Steve Griggs – Garden Tips for the Hamptons

Most people think that the Hampton gardens are overly luxurious and that is what makes them so desired. In reality, they’re a lot more focused on livability and being able to sustain themselves. Experts say that in the past year, the most widely popular plants are deer resistant.

First vice president of the Southampton Garden Club, Lydia Wallis, is an expert at defending her plants against the deer. Although she had a fence to guard her property, she communicated that her garden had been devoured by the deer.

One wise gardener gives us advice on how to keep deer from ruining our gardens- from his own personal experience as co-founder of Marders in Bridgehampton. Charles Marder with his wife suggest these three steps to their clients (and us): 
1. companion planting; 
2. putting a browse fence around the plants; 
3. figuring out garden gates and fences that feel like a garden, not an encampment.

Deer eat different plants during different seasons of the year. Mr. Marder warns us that knowing these different plants is key to keeping them out of your garden year round. Mostly, they eat grasses in summer because of a change in their metabolic system that is different each season. However, come autumn and they switch to broad-leafed evergreens as well as azaleas and all types of yew.

Marder said, “After Labor Day, the deer go back to their fall habits.” He also emphasizes the importance of protecting the weaker deer-resistant plants during ever season. Fall is the season to study your garden and choose the plants for the following spring, according to Mr. Marder. This is a good time to decide whether you want a winter season garden.

Those of us getting our homes and plants geared up for fall 2016 should take advice from Ms. Wallis who says that the conventional red and orange colors of fall have become quite boring. Wallis says, “I like the pinks, people always associate fall with orange and yellow and golds. Dahlias are in bloom in the fall and they’re beautiful. They bloom in yellow, white, pink, and salmon. They’re a wonder.” However, Wallis understands the commitment to classic fall pallets, suggesting black-eyed Susans as plants around the garden. She says that Southampton Village is blooming with them around fall and they’re absolutely breathtaking.

Here are a few suggestions that Martin gives us for fall:

  • perennials

  • late blooming shrubs

  • lespedeza (white and hot pink are popular colors at The Bayberry shop)

  • crape myrtles (available in many gorgeous colors)

  • leonitis

  • plectranthus

However, Ms. Wallis admits that she has her own favorites. “You can’t beat hydrangeas in the Hamptons.” Mr. Marder also agreed with her on them. “The hydrangea is almost like the signature plant of the Hamptons. It’s really hard to go against that one.”

As winter approaches each year, Marder suggest planting colorful additions to his customers looking for winter-garden advice. He suggests using slow-growing conifers like the dwarf blue spruce and gold thread cypress. “The colder it gets, the bolder it gets.” 

So whether you’re looking to make your garden one season friendly, or year-round, make it look like the Hampton gardens. You can’t go wrong!

Want to get in contact with Steve Griggs?

Call: 914.879.5602







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