At Marders in The Hamptons

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I am an unlikely Hamptons-goer. I am behind the times, not a trendsetter. I eschew crowds and expensive cars. I do not travel in the fast lane, yet every summer, I find myself in the Hamptons.

More than a decade ago my college roommate, a scientist, rehabbed a house in East Hampton to be near good kayaking on Three Mile Harbor. Another close college friend has a house in Bridgehampton, where she rides in The Hampton Classic.  This year a third college friend from England was going out, so how could I resist?

While I prefer off-season visits, the peak of summer brings a profusion of plants. The light (reflected off surrounding bodies of water), sandy soil, the absence of humidity and the regular rainfall create ideal growing conditions.

Nurseries do a booming business. A must for me each summer is Bridgehampton at Marders,  a spectacular nursery and garden center, where even mature beech trees are in burlap balls ready to plant.

This year’s discoveries were annual purple laurentia  and a big-leafed plant that looked like lambs’ ears on steroids.

 

Of the same family, perennial silver sage made a showy appearance in containers and beneath a tree, next to purple petunias.

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Kalanchoe ‘Flap Jack’ was a star in troughs and pots.

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I’d like to find a few in Baltimore for my unused trough. I also want a spot in my garden for fluffy, native Joe Pye weed.

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And one of these days I’ll have a container that includes a striking pink mandevilla vine entwining a porch column.

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Everywhere in the Hamptons hydrangeas were at their peak. A showy ‘Limelight” at Marders made me envious. I’ve never found room for one, so I settle for ‘Little Lime.’

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Into a wagon for my college roommate’s garden, we loaded a pink Knock Out rose, a showy red dracaena and three replacement lavenders. Even in the sandy soil of the Hamptons, lavender can be tricky.

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At checkout we discovered Tucker Marder and his new soaps.   The large bars were a little pricey, but with engaging scents and made locally of native ingredients from the East End of Long Island. I’m hoping that by my next visit in the crowd-free EARLY summer, he’ll have made some bars half the size and half the price.

 

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