Wild At Heart
Gardens Illustrated|October 2017

This Long Island garden in New York State, with its mix of wild and precise planting, challenges established ideas about plant hardiness

Daniel J Hinkley

Although it may be considered an oversimplification by some, I find that gardens generally fit one of two moulds. There are those that have been designed to be admired from their perimeter, as if peering into a diorama. And there are those, more satisfying in my mind, that are meant to be experienced from within. One, the sterile reception room with furniture not intended for sitting and the other, the cosy den with overstuffed chairs and a friendly inventory of oft-used artefacts.

The complex and elaborately planted garden of Dennis Schrader and Bill Smith fits within the parameters of the latter. Found within 17 acres of the fertile northeastern shore of New York’s Long Island. It is a precise and painterly garden, where a romantic wash of Monet collides with an exotic Gauguin.

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