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Guild Hall’s Garden As Art Tour Explores Farm To Table In The Hamptons

Lee Fryd

A colorful garden at Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley's home. (Photo: Lee Fryd)

"Taste this," said Bob Weigel, as he took a cherry tomato off the vine he and wife Terry planted. Underlying the washes of color and seascapes on the Guild Hall's The Garden As Art: Garden to Table Tour (taking place on Friday, August 21st and Saturday, August 22nd) is the incomparable burst of warm, sensual flavor in fresh picked food. Guild Hall once again embraces the theme of toxin free, home grown that was so successful last year. Hamptons.com was privy to a preview tour.

A pop of color in the Merrill/Hartley garden. (Photo: Lee Fryd)

Farm to table is taken quite literally in these homes. Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley's chef designed their garden to source his menus. Alexandra Munroe and Robert Rosenkranz harvest enough to feed their friends, family, staff and a senior home. Barbara and Lloyd Macklowe's grandchildren make "Grandma's Applesauce" from their apple trees, espaliered to a stuccoed wall for a dramatic effect.

Other gardens in the tour: The Gardiner's Bay views of Marshall Watson's Springs home on a bluff; and Lucy and Steve Cookson's Devon Colony, Amagansett Edwardian manor designed around a garden that provides root vegetables and fruits for the family.

Garden lover tickets will include a special Continental Breakfast in the Guild Hall Sculpture Garden, donated by the Golden Pear. Conceived by Chef Ann Cooper, it will be sourced locally, from Amber Waves Farms, Carissa's Breads, and Balsam Farms, and feature goodies from Mimi Farmers Market Vendors, Lucy's Whey, c/o The Maidstone, Bonac Bees, and Dr. Fedorenko True Organic. Sorry bagels and packaged cream cheese, this year's gluten offerings will be from Amber's wheatberry's. Following breakfast, there will be a panel, led by Brian Halweil, editor of Edible East End, and featuring Katie Baldwin, co-founder of Amber Waves Farm; Chef Ann Cooper, author, educator and national food policy advocate; Tony Piazza, landscape designer; and Nick & Toni's Chef Joe Realmuto, on "Edible Landscapes." There are also farm stops and special offers available at Amber Waves, "U-Cut," Balsam, Bhumi, Quail Hill and Fire Place Farms.

The home of Barbara and Lloyd Macklowe. (Photo: Lee Fryd)

"We'll address this whole explosion of farm to table and how everyone wants to be growing their own and eating organic," said Landscaper Tony Piazza.

Lovely hydrangeas at Barbara and Lloyd Macklowe's home. (Photo: Lee Fryd)

Patron tickets also get a cocktail reception at Cheryl and Michael Minikes' East Hampton Village "Forest Retreat," a combination of outdoor garden "rooms" and expansive lawns, designed by Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects.

Benefactor and Co-Chair patrons get all that, plus lunch at the East Hampton Village home of Alan and Jackie Mitchell, co-owner of the artisanal Lucy's Whey, sourced from her garden, once part of the old Osborne Farm.

"The big thing we've all looked to do," Garden Committee Chair Geoffrey Nimmer told us, "is provide some form of education, opening people's eyes to different ideas."

Don't care a fig about homegrown? No worries. These gardens are as lush, color-filled and spectacular as its title "Garden As Art," suggests. Looking at the fields of hot pinks and purples in photographer/artist Barbara Macklowe's garden, we saw a colorist at work. Her garden inspired photos will be on display during Lawrence Fine Art's "Barbara Macklowe: Floreale," opening Saturday, August 22nd. Alex Munroe, who founded the Guild Hall Garden Tour, uprooted the classic vegetable gardens design. "We don't do rows," she said. She does "form, sculpture and color."

Terry and Bob Weigel's meadows and vegetable gardens designed by Geoffrey Nimmer. (Photo: Lee Fryd)

Tickets begin at $100.

For more information about Garden As Art, visit www.guildhall.org.

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