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Surrounding ourselves with greene

Surrounding ourselves with greenery

Greenery abounds on 93rd and Madison Avenue. Photo: JH.


Thursday, June 28, 2023. A bright sunny day, all day, yesterday in New York. The temps reached up to almost 80 and there was no sense of humidity. Yippee. The weatherman’s been telling us for days now that we’re gonna have a big storm. Not that I think he’s making it up, and there has been rain around the country if you look at the weather maps, but. We did have three or four moments yesterday — and with the Sun still out — when there were a few spots of a few drops on my little black Mini convertible (2009), but that was it. Until …

The beginning stages of my little garden terrace.

In the meantime I’m thinking gardens. A little garden on my little terrace. Now in the works (takes me a few days to get it all together). If you’ve been reading us for awhile you’ve seen the same story in the years before. It’s a tiny plot as the photos explain. 

Some years I’ve just about covered the entire floor of the little plot. But that’s too much, making it more difficult for me to go out on my terrace and watch the street, the dogs, the families, the neighbors, the runners, the wheel chairs, the cars, the ambulances, and fire trucks, and police cars. I don’t see much action in those categories but even the gait of the individuals is interesting to me wondering what that tells me about the personality of the passerby.

And then there’s the gardens. In this neighborhood many buildings have potted gardens surrounding the trees in front of them. Some are quite beautiful, others are modest, but all are good for the eyes and the spirit, no matter how meek.

My mother always had a flower garden when I was growing up. She also had a vegetable garden which was large which she worked and labored over. Neighborhood vegetable gardens were very common. But her flower garden was clearly her gem. I can still see her on a Sunday afternoon, after church and lunch, still dressed for the day, standing looking over the flowers, her hands behind her back simply enjoying her hand in creation of Nature’s beauty.

And she wasn’t the only mom in the neighborhood tending to her garden.

I didn’t know that back when I was a kid. Instead I was probably wondering: “What is she looking at but the same old flowers.” Time, child; it takes time.

Now I always look at gardens, no matter their size or layouts. Simply for the beauty it affirms for me. Then of course, I’m old enough to have learned that all kinds of creative thinking goes into any of those plots, tiny or enormous. Because, as it was with my ma, they are the music of Nature’s beauty.

A window box in the nabe.

Speaking of Nature’s beauty and the fragrance that it brings, a bevy of New Yorkers arrived in London for the season and — in between Ascot, Wimbledon, Henley and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition — they found time to support their friends philanthropist Shining Sung and designer Marc Rosen.

The new Formosa fragrance at Fenwick Bond Street, London.

After successfully launching her new fragrance ‘Formosa’ in Bergdorf Goodman in February (you read about it here), Shining has now premiered the fragrance in Fenwick Bond Street. During an afternoon high tea, she introduced Formosa as a ‘love letter to Taiwan’ and a fragrance that extols the beauty and harmony of this verdant island.

Marc Rosen — who’s won 7 FiFi awards, which are essentially the Oscars of the perfume industry — designed the unique bottle. The presentation of the fragrance in a sleek crystal clear half-moon slice of heavy glass with a faux carved green jade ball closure, explained Marc, “I don’t think there has ever been a fragrance where the ingredients are indigenous to a country.”

New York guests such as Susan Gutfreund, Ruth Berman, Katherine Bryan, Kathy Sloane, Elizabeth Kabler, Peter Psaras, Christine McCarthy and Evan Sung mingled with His Excellency Representative Hsieh and his wife Linda, Dame Joan Collins and Percy Gibson, Lady Lena Bone, Sybil Kretzmer, Victoria Haggerty, Vivienne Becker, Carolyn Druion, Jenny Gucci, Tara Ferry, Sirkka Sanderson, Krishna and Virinda Choudhary, May Tang, Joanna Broughton, Jo Fairley, Marianne Rousditer-Smith, Tikka Sing and Sallie Berkerey.

Shining Sung with her son, Evan Sung.
Sybil Kretzmer, Marc Rosen, and Christine McCarthy.
Shining Sung with Dr. Hidekazu Kurebayashi and Mrs. Shoko Kurebayashi.
Lady Lena Bone, Shining Sung, Kathy Sloane, Susan Gutfreund, and Katherine Bryan.
Shining Sung with His Excellency Representative Hsieh and Madam Linda Hsieh.
Carolyn Druion with Perry Field.
HE Representative Hsieh, Sybil Kretzmer, Shining Sung, and Madam Hsieh.
Percy Gibson and Marc Rosen.
Dame Joan Collins with the Formosa fragrance.
Janine Roxborough Bunce and Esha Agarwal.
Christine McCarthy, Vesa Kalho, and Percy Gibson.
Victoria Haggerty and Ruth Berman.
Jenny Gucci, Peter Psaras, and Elizabeth Kabler.

More garden gab. The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation held its first charity Garden Tour bringing in much needed funds for the rescues in their care. Private gardens were opened to the public all for a great cause.

The inaugural event was chaired by Sandra McConnell, with Lyn Hamer, Rebecca Williams, and Tish Rehill as Co-Chairs. The Host Committee included Suzanne Ainslie, Lisa Arnold, Alixandra Baker, Debbie Bancroft, Rosalie Brinton, Paula Butler, Laurie Carson, Beatty Cramer, Laura Danforth, Tim and Susan Davis, Linda Fraser, Heidi Greene, Ann Grimm, Peter Hallock, Thea Hattrick, Ellen Irving, Maggie Kirkbride, Jean Little, Kevin Maple, Howard Marton, Kathy McMullen, Christl Meszkat, Gloria Meyers, Marion Piro, Francesca Reigler, Silvia Robinson, Ellen Scarborough, Nancy Stone, Mary Lou Swift, Lorraine Vidal, Cindy Willis, Ann Yawney.

Max enjoying the view.

There were close to 200 people in attendance including, Elizabeth Robertson, Greg D’Elia, Nancy Stone, Jean Shafiroff, Laura Wynne, and Ann Yawney.  The crowning jewel of the event were the rescue dogs of SASF who pranced around the expansive lawn at the cocktail reception to the musical delight of Joshua Brussell.

The event sponsors got a huge round of “a-paws,” including Hampton Picnic Co, Vegan Muse, Canoe Place, Sant Ambroeus, The Kevin Maple Salon, Peter Hallock & Craig Mowry, Rebecca & Owen Williams, Mr. & Mrs. Gruss, Sandra McConnell, Stinchi Landscaping, Corcoran of Southampton, Alixandra C. Baker and the Baker Charitable Fund and Boxed Water for keeping all the guests and pets hydrated.

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is supported exclusively by donations and grants from the community. From caring and finding homes for stray and abandoned animals to providing low-cost veterinary care and dog training so that animals can remain in their homes, the shelter has become a vital resource in our community.

And don’t forget! The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s 14th Annual Unconditional Love Gala is returning to the Hamptons and will take place on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023, at The Muses in Southampton, NY. The grand soiree will be one of the highlights of this summer season out east and has been the most important fundraiser for the shelter for over a decade.

For more information and Tickets, click here.

A little further out East, the East Hampton Historical Society will be hosting their East Hampton Antiques & Design Show on the grounds of Mulford Farm, on Saturday, July 15, through Sunday, July 16. Now in its seventeenth year, the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show is widely recognized as the premier antiques and design event on Eastern Long Island and a highlight of the East Hampton arts and social calendar.

Preview Cocktail Party for the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show — Mulford Farm, East Hampton.

Liz Lange, American fashion designer, entrepreneur, author, and podcast host, is the Honorary Chairperson of the Friday, July 14, Preview Cocktail Party, which offers patrons an early buying opportunity of the extraordinary array of antiques, jewelry, textiles, collectibles, and timelessly chic furniture and accessories. Ticket proceeds from the Preview Cocktail benefit the East Hampton Historical Society.

“As the current owner of the treasured and iconic Grey Gardens,”  said Ms. Lange, “the historical structures of East Hampton are near and dear to my heart. The buildings that the East Hampton Historical Society maintains are vital and make up the composition of one of the loveliest and best-planned villages in America.”

Both the Preview Cocktail Party and the Antiques & Design Show take place on the bucolic grounds of the Mulford Farm, located on James Lane in the heart of East Hampton Village. Maintained by the East Hampton Historical Society, this 3.5-acre property features a restored 17th-century farmhouse as well as several barns and outbuildings that are among the oldest on Long Island.

Tickets for the Friday night VIP Preview Cocktail Party start at $250 per person and include return visits over the weekend. For tickets, call the East Hampton Historical Society at 631-324-6850 Ext. 1, or e-mail at

Advance tickets for the Antiques & Design Show cost $15.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the Events page on the East Hampton Historical Society’s website at

Bunny Mellon certainly knew a thing or two about gardens. We just heard from our friends at the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) that they are now accepting submissions for the 2023 Bunny Mellon Landscape Design Prize, which recognizes the excellence and creativity of projects from emerging landscape or architectural design professionals whose work is inspired by classical or traditional design. This Prize is presented annually as part of the ICAA’s Bunny Mellon Landscape Curricula.

There is one Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize awarded each year to the emerging professional for a singular project that best meets the prize’s criteria. So, if you’ve got anyone in mind, and would like to submit a nomination (submissions should feature a completed or nearly completed garden), send an email to by August 1st, 2023.

The winner will receive a $1,500 dollar cash prize and will be recognized at the 2024 Garden Symposium, announced on the ICAA’s social media, website, and other external media, publications, and promotional materials to be determined. The runner-up will receive the recognition of “Highly Commended” from the jury as they see fit. Not too shabby-chic, eh?

“Whimsy Farm,” designed by Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize winner 2022 Justin Willard for Hollander Design | Landscape Architects (Photo: Neil Landino, Jr.)

A Secret Garden. And last week back in little ol’ Manhattan, the CIVILIAN hotel (305 W 48th Street) opened up  a Secret Garden at Rosevale Kitchen, a new public space on the ground floor of the hotel.

There was live music in the garden and a selection of light bites + craft cocktails from Rosevale Kitchen all tucked away “in paradise.”

Designed by David Rockwell + Rockwell Group and helmed by Carver Road Hospitality, Rosevale Kitchen + Cocktail Lounge is a modern interpretation of a classic Theater District diner in both design and its upscale American bistro menu. The Secret Garden will be a sanctuary to escape the bustling city of New York in the courtyard of the restaurant, allowing guests space to relax outdoors and surround themselves with greenery. Ah-eh-ee-oh-uu …

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