Habitat

Cannas have to be nurtured indoors over the winter
Tom Dakin’s cannas are taller than he is. DurelL Godfrey photos

At 10,000 square feet, Briar Patch remains an understated family home
“We live out here,” Priscilla Rattazzi said of the large back porch facing Georgica Pond, which she and her husband, Chris Whittle, added to the house when they bought it in 1989.
Kayaks, sailboats, and paddleboards are always at the ready at pond’s edge. Durell Godfrey
Tito, a dachshund, and Leo, a golden retriever, relaxing on the front steps with Ms. Rattazzi, are the latest in a line of beloved dogs to call Briar Patch home.Durell Godfrey
A portrait of Margaret Hyde Hamilton by the painter John White Alexander hangs over the fireplace in the house’s great room, where earth tones add a sense of warmth to the large space. The custom wallpaper was made to look like Italian tile. Durell Godfrey
The grass is not always greener: A founder of the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation, Priscilla Rattazzi, who is dedicated to improving the pond’s health, eschews landscaping chemicals, even organic ones. Durell Godfrey
Photographs by William S. Curtis fill the wall in the front stairwell. Durell Godfrey
The family eats most meals in what they call the breakfast room, which has its own small kitchen. Durell Godfrey
Chris Whittle’s office, just off the great room, occupies its own quiet space, but the great room also is “his sanctuary,” his wife said. Durell Godfrey
Two towering linden trees, each more than 100 years old, frame the view of the pond from the house. Durell Godfrey
The Whittles’ own children may be grown, but the playroom, with its large dollhouse and toy-filled bench seats, remains intact. Durell Godfrey

By Erica Broberg Smith
Deborah Berke Winnie Au
The ocean is a presence at the Dune Road House. Chris Cooper
An old house with resurgent life and family treasures
The photographs on the wall above are of the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea, with whom Peter Matthiessen and colleagues spent six months.
Alex Matthiessen, above, is seated on a settee in the sitting room. Below, the fireplace in the original kitchen was one of the reasons he bought the house. It now heats the combined sitting room, dining room, and kitchen.
Above, the folding doors on a corner cupboard in the kitchen were designed for access to a huge single shelf. Below, two rooms were combined to create an ample master bedroom.
A close-up of the Papua New Guinea photos that hung in Peter Matthiessen’s Sagaponack house.
A right whale skull has been moved from the Saga­ponack house to Sag Harbor.
The patio, surrounded by plantings rather than a lawn, features an Indonesian teak daybed.

By Justin Spring
A renovation that reflects its occupants’ passions
Julie Small-Gamby stands at the entrance to the addition, which enlarged the house and dramatically changed the interior. Durell Godfrey
The new staircase makes art the focus.Matthew Carbone
Peter Gamby rakes his Japanese garden after every rainstorm. Durell Godfrey
At top, Julie Small-Gamby’s artwork frames the view of Hog Creek from the dining room. Below, a tall Zen archery bow stands to the right of the windows in the meditation room.
Above, first-floor spaces were redesign­ed to serve as an art gallery. Below, the first-floor hallway was widened to create a visual flow from front to back.
Glass doors in a bedroom provide views of the meditation room and the outdoors.
Peter Gamby moved a moss-encrusted boulder from the woods to the garden.Durell Godfrey Photos

Native trees and plants, natural grasses and stones, organic, low-maintenance meadows, and water, water, everywhere, without any nitrates or other chemicals to poison it
Water — keeping it clean, not green — is the theme of Saturday’s Guild Hall garden tour. Above, on Burnett’s Creek on Water Mill, the Rosenberg garden features an ever-blooming mix of salt-air-loving plants. Looking back up from a ginormously glamorous pool complex complete with Italianate fountains, below, clouds of pink, white, and blue frame the Lipschultz house in Sagaponack. Durell Godfrey Photos
In Bridgehampton, the Adamson garden descends in three levels to the waters of little-known Kellis Pond. The closer to the water, the shadier it gets and the more ferns grow.
On Mecox Bay in Water Mill, an ultra-modern house built out from an old one after Hurricane Sandy has a knockout view across the bay to Flying Point Beach.

Mile-a-minute is an annual vine native to Japan and China, Southeast Asia and India
Weed specialists hope that insects like the weevil, right, will keep the spread of “mile-a-minute vine,” in a close-up, left, with berries, in check. Abby Jane Brody and Andy Senesac Photos

The tension between change and tradition
At the Covello garden in Sag Harbor, transparency is played with by pruning trees and shrubs in a way that allows a glimpse of what lies beyond. Abby Jane Brody