I sometimes find it hard to believe I’ve lived in New York City almost 20 years because at heart I’m really a country girl. Growing up in Somerset County, New Jersey, my family lived across the street from a farm with fields of corn and strawberries and a barn where my mom bought fresh eggs. Although the barn and fields are long gone (thankfully the old farmhouse was saved and restored), my country upbringing remains with me. Part of what draws me to support local farms and cook simple meals with the freshest ingredients is my fondness for where and how I was brought up.
As much as I loved being a kid in the country, every month I anxiously awaited the next issue of Vogue and Bazaar to arrive and counted the days until I could move to the Big City, wear beautiful clothes and go to the Met and MoMA on a whim. Well, I’ve done that and consider myself lucky to have lived both dreams of City Girl, Country Girl. The call back to the country is getting stronger but for now I content myself with fantasies of hanging laundry outside on a line to dry, raising chickens, and having flower and vegetable gardens...
Speaking of gardens, my jaw dropped when I saw these garden gates! If and when I have a garden, I’d do a cartwheel if it could look like this. The garden, in Southampton, NY, is owned and created by landscape designer Lisa Bynon and recently featured in House Beautiful.
The fence was inspired by one she saw in the gardens of Hatfield House, a Jacobean masterpiece just north of London and home to the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury. Bynon increased the scale of the fretwork, which is what makes the fence modern and chic. If you’re wondering how she keeps critters out with such an open design, look a little closer and you will see she cleverly added chicken wire to the frame.
Her table is likewise bold in scale yet simple and clean; she continues the theme with her plates, glasses, and flowers. Can’t you imagine how soft and luscious the carpet of grass feels underfoot? Yes, if I had a garden, I’d love it to look like this. Thank goodness for dreams; without them I never would have left New Jersey for Manhattan...or let a garden gate inspire me to maybe "go country" once again.
Photos of Lisa Bynon's garden by Ngoc Minh Ngo