Sands Point Preserve Conservancy has created the new Hempstead House Garden, which will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting at the Garden Party Gala on Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Redesigned out of necessity after the Preserve’s 1,500 rose bushes were destroyed by Rosette’s Disease in 2021, the new, four-season sustainable garden comprises diverse, native grass, shrub, and flower species planted to support the biosphere. For this $250,000 installation, the Conservancy is working with MNLA, the renowned New York-based landscape architecture firm, to revitalize the garden in keeping with the Preserve’s legacy.
Port Washington-based Calabrese & Sons Landscaping Contractors brought MNLA’s vision forward, meticulously planting the garden to be enjoyed spring, summer, fall and winter. The New York State Senate had awarded the Conservancy a $100,000 grant for the garden’s renovation. The Conservancy is looking to the Preserve’s supporters as well as garden enthusiasts and conservation advocates to help offset the additional financial obligations.
The iconic garden is a focal point of the historic estate, where more than 100 years ago it served as the backdrop for grand parties and intimate discussions among socialites, philanthropists, and pioneers in economics, politics, the arts and scientific discovery. The new garden, a sensory experience, ushers in its second century, welcoming a diverse mix of visitors with its colors, textures, and aromatics. From plantings that include pale purple coneflower, oakleaf hydrangea, October skies aster and much more, the Hempstead House Garden will inspire visitors to return to the Preserve to discover something new.
The Hempstead House Garden is a naturalistic planting that provides year-round interest and balances the scale of the garden with its picturesque surroundings using a palette of native flora. Ties to the formality of the historic garden are maintained by preserving the original boxwood hedges as a formal border while reshaping the interior of the garden and introducing benches that invite visitors to mingle, rest, and enjoy the garden and the views.
The garden pairs with its surroundings to offer a sensory experience. Prioritizing the use of cool-toned blooms and foliage, the plant selection complements the stonework of the Hempstead House façade, while the selective addition of yellow and orange tones gradually introduces warmth to the garden as it transitions through the summer months into the fall.
As the seasons shifts to winter, the garden goes dormant allowing the evergreen species, grasses, and flower seed heads to shine.
Beyond the visual attraction, visitors are invited to take in the smell of the flowers, run their fingers through the soft plumes of the grasses, listen to the leaves rustle as the wind blows, and hear the birds and pollinators work or take shelter while gathering the pollen or seeds offered by the different plant species.
During the garden’s debut at the gala—which will feature organic wine tastings, professional artists, cocktails, festive fare and live music—guests will have the opportunity to contribute notes and photos to an exclusive time capsule, honoring this historic moment for future generations at the Preserve. The gala will also mark the beginning of a new campaign in which the community can support the garden through fundraising efforts that include the purchase and engraving of commemorative bricks, planters, benches and fountains.
“As stewards of our natural environment, the Conservancy has revitalized the Hempstead House Garden, a dynamic and welcoming space with a very rich history. Open to all our visitors, the new garden is perfect for strolling, exploring and learning more about native gardening, where plants naturally provide food for butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. We are very excited to debut the new Hempstead House Garden at the Preserve’s August 1 Garden Party Gala,” said Karli Hagedorn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.
“The gala is a wonderful opportunity to share the new Hempstead House Garden with our many supporters. The Hempstead House Garden is designed for sustainability so that the bees, butterflies and other creatures who call the Preserve home can thrive for generations to come. This is a space where people – whether by themselves or with family and friends – can relax, unwind and take in the new garden’s beautiful colors, scents and textures,” said Jeremiah Bosgang, the Executive Director of Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.
“MNLA’s vision was to revitalize the Garden due to the loss of many roses and to encourage visitors to engage more intimately with the new plantings. The design respects the historical symmetrical bed layout with their boxwood hedges while softening their inner form to allow for seating. New period-appropriate planters frame the entries where visitors can now enjoy a diverse, seasonally rich native plant palette,” said Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, Founding Principal, MNLA.
Patrons of the Conservancy can support the garden in a variety of ways, including by sponsoring a brick, planter, bench or fountain. Tickets for the Garden Party Gala are on sale now. For more information about sponsoring the garden or attending the Garden Party Gala, visit www.sandspointpreserveconservancy.org.
—Submitted by the
Sands Point Preserve Conservancy