The Annual ARF Garden Tour Is June 16

On Saturday, June 16, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, ARF, is having its 26th Annual Garden Tour. Participants will be able to tour a variety of different gardens in the Village of Southampton from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After the tour, all are invited to attend the cocktail party. Tickets are $75 for the tour and $175 for the tour and cocktail party, and all proceeds go to ARF.

Howard Purcell, one of the board members of ARF, started the Annual ARF Garden Tour. According to Jamie Berger, Director of Marketing and Communications at ARF, Purcell was “an avid gardener who wanted to capitalize on the beautiful gardens in the Hamptons.” Sadly, he passed away two years ago, and the 25th anniversary tour was held in his honor.

This year’s tour, “A Peek Behind the Hedges” will include five different gardens as well as the Rose Garden at the Rogers Memorial Library. Choosing the gardens is a long process that starts in November or December when chairs Mark Fichlander and Barbara Slifka began looking at possible sites. Fichlander says, “There’s a lot of trial and error. We go through a lot of properties before we end up with the five or six that we choose.” Every year, the first decision they have to make is where they want the tour to be held and this year, Fichlander and Slifka chose the Village of Southampton, which hasn’t hosted the tour in about five years.

Then, Fichlander and Slifka put together a committee and worked with landscape architects and people who maintain such properties. This year, they worked with Tom Volk and Michael Derrig to help them identify some possible places. “In terms of how we pick, we really try to get some variety,” Fichlander says, “Maybe something formal or modern, and something like a more traditional estate, something on the ocean or something on a little pond. You get as you go around a sort of amazing variety.” Every garden has its own unique setting and history, making the tour  interesting for anyone.

This year, the first garden is “Redcraft,” which is the garden of Michael Raynes. The property is four acres and designed by landscape architect Perry Guillot. Redcraft has a walled garden, framed by hedges of copper beech and taxus. It is a formal garden with both open vistas and specimen trees.

The second garden is “Sand Trap” which is the garden of Ruth and Ted Baum. Designed by Mark Matthews, the landscape complements the view of the ocean and the various sculptures on the property. According to Mark Fichlander, this garden is “much beachier” than the others.

Next is “Four Fountains,” which is the garden of Maria and Bruce Bockmann and was designed by the owner and David Hicks. Fichandler calls the garden a “wonderful, classic estate garden.” It’s divided into six areas connected by the lawn, and complements the architecture of the house, which was originally a theater.

The fourth garden, owned by Perri and Eric Ruttenberg, is “The Stables and Poultry House Gardens of ClaverackKeewaydin.” This property has a long history, having been built in 1892. At about 10 acres, it is comprised of about six different gardens, which are all at different stages of development.

The fifth garden belongs to Christy and Clifford Brechner and was designed by Joseph Tyree. Fichandler calls it “linear, geometric, and simple,” with boxwoods, hydrangeas and a slight terracing up towards the pool.

Visitors can also tour the Rose Garden at the Rogers Memorial Library, which is having the Southampton Rose Society’s open house and judging on that day.

After the tour, the visitors can attend the cocktail reception at Leni and Adam Sender’s 40-acre estate and sculpture garden in Sag Harbor.

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