Miami our brokers are exceptional - leading the field with the quality of their work ethic, their outstanding success rate and the sheer quantity of their transactions.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.