HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) MAY/JUNE 2021

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Native Insinct Landscape architect Christopher LaGuardia goes local for inspiration

Poetry In Motion An oceanfront home in Sagaponack is sited on a meadow that leads up to loose grasses and native shadblow in an interior “courtyard.” See Resources.

going to do well in our environment and not look like some random plants from who knows where. Plants native to the Northeast are particularly useful near the ocean because they are salt tolerant, hardy, and often deer resistant. They also provide habitat and food for insects, pollinators, and birds and in some cases even create biodiversity where previously there may have been none.




may/june 2021

What is your go-to native tree or shrub?

Bayberry, without a doubt, is the most versatile plant on the East End. It can be used in hedges or as small trees or shrubs, it’s deer resistant, and it grows in full sun to partial shade. It has wonderful green foliage in the summer and very clean branches in the winter. I am also very fond of shadblow, which has beautiful flowers and a windswept, “Montauk look.” How do you see gardens evolving in the future?

Early in my career, there was a big shift from woody plants to blocks of perennials, in the style of Oehme, van Sweden. There was an economy to


HC&G: Why use native trees and shrubs in garden designs? Christopher LaGuardia, founder, LaGuardia Design Group, and author of the brand-new book Contemporary Gardens of the Hamptons (Monacelli Press): I use natives because I know they are