home&garden NEW JERSEY
To create a romantic passageway between the front and back
yards, Lavin planted two lines of coral bark Japanese maple
trees, which became an awning over the path. It opens up to
red roses, red hydrangeas and that spectacular view of the bay.
“Gardens should provide a sense of journey,” says Lavin. “This
is like a tunnel with a big reveal at the end.” Eventually, Lavin
applied her talents to the flat backyard. A proponent of edible
gardening—“it’s fun and easy to grow your own food,” she says—
Lavin created the Farmette, with asparagus, garlic, peppers,
peas, onions, shallots, tomatoes and potatoes. Another section
produces apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and blueberries. “I
regularly prepare dinner out of the Farmette,” she says. “What
we can’t eat, I freeze.”
Lavin continues to tinker in the yard. Recently, while weed-
ing, she discovered a rock garden long since covered by grass
and dirt. Intrigued, she excavated, discovering more rocks,
some the size of boulders. She planted colorful blooms around
the rocks—evening primrose, ice plants, toadflax, blue hair
grass—and installed a statue of St. Francis, who proudly gazes
at the bay. Naturally, she calls it the St. Francis Rock Garden.
SPECIAL TOUCHES Lavin always serves a specialty cocktail garnished with herbs from her garden. The Lavins string together several folding tables, decorated with
patriotic accents, to serve food, much of it fresh from their Farmette. Every guest contributes a dish.
GARDEN GLORY Lavin names her “garden rooms” to enhance her connection with the space. The Physic Garden (left and right) is an herb garden with medicinal
plants, a water urn and a greek-goddess statuette surrounded with yellow yarrow. Middle: The Red Arbor Garden is lined with red t wig dog woods that create a natural
pathway to the “big reveal”—the showstopping view of the harbor.
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