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