Tour a Garden in the Fire Island Pines

Greg Stevens

Dwelling and Back garden: A look at towards the 1960s A-frame, exactly where it all started.
Photograph: Annie Schlechter

When Sumner Freeman purchased this 1960s A-frame household in Fireplace Island Pines in 1980, the property it sat on was so obscured by poison ivy, catbrier, and Virginia creeper that he couldn’t even see it, and still it identified as to him. “It was charming, and I could see the prospects, and it suited me,” Freeman says. In the 1990s, he acquired the property following doorway and then, in the aughts, with his companion Roy Yeager, additional a third. They hire out all but the A-frame, but they experienced area to broaden the backyard. It’s a quick walk to the beach front when you come upon it, it feels like a further entire world.

Freeman is a retired health practitioner and Yeager is a retired dentist. Travels in close proximity to and considerably have encouraged various components, including visits to the Chanticleer backyard in Philadelphia, the place they got the thought for the arched bridge, and a journey to China, which encouraged the premier of various waterfalls, and Sissinghurst Castle in the U.K., exactly where they bought the strategy for a white back garden. The ponds and lower bridges ended up motivated by Monet’s garden at Giverny.

Yeager experienced normally loved gardening, “except weeding my parent’s back garden when I was a kid,” he says, laughing. But a yard was not a portion of Freeman’s daily life rising up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Then, when he bought the 1st home, the north back garden took two decades just to crystal clear. Freeman credits the expertise and expertise of landscape designer and artist Ken Ruzicka and his crew for bringing the couple’s vision to existence. “He and his workmen have performed all the weighty do the job.”

The backyard garden is laid out in four directions that direct to just one an additional: The north, or “shade,” backyard garden, stays pretty wild and features the boardwalk route that meanders by way of the trees, passing a waterfall and a stream. The couple planted a tiny orchard close by with apple, pear, cherry, and peach trees, and strawberries and blueberries look in time. There are also century-aged swamp maples, indigenous to the location.

The west, or “formal,” backyard was developed up on sand dredged from the swampy part of the home, which let them generate a pond as properly. (The pond drinking water rises and falls with the tides.) They then included topsoil. The official garden consists of typically perennials with added annuals for shade — there are roses and sunflowers — and has what Freeman calls a “French accent.”

It was Ruzicka’s idea to repurpose concrete cesspool covers for the route all around the pond. “You know, it is tricky to transportation just about anything out to the island,” Freeman claims. “And whatsoever you have has obtained to be applied and reused.” The rocks were transported from North Shore quarries.

The south, or “container,” yard features primarily annuals, which includes zinnias.

By advantage of its design and style, the garden feels significantly greater than the half-acre it covers. “Every place, each and every switch, every twist has a seating location,” Freeman suggests. “It’s not intended for a speedy watch.”

West Backyard: The arched bridge was impressed by just one in the Chanticleer yard in Philadelphia.

West Back garden: Freeman mentioned that “we recycle the once-a-year crops in the compost heap and use that soil as well.” The sculpture in the foreground is by Marcia Donahue, who Freeman had contacted right after viewing her function at Chanticleer.

North Back garden: The boardwalk path starts off at the entrance gate and meanders as a result of pines, sassafras, and oaks.

Pictures by Annie Schlechter

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