Books

Garden of Dreams

There are new discoveries at every turn on the lush grounds surrounding the architect’s Southampton home.

There are new discoveries at every turn on the lush grounds surrounding the architect’s Southampton home.

It’s no secret that American architect Peter Marino has a penchant for the untraditional. His leather-heavy, all-black ensembles stand out in a profession sees statement pieces are not so much generally saved to usually found on facades, not personal fashion. That sensibility extends to his landscape design. His new book, The Garden of Peter Marino (Rizzoli), documents the 11 gardens surrounding his Southampton mansion that he has cultivated since acquiring the 12-acre property in 1998. Chapter by chapter, the gardens are revealed: Some are dedicated to a single color (purple hydrangeas in The Purple Garden, red roses in The Red Garden, and so on).

Others focus on one species, like The Azalea Crescent–for the years Marino painstakingly tended the notoriously slow-growing shrub, the reward is a few fleeting weeks in springtime, when its blossoms erupt into a sea of pink.

Placed throughout the scenery, the surreal bronze sculptures of Les Lalanne, the French artist duo, make for the gardens’ quiet full-time residents, from a peaceful flock of sheep, to an enigmatic owl, to grazing cows, and dozens more. Marino thinks the figures hit the right note. “The French use gardens to show grandeur and the English to show how things have endured for hundreds of years,” Marino writes. “But for me they’re all about fantasy.”

(Photos: Jason Schmidt)

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