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Hamptons Gardens Highlighted In The Garden Conservancy’s Upcoming Open Days

Abby Cummings

Proceeds from the Open Days Program supports The Garden Conservancy. (Courtesy Photo)

On Saturday, June 25th, you can explore five prestigious private gardens in Montauk, Sagaponack, and Bridgehampton, as part of The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program. The event is open to the public and the self-guided tours support The Garden Conservancy.

These extensive East End properties feature several goldfish and koi ponds, collections of rare and unusual trees, shrubs, groundcovers and bulbs, garden sculptures, a wetland walk and an artist's studio.

Susan and Louis Meisel's garden in Sagaponack. (Photo: The Garden Conservancy)

The garden of Ngaere Macray and David Seeler in Amagansett is one of the featured stops during the open day's program. Seeler is the owner of the Bayberry Nursery, which his garden clearly reflects and it also reveals his personal taste. Originally a wildflower meadow, Macray and Seeler's landscape has evolved into a patio with a courtyard garden and cutting gardens over the last 30 years. One of the most recent additions to the landscape is the three-quarter-acre pond. Plants will be available for sale at the garden of Ngaere Macray and David Seeler, via The Bayberry Nursery.

Another one of the featured gardens is Susan and Louis Meisel's Sagaponack oasis. "Our property encompasses more than 100 specimen trees, with a focus on special beeches," explained Louis Meisel. "Susan uses the flower color of several hundred perennials as if it were paint on canvas to create the visual effects I enjoy seeing."

Stanley and Susan Reifer's Bridgehampton garden will also be highlighted on the tour. Noted Chinese artist, Jian Gou Xu, created a complex of graceful scenery on the five acre property. Xu made sure to incorporate Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. By employing Chinese craftsmen, he constructed numerous pavilions, bridges, and water features interconnected by winding paths and illuminating viewing points.

The extensive gardens of Richard Kahn and Elaine Peterson will be available for viewing as well. Their Montauk home is surrounded by an endless expanse of water and sky. Large plantings of oak, silver maple, and privet buffer the gardens on all sides except the east, which faces Lake Montauk. The exposed geography offers the illusion of a peaceful retreat. Throughout the surrounding gardens of the house, Kahn and Peterson have tried to encourage the local bird and insect populations by growing what they like and not using poisons or pesticides. Small trees, shrubs, perennials and winter/spring bulbs allow their garden to fill the area with great variety. All parts of their garden and lawn are fed organically, and no herbicides, pesticides or automatic irrigation is used on the property.

Ngaere Macray and David Seeler's garden in Amagansett. (Photo by Ken Robbins)

Admission is $7 at each private garden. The properties will be open to the public at 10 a.m. and closing times vary.

For more information about The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program, vist www.gardenconservancy.org

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