A forest glade with a thick carpet of ferns, etched in dappled sunlight cast by the shade of trees, has been a recurring dream since I first saw the island bed by Hollis Forbes’s driveway in East Hampton.
If you’ve been entranced by the bountiful crop of flowers on the kousa dogwoods this spring and have been tempted to add one to your garden, now is the time to act. Head right to your favorite garden center and pick one out while they are still in bloom — what you see is what you get, is what I was told years ago by a nurseryman.
This past winter appears to have been more difficult for hydrangeas than the winter of 2014, with its extended period of deep cold and a single cold snap in April that put paid to most of last summer’s flowers.
They’ve done it again, in spades. Now going into its second summer, they’ve created three new gardens, adding up to about an acre. A below-ground “ruin” is surrounded by a new meadow leading to three roundels.
When we think of primulas, or at least when I do, we envision richly colored candelabras growing by streams and other wet places, small gems in the screes and crevices of the high mountains of Europe and China, or even the tender house plants we get to cheer us through the winter.
What could be more romantic than sitting on a patio on a summer’s evening basking in the perfume of flowers, listening to the distant sound of the ocean, and looking out toward Wainscott Pond on the horizon as white flowers fade into the dusk?
This is the picture, and the feeling, of Toni Ross's garden.
Autumn on the East End, where oaks are the dominant trees, is mostly muted shades of russet and gold. Toward its peak on sunny days the foliage becomes a rich tapestry, but lacks the pizazz of New England with its brilliant reds.
It’s been readily apparent that some crape myrtles here were badly damaged by two brutal winters, while others escaped seemingly unscathed. That raises questions. Which ones are most adaptable to the East End, and under what conditions?