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Dashing Events at Wolffer’s and Marder’s for the Hampton Holidays!


This year Sue Calden, Event Director at Wolffer’s Estates Vineyards, Bridgehampton, asked me to do a Holiday Wreath for the “Fighting Chance” Charity which raises funds to fight cancer at Wolffer’s annual Christmas event “Lighting the Vines” on Dec. 7…. I came up with a “Daisy Chain” Wreath to mirror our “Human Chain” which pulls together to fight for good causes….. The Designers and Artists who contributed their talents made amazing creations and the festive mood “LIT UP” the whole night! Some memorable moments:


The Vineyards are bare in December but gorgeous in the Winter Late Day Rays of Sun !


The magic arrives with flick of a switch to “Light the Vines!”


Everyone examines the Designer Wreaths and Trees and places  Bids…


Creativity abounds….


We created our work in the afternoon at Wolffers… Wine Corks Decorate this tree by Wolffers!


And Small Paintings of the Vineyard are ornaments for this tree! Brilliant! A great Evening Event for “Fighting Chance”!


Party Celebration, Wolffer’s Wines, Creativity, A Great Cause, Lighting the Vines!  Perfect!


Christmas in the Hamptons is Festive everywhere! Here’s Marder’s Nursery and Gift Shop “Barn” in the Late Summer with Dahlias in the plenty!   Transformed….


into a Glittering Christmas Gift Shop…..a Santa Workshop for the Gardener Gift Lover…..


The Color Harmony is special, Green, Purples, Reds…. a Creative Christmas color scheme… not the usual “only” greens & reds.


Gorgeous Books !






A Virtual Fireplace…. on a Video Screen!


More Books!


Whirls of Color!


Look Up! Large Green-lit Ornament “Balls”!


A “Hippie” Christmas…. “Peace Signs” 1960s-style is always in style….


Personal Care and Home Gifts…. Pamper someone!


A Trip to Marder’s at Christmas feels like a voyage to a Beautiful timeless place… one residing in  “THE IMAGINATION”





GARDEN GREETINGS for a Merry Christmas 2013 from
Lois and GardenSpirits !!
Have a Beautiful Holiday!!

Fall’s here! Summer’s over too soon! Good-Byes to Summer Watercolors, Hamptons Gardens & Afternoon Teas at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton and Guild Hall and The Hedges Inn in East Hampton, etc.

Emily Thompson Rustic Floral...Watercolor Sketch by Lois Bender

Before we Greet September and Fall….. It’s here already!!!! We must say our good-byes to summer!!!  Greeting Fall is a Sketch of a Beautiful Rustic Bouquet by Emily Thompson and her Floral Boutique in Brooklyn of Caster Pods, Magnolia Leaves (Love the rust undersides) , Raspberries and Roses in an Early Fall Color Palette…. BUT, GOOD-BYES to a Great Summer of Painting……

Bridge Gardens' Formal Gardens

At the beautiful Bridge Gardens at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton, educational horticultural gardens owned and managed by the Peconic Land Trust, who conserve and preserve land on the Eastern Long Island Region.  Groundskeeper Rick Bogusch is a master of gardening as we watched the gardens blossom from their slumbers in March to their glorious peaks in August and September,….. My watercolor classes blossomed too as we painted under the Pergola or in the Garden House….

Bridge Gardens

August Sunlight at the end of the day baths the garden is luminous lighting…..

Hydrangea Flower Beds

Hydrangea Floral Beds luxuriate in the Shade

Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms

Under the Pergola, a Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms cut from the garden….

Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms

We painted Floral Arrangements thoughout the Spring and Summer…..

Blooms from Bridge Gardens' flower beds

Each week provided new flower centerpieces at our Friday Workshop classes…. also ready for Friday Music Nights at Bridge Gardens!

Another Angle: Blooms from Bridge Gardens' flower beds

Another Angle: Blooms from Bridge Gardens’ flower beds in a wonderful glass jar!

The Wisteria Pergola framed by the Alliums

The Wisteria Pergola framed by Red-Violet Allium beds in the beautiful Bridge Gardens!

and Then, Welcome to The Hedges Inn’s Patio and surrounding Gardens, sponsored by Guild Hall,

Watercolor Workshop GH info.

for a wonderful series of Watercolor Painting Workshops and Afternoon Tea!!!!!  I had asked Laura Perrotti, head of the “Garden as Art” Garden Tour Annual Event  by Guild Hall of East Hampton and Michelle Klein, Asso. Curator, if they would like an event of Painting in beautiful gardens with an accompanying Afternoon Tea and I was so pleased that Guild Hall and the beautiful Hedges Inn wanted to have the event, culminating in an enormous amount of success with  filled workshops!  Art and Food!….A winning combination!

Painting Lessons and Bouquets

The Bouquets, and Lessons for learning different floral types, for class sizes of up to 16 people per workshop!

Ready for Afternoon Tea on the Hedges Inn's Porch

A Perfect Setting for an Afternoon Tea and Relaxing and Focusing on your Painting…..

The Hedges Inn Tented Porch

The Tented Porch overlooks their beautiful lawn and garden, protecting us from heat, sun and rain….Perfect!

The Tented Patio at Hedges Inn

A Beautiful Porch and setting to Relax, Meditate and Paint!

The Hedges Inn Garden

The Garden of Dahlias, etc.

The Hedges Inn Garden Watercolro by Lois Bender

Watercolor Gardens!

Luscious Dalhias

A Luscious Dahlia Bouquet!

A Captivated painter at Hedges Inn

A Captivated painter at Hedges Inn!

More Bouquets and Painters

More Bouquets and Painters!

A long wonderful day' end

A Wonderful Afternoon must come to an end….

Painting Flowers at the Hedges Inn

with a rewarding collection of wonderful paintings and experiences!

The Hedges Summer Garden 1

The Hedges Summer Garden

and wonderful memories awaiting next summer….. When we hope GardenspiritsNY, Guild Hall and The Hedges Inn will collaborate again…. for more Afternoon Teas, Gardens and Watercolor Workshops!  GardenSpiritsNY Workshops in Beautiful settings will continue into the Winter….and News will come soon!

Emily Thompson Rustic Floral...Watercolor by Lois Bender

BUT, now, Let’s say Hello to September!   I’m not ready yet and I linger over the riches of Summer Memories and Photos for winter painting……Thank Heavens we have September Roses and “Rust” Magnolia Leaves— so Early Fall-ish and Beautifully Autumnal— for transitioning!!!!!!!  I want to stay in August but the train is leaving for September! Stay a little longer, Summer!



“Much Ado about Madoo” Garden Fair June 15….. Much Ado about Robert Dash’s “Dashingly” Artistically Poetic and Surreal Garden of Illusions and Allusions


The Gate Announces a Special Experience:  The Artifice of Primary Colors Startles us in the Greenery of Robert Dash’s two acre unique Garden vision in Sagaponack, featuring Tudor, High Renaissance, early Greek, as well as Oriental garden influences. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, Madoo is a blend of Garden and Home Design Creativity shown in the structures, barns, houses built to complement the garden surroundings…. You walk into a world suggesting art and literature and the ideas of creative people like Robert Dash. It’s Robert Dash’s work of art!  Horticultural Styling and Pruning Innovations await you.  Come in right this way, the gate, doorjamb and path say! Don’t Delay!


A Sole Doorway or Doorjamb really Looking for a Door ?!


Finds A Yellow Door on a Little House….. A Keyhole to a Door to a House which was trimmed in…


Blue in another season in Yellow & Blue Whimsy! “Blue” is spotted throughout the garden like a trail of Breadcrumbs!


Blue says “Find me!” like on Stairs to Rooftops! Then textures pop up everywhere and have a field day!


Round to the back, see Lattices Galore and Overlapping Textures and Patterns and Optical Illusions, making you dizzy, OH MY! !


In Alice in Wonderland Mind-Bending Games, A Doorway is like a Keyhole in alternating Big-Small-Big Scale, Pointing to a Tree!


Robert Dash, A British Artist, Writer, Gardener cultivates his garden with wit! Here’s the Prettiest Garden Loo I’ve ever seen!


Details. Details! Garden wit is found in quiet sightings: a “Growling” Lion Wooden Ornament next to a lone stray rose…


Or an Ornamental Stone Carving next to the textural patterns of ferns in a bed of stones in a Song of Textures!


Boxwood Pruned Schrub “Balls”  in the middle of a Grove of Gingkos?… Whimsy in “Living”  Stone-like Ornamentals!

Madoo Conservancy

a Juxtaposition so unexpected….. Robert Dash’s Surrealism is Alice in Wonderland’s Surrealism!

Madoo Conservancy

A Garden Fair of Wonderful Vendors of Food, Furniture, Garden Decor, Nurseries, Flowers, Fragrances, Accessories! Alice goes shopping!

Madoo Conservancy

Then Alice goes on the path following the topiary-style arches of greenery and they sway in the blue sky….

Madoo Conservancy

Almost toppling and Growing….

Madoo Conservancy

or is Alice growing small as Madoo “Grows” on her, surrounds her ??…….

Madoo Conservancy

But the Garden Path always takes her to the next surprise!


Like Shade and Sunlight in Hidden Garden Patios

Madoo Conservancy

And more Blue Gate Posts….

Madoo Conservancy

Inviting us on a paths leading to more flights of whimsy

 in Hidden Garden Patios

Do we have to leave ? Maddo is a labyrinth maze of garden paths beckoning you to return….. SOON! GardenSpiritsNY loves Madoo……This Blog barely shows you what awaits you!  Madoo is in Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, near the ocean and a Must-See Garden!

Container Power at LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton: Invitational Garden Container Show

On + Off + Inside + Out by Dennis Schrader

“On + Off + Inside + Out”  by Dennis Schrader of Landcraft Environments Ltd, Mattituck, NY


Last weekend at the gorgeous LongHouse Reserve Gardens which celebrates Culture, Art, Horticulture, Nature and Design, I was at the opening of the “Planters: ON + OFF the Ground VI,” the annual competition and exhibition of Horticultural Container Designs as art statements by 23 Landscape Designers in the East End Long Island Region on display through July 27….. It is always divine to be at LongHouse to see the diversity of the Sculptures in the Garden, the inspirational landscape designs and plantings and meditative art exhibits of world cultures and handcrafts…. Longhouse is the creation of Jack Lenor Larsen, the textile designer and design innovator and his collaborators.  Containers, Art, Sculpture in the Garden……all evolving as the cultural force that is LongHouse! Must See in person is the poetic “Daydream” by Alexandra Leighton of Garden schemes, St. James, NY, (Alas! no photo!)  A few Highlights:


Container of Burnt Cedar

Adam Baron, Suvi Asch, Hal Goldberg of Hal Goldberg Gardens and Landscapes, Southampton, LI and Brooklyn, NY


A Burnt Cedar Exterior as the container in a Modern Art Geometric Approach….



"Butterflies in a Basket" by Hope Herrlin

“Butterflies in a Basket” by Hope Herrlin of New Leaf Landscape Maintenance LLC of Southhampton



"Urban Jungle" by Summerhill Landscapes of Sag Harbor, NY... People's Choice by popular vote!

“Urban Jungle” by Summerhill Landscapes of Sag Harbor, NY… People’s Choice by popular vote!


LongHouse, by architect Charles Forberg

LongHouse, by architect Charles Forberg and built by Joe Tufariello, is inspired by the 7th-century Shinto shrine at Ise, Japan. Larsen decided to build the house on the property in East Hampton in 1986.  Lotus Pond is surrounded by “Garden Room” Designs featuring sculpture in a dialogue between art and nature.


Fly’s Eye Dome

Artist Yue Minjin’s “Warriors” Sculpture Laughing Eternally at Garden Visitors




A garden stroll on a summer evening with art, nature, and a few croaking frogs, Weeping Beeches, Lotuses



Fly’s Eye Dome

Fly’s Eye Dome (original idea by Buckminster Fuller, developed and produced by John Kuthik, 1998), Longhouse’s famous installation. Changing Scale is a major surprise element!



"Fly’s Eye Dome at Longhouse,"  watercolor by Lois Bender

“Fly’s Eye Dome at Longhouse,” watercolor by Lois Bender


Who could resist painting this gigantic sculpture! I couldn’t! A Visit to LongHouse just keeps you enthralled  on so many levels! GardenSpiritsNY Loves this Art and Garden Destination.
























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