The heavenly tented pool pavilion
I COULD GO IN AND OUT of grand oceanfront estates all day long, then come back to my humble cottage and still be happy with the place. I can wander five hedged, manicured, topiaried, statued, fountained acres and admire them, but not care a whit that they don’t belong to me.
Anthropomorphic boxwoods greet you at the gravel parking court
But Sunday I visited an Amagansett garden newly added to the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program and came away wanting to weep.
Perennial beds on a central axis of brick pathways near the property’s entrance
This one is a mere one-third of an acre, surrounding a cedar-shingled cottage with muted green trim.
Tall, columnar Leyland cypresses are dramatic punctuation marks
Yet it has so many nooks and aspects, separated by specimen evergreens and Japanese maples, and blooming profusely in mid-July with tropical-colored cannas, day lilies, fuchsias, and more, it seems much larger, and decidedly un-boring.
Poolside cannas in bloom
A shady back corner with Solomon’s seal, white hydrangeas
The design works such popular cottage-garden features as rustic arbors and a brick-paved entry patio centered on an iron urn, to magical effect.
Day lilies, a dwarf Japanese maple on the pool patio
Masterminded by Victoria Fensterer, a garden designer based in East Hampton, it is dense with plants, but with such a clear structure that it feels not overstuffed but simply abundant.
There’s a small, irregularly shaped lawn, surrounded by tall evergreens and old cedars, so that the edges of the property are blurred and seemingly non-existent.
Dense shrubbery visually expands the boundaries of the small lot
Steps made of massive slabs of stone lead to a naturalistic pool with river stones in place of the usual coping.
Stone steps lead to a free-form pool
And then there’s that piece de resistance, a pool pavilion in the form of a draped, circus-like tent — a festive bit of exoticism on Long Island’s often terribly-traditional East End.