четверг, 4 сентября 2014 г.

Anna Wintour’s Wild Garden

Anna Wintour’s Wild Garden
Anna Wintour’s Wild Garden


A stroll through the editor’s romantic and meandering 40 acres — cultivated over the last 20 years by her friend, the landscape designer Miranda Brooks.


  1. On the wrong side of the highway to the Hamptons, in a modest town unfashionably distant from the area’s white-sand beaches, a simple wooden farm gate gives onto a rough drive cobbled from dirt, sand and pebbles. It winds through wild cherry trees in a meadow of high grass and ends in a small gravel court, walled in faded brick and covered in ramblers with soft pink muddled blooms. Peonies, which are often the last flowers to survive an abandoned garden, and the self-sowing herb Angelica, grow haphazardly at the foot of the wall; weeds poke up through the stones on the ground. An old wood door cut into the wall is the only sign that you have arrived.

  2. Photo
    Above: Miranda Brooks in the garden she created for Anna Wintour on eastern Long Island. Top: Near the house, clipped boxwood and a mown lawn meet one of many paths through long meadow grass, a signature of Brooks’s designs.
  3. “The atmosphere starts here,” explains the highly sought-after garden designer Miranda Brooks, referring to the area beginning at the road and ending at this humble mouse-house-shaped door, a scene that feels magical, almost inevitable, and hardly designed at all. It is not a scene that one might expect as the entry to the home of a client such as Anna Wintour, well-known for her rather controlled persona.

    But Anna Wintour at home on summer days is perhaps not the Anna Wintour of popular legend. And, regardless, she has admired and supported Brooks since first meeting her in New York nearly 25 years ago, and here allows her almost free reign. “My friendship with Miranda is one of the great joys of my life,” Wintour says. “She has given me and my family a very special world.”

  4. Like Wintour, Brooks is English-born with a love of nature and the open countryside of her youth. Her childhood was spent on a farm in Hertfordshire, where she was given her first pony at the age of 4. She recalls the pleasures of riding cross-country, trying to sense what her pony sensed and to respond to the land through his eyes. When, as a teenager, she was forced to work in the garden as penance for wrecking the family car, Brooks found her calling. In the 1990s, she completed a degree in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, then a postgraduate degree in landscape architecture from the University of Birmingham, and apprenticed with the famously grand (and widely feared) designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd, a perfectionist who taught her how to be a plantsman. (“Arabella’s gardens were orgasmic. She would think that I barely garden,” Brooks offers with a laugh.) Soon after, she followed her first husband, Christopher, to New York where he was studying, leaving behind a garden she loved. Her first commission came from Wintour, who asked her to make a garden at her home in the city as a gift to her husband at the time, David Shaffer.

  5. Photo
    Seen from the living room, the butterfly garden, enclosed by a yew hedge, contains borders with Tuscany Superb roses, peonies, allium, baptisia, artemisia and Buxton’s Blue geranium.
    While Brooks’s signature is on the edge of wild – almost haphazard – the garden has been lovingly tended and carefully considered.
  6. Photo
    In the entry court, where guests park, Pheasant’s Eye narcissus blooms at the foot of the wall in spring, before the Cecile Brunner roses overhead come into flower.
  7. Photo
    Francis E. Lester roses on rustic trellises flanking a path that meanders between the old and new house.
  8. For Brooks, who today has projects around the globe for some of the wealthiest people in the world, Wintour’s garden is her most personal, the most like her own, as well as her longest-term project. “It is the base, the backbone, of my American gardens,” she says. While Brooks’s style is romantic, pastoral, on the edge of wild, almost haphazard — long grass meadows threaded with mown paths and patterned with fruit trees, vine-covered arbors, rustic gates and self-sown plants (those whose seeds land where they may, producing offspring in unanticipated places) — the garden has in fact been lovingly tended and carefully considered for the past 20 years. “Things have been worked out to be easy, deer-proof, but still with beautiful moments through the year,” Brooks says.

  9. Wintour’s 40 acres once comprised two adjacent properties. When the land next door was under threat of development, she bought it and combined the two lots. The property, which also includes a cottage and outbuildings, is large but intimate, relaxed and unpretentious, with unpredictable plantings (no Hamptons hydrangeas or privet here), often chosen by Brooks because they are fragrant or edible. Throughout, there are meadows, some sown by Brooks from seed, some enhanced with bulbs that deer don’t eat (narcissus, Camassia), and there are paths meandering in untamed woods or slicing through tall grass. “There are no views here in Anna’s garden, no change of grade,” Brooks explains, “so I made paths to create a bit of mystery.”

  10. A Watercolor Plan of the Property by Brooks

    1. Cottage

    2. Pool

    3. Butterfly garden

    4. Old house

    5. Overgrown courtyard

    6. Allée

    7. Gravel court

    8. Trellised path

    9. Tennis court

    10. Meadow

    11. Entrance gate

    12. Dock

    13. New house

    14. Shadow garden

    15. Pool

    A watercolor plan of the property by Brooks.

      Cottage

      Pool

      Butterfly garden

      Old house

      Overgrown courtyard

      Allée

      Gravel court

      Trellised path

      Tennis court

      Meadow

      Entrance gate

      Dock

      New house

      Shadow garden

      Pool

  11. Near the two houses, Brooks contrasts the wildness with more formal plantings, often clipped into shapes, such as hedges of boxwood, hornbeam and Ilex, or planted in lines, as with allées of pleached lindens. Mounded boxwood (I counted nine balls of boxwood planted tightly so that, with age, they become cloudlike) is used to frame views, like those of crab apples in high grass. It’s what gives the garden definition and one’s meandering a sense of purpose.

    While romantic gestures abound, so too does simplicity: the glory of single plants, rather than a great jumble, and an appreciation for the color green. The view from the guest house’s rose-covered porch is of black-currant bushes that frame a small “courtyard” of high grass and clover, crisscrossed with narrow mown paths. Roses climb up and over the windows and doors of the former farmhouse, and a shaded wisteria-clad pergola leads to a terrace lined with pots of yarrow, basil, dill and rosemary, offering an intimate spot for sitting and eating. “Women should touch the leaves of rosemary and black currant every day,” says Brooks opaquely, anentreaty as intriguing and filmy as her gardens.

  12. Photo
    In what Brooks refers to as “the overgrown courtyard,” meadow grass and clover grow next to the old 19th-century farmhouse.
    While romantic gestures abound, so too does simplicity: the glory of single plants, rather than a great jumble, and an appreciation for the color green.
  13. Photo
    A twig gate amid boxwood clouds leads to the pool.
  14. Photo
    A shadow garden is created with Green Velvet boxwood, Mount Everest allium and Malus ioensis (crab-apple trees).
  15. Mystery is a constant theme for Brooks. The door to the guest house is nearly invisible until you’re upon it, and once there, you see a great clump of tall Angelica throwing its shadows against the white walls. One comes upon twig gates leading to unseen areas like the pool or tennis court; another, nearly hidden in a hedge off to one side of the crab-apple meadow, reveals an unexpected flower garden, devoted to varieties favored by butterflies. It is a secret place, bold and luxurious in planting, with four square beds full of old shrub roses in pink and dark plum, accompanied by great billows of blue baptisia, globe thistles and Russian sage, as well as puddles of wine-red Achillea and Knautia buds. Even here, in this clearly designed space, nature rules, with flower beds edged with logs the color of driftwood and a fanciful bench painted the same pale blue-gray of the Artemisia ludoviciana Silver King in the borders. Brooks says she would have liked to simplify this garden as it is more colorful and traditional than the other areas. “But Anna loves it.”

  16. Photo
    Pheasant’s Eye narcissus and a Siberian elm by the dock. Credit Ricardo Labougle
  17. Meandering paths lead off into the woods from the new house, some wending their way back to the old house. On one such path, there is a large, sunlit, native meadow, not one planted by Brooks, but already existing, with old cedar trees at its center. “This is my favorite bit,” Brooks says of the meadow. “It feels like the still heart of it all. Apart from a mown path, the only thing I do is stop it from vanishing.”

    There is passion in Brooks’s feeling for the land, here or anywhere she makes a garden. England defines her sensibility to some extent, particularly in her use of hornbeam and lindens, uncommon here, and her lavish, unusual treatment of boxwood. And yet, there also exists an easy interplay with the wild, a desire to let nature have its way, which seems very American. But Brooks’s gardens are each of their place, whether on Long Island, in Connecticut or in England, allowing the singular character of the setting to be celebrated. “It is all emotional,” she says of her work. “It is all there to be spoken to.”


    Original article and pictures take http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/08/t-magazine/anna-wintour-garden-miranda-brooks.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below site


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