Design: Jane E. Lappin and Arlene Gould, Wainscott Farms Inc., P.O. Box 696, Wainscott, NY 11975; 631/537-1440.
Photographs by Tria Giovan
Text by Rebecca Christian
Produced by Bonnie Maharam
Jane Goldman grew up with the sight of roses nodding gently in the Hamptons' famous summer rains. Their scent still perfumes the air both inside her beautiful family home and in the grand English-style garden that surrounds it. The 1949 Hamptons shingle-style residence is set far back from the road on 17 bewitching acres at the end of a driveway that winds past an orchard.
A classic summer cottage writ large, the home has gardens that ramble like its roofline. Rather like a series of rooms furnished with magnificent urns, pillars, fountains, and a stone grotto, gardens of herbs, vegetables, and many perennials dot the grounds. At the top of the property is a wilder garden--accessed by stairs--with beckoning wildflowers, ferns, trails, and sculpture.
Jane, who actually rather enjoys deadheading and weeding, likes to pick basil from the vegetable garden for bruschetta and pesto and to relax in the perennial garden, which has a beckoning bench and swing. The three words she thinks describe the garden best are "serene, structured, and orderly."
When asked how she entertains outdoors, she chuckles, "The garden is the entertainment! We have dinner on the lawn and we do yoga in the upper garden, which is very tranquil, but mostly people just love to walk around in it."
Inside formal boxwood hedges are informal plantings of abundant flowers with names so nostalgic they beg to be recited aloud--delphiniums, dahlias, and digitalis, hollyhocks and hydrangeas, and most of all roses, roses, and more roses. Roses also cascade around a stone grotto. They clamber up the wooden lattice fence enclosing the tennis court. They fill vases throughout the home.
To maintain harmony and flow, the garden repeatedly uses great quantities of specific roses in two or three shades of a certain color. Hardy floribundas rather than hybrid tea types were mostly chosen--to withstand the Hamptons' rainy and/or hot summers.
Jane Goldman collaborates with another Jane, garden designer Jane Lappin, who first teamed up with the homeowner's mother. Several garden designers have worked their magic here; Jane called Lappin in after she renovated the family home a dozen years ago. Lappin says, "I'll always remember driving up and seeing the driveway and lawn area all ripped up, but feeling immediately how beautiful this old property was. It had mature trees with great structure lining the perimeter, and behind the house a lawn with beautiful vistas of Zelkova trees--Jane's favorite." (They're nicknamed "Green Vase" trees because of their dramatic upward branching.)
"As Jane Goldman visited the great gardens in England, France, and Italy, it helped shape both our imaginations," the garden designer says. "It is a pleasure to work with someone who wants to create something beautiful and knows what she wants."
Lappin recalls how she gasped when she first saw Jane's gargantuan urns. "They're so big, they look like something you'd see in front of the New York Public Library," she says. "But they work! Jane has a great eye."
Throughout the garden, the palette is dominated by the romantic colors the homeowner loves--whites, purples, and what Lappin calls "vibrant, cool pinks and the pinkest blues."
At the moment, the two Janes are brainstorming about a new water feature. "Jane loves a project!" notes Lappin. And speaking of projects, Jane dreams of one day seeing her daughter married on the grounds where she has, in fact, promised her a rose garden.