On Saturday, September 21, LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton will host a luncheon to celebrate its Landscape Awards. This year’s honorees are Kathleen and Charlie Marder, of Marders Nursery in Bridgehampton, which was founded over 40 years ago as a tree farm, and integrates plant healthcare and organic landscape creation into its business; Thomas Woltz, a landscape architect who implements biological systems and restoration ecology; Lynden Miller, a public garden designer who rescued and restored The Conservatory Garden in Central Park alongside projects in Bryant Park and the New York Botanical Garden; and Amy Goldman Fowler, an author, gardener, and artist who advocates for saving the seeds. Visit www.longhouse.org.
Indy caught up with Lynden Miller, Charlie Marder, and Amy Goldman Fowler.
What had been your involvement with LongHouse prior to this honoring?
Amy Goldman Fowler: I was introduced to LongHouse about 15 years ago by my friend, John Danzer, of Munder Skiles. Over time, I’ve become a supporter of LongHouse and a big fan of Jack Lenor Larsen and his mission. About 10 years ago, LongHouse featured my bronze “Rare Forms,” sculptures of heirloom fruits and vegetables, during a squash season event.
Describe the ways you feel this event is important.
Lynden Miller: It brings people to LongHouse and celebrates many people involved in the horticultural-artistic world.
Charlie Marder: Any event that acknowledges the importance of taking care of the environment is evermore important in these times.
How do you incorporate the arts into your respective profession?
LM: Before I became a public garden designer in New York City, I was an abstract landscape painter. Not only has my experience as a painter helped my work as a garden designer, but I also find that the best people in this field have almost always had an artistic background of some kind.
AGF: My mission is to celebrate and catalogue the magnificent diversity of heirloom or open-pollinated vegetable varieties and to promote their conservation. I’ve teamed up with illustrious photographer Victor Schrager on four books and Jerry Spagnoli on another. These talented individuals give me my passion for homegrown produce visual embodiment. Stephen Doyle of Doyle Partners helps create beautiful books that are art objects in and of themselves. In addition, I create bronze sculptures of heirloom fruits and vegetables.
CM: We incorporate the transformation process of assemblage instructing into our process. We practice theatrical ad lib and spontaneity into our gardens, giving them life, and we surround ourselves with plant material which give us ideas which result in consensus among critics, garden reviewers as displaying a status as being creative.
Environmental conservation is a hot topic. What are the ways you practice sustainability?
LM: I practice sustainability by designing and developing public landscapes and gardens by choosing plants that are appropriate to the site and can be maintained and then I train and encourage those who care for the projects.
AGF: I’ve been involved in the heirloom seed movement since about 1990 through the auspices of the Seed Savers Exchange. SSE is the nation’s premier nonprofit seed-saving organization. Its mission is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants. Over the years, I’ve distributed hundreds of samples of pure seed grown in my garden to fellow gardeners.
CM: We practice sustainability by working with very elemental living organisms and rebuilding literally from the ground up in the soil to minimize water use and maximize the health of all gardens.