One of America's favorite cookbook authors is Ina Garten. She lives and works in East Hampton, in a lovely shingle style home with beautiful manicured gardens.
Her cookbooks are full of easy recipes and lots of hints on great entertaining, but I find myself looking at the photos of her house and her garden just as much as the food photography
Lets go on a garden tour!!!
This is actually a somewhat newer remodeled home that she and her husband Jeffrey purchased, after living in a rental property, while she ran her successful food business The Barefoot Contessa.
She hired landscape designer Edwina Von Gal to create a series of Parterre gardens on 1/4 acre of land near the house, calling it the "kitchen garden". Initially she envisioned the parterres filled with vegetables but as most gardeners find out, deer and squirrels will take a bite out of just about anything edible. The parterres soon became filled with flowers and very little in the way of herbs and vegetables.
Over the next ten years she tried to persuade her neighbor to sell her his property (so she could build a new kitchen and entertaining area) but to no avail...then finally in 2006 the owner acquiesced and Ina acquired the property and was able to build a new barn inspired kitchen, a walled herb garden and cotinued to plant more beautiful expanses of flowers and trees
The photo above from an early cookbook shows the young boxwood hedges and lavenders just starting to fill in. Boxwood hedging is really wonderful but takes years to look really full. The porch with the wisteria vine has since been screened and now has a permanent roof.
I love some of the old wood fencing and little sheds she has on the property.
No matter how hard people try, the look of time worn wood and the structure of old trees and shrubs just cannot be duplicated
The new barn sits directly across from the house
Below is the new walled herb and vegetable garden which sits adjacent to the new barn. I'm not sure why she decided on cypress trees inside this walled garden? They look out of place to me and tend to be a haven for nesting rodents, which was why she built this garden behind walls to begin with.
To be honest, I'm not sure how much I like this garden. I love the rustic touches in the barn design but this space is so austere especially for a vegetable garden....any thoughts?
The walled garden has really filled in, in these photos and I do love the simple bird bath
Here Ina is growing cherry tomatoes, chard, dill, squash just to name a few.
In the corner is a fig tree!
I think Ina's tomatoes are in need of some trellis work...nice to see some one else has these crazy
10 foot high tomato plants too!
love the orange roses!
There are dozens of articles about this wonderful barn and all of the beautiful details of both the exterior and the inside...including the amazing kitchen and great room
Most of her table arrangements are simple and I suspect she uses as much as she can
from her gardens to fill in the centerpieces
In the first of her two cookbooks there are a few photos of the early years of the garden just beginning to take shape.
She definitely has a thing for hydrangea
Her food styling is always so pretty, especially the shots taken out of doors.
I like the photo below with the old lichen covered fence and
the grey shingle shed in the background
She seems quite at home in the garden and I suspect she is a confident clipper and snipper
but not so much of a digger and planter
Are you a clipper and snipper
digger and planter
I'm a little of both!
Hope you enjoyed the tour
Photos via House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, O Magazine
Ina Garten cookbooks