Spring is now well underway. The weather seems to be getting warmer every day and the beautiful flowers and plantings of Long Island’s gardens will soon be in full bloom. Now that the weather is pleasant enough to be outdoors for extended periods of time, be sure to stop and smell the roses and all of the other beautiful flowers at these three beautiful Suffolk Country gardens.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River
Bayard Cutting Arboretum was donated to the Long Island State Park Region by Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter, Mrs. Olivia James, in memory of her husband, William Bayard Cutting. The intent of the donation was “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.” Bayard Cutting Arboretum was originally a vast wooded area filled with oak trees. Today the park has flourished to include five nature walks with evergreens, rhododendron, hollies and other wildflowers. Plus, combined with the site’s ponds and streamlets, visitors can spot aquatic birds, foxes, raccoons and other small wildlife. There’s even a Hidden Oak Cafe offering fresh foods like sandwiches, quiche, soups, pies and other desserts. The Arboretum is a passive park, and activities such as biking, picnicking, sports, bathing, and games are not permitted
Bridge Gardens, Bridgehampton
A five-acre gem in the heart of Bridgehampton, Bridge Gardens is a unique public and demonstration garden with mysterious hedgerows, a wide variety of perennial and annual flowers and shrubs, and a unique 4-quadrant herb garden featuring culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and textile/dye plants. The botanical garden was first installed in 1988 and now spans over five acres incorporating a rose rondel of hybrid teas, grandifloras and floribundas, as well as a rose walk through beds of species, antique and climbing roses. Visitors will also find trees, shrubs, hedgerow, perennials, herbs, an ivy maze and ivy walk, a miniature Japanese maple, hardy oranges, topiary hollies and a bed of 30-plus chili varieties.
Donated in 2008 by Jim Kilpatric and Harry Neyens, the Trust has maintained the characteristics of the gardens while introducing new elements and programs that tie it to the organization’s conservation mission, including a vegetable garden and use of sustainable gardening practices — and, new in 2015, Community Gardens. Today, Bridge Gardens serves as a multi-purpose, multi-disciplinary outdoor classroom, demonstration garden, and community resource, under the direction of Garden Manager Rick Bogusch.
Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton
LongHouse Reserve is a 16 acre reserve and sculpture garden located in East Hampton, NY, featuring pieces from Dale Chihuly, Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning to name a few. Open to members and to the public for a small fee. LongHouse Reserve was founded in 1975 by Jack Lenor Larsen, internationally known textile designer, author, and collector. Since he acquired the property in he has laid out an entrance drive lined with majestic cryptomerias, established lawns and ornamental borders, and defined major spaces as settings for plant collections and sculpture.
His home, LongHouse, was built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life. He believes visitors experiencing art in living spaces have a unique learning experience–more meaningful than the best media. LongHouse contains 13,000 square feet, and 18 spaces on four levels. Visitors can also stroll down to the beautiful pond and peer out at the water full of lilies, lotus plants, bullfrogs and turtles