Anna Wintour's Wild Garden
Looking through some past videos on the New York Times website I came across a piece about "Anna Wintour's Wild Garden" that was published this past Summer. Many people know about her NYC townhouse located in the Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District with its very exclusive garden (even more so than Gramercy Park) but this "Wild Garden" I was unfamiliar with. While I had assumed Ms. Wintour had a home outside of the city I had no idea the size nor the actual location of this second home (compound??). My curiosity got the better of me and I found myself googling for over an hour to find out more about this strange enclave she had created.
Surprisingly it is not located in one of the tony Hamptons towns, as one might assume. Since 1989 Anna Wintour has been slowly piecing together a massive estate in Mastic Long Island (not even Quogue, for those RHONY fans out there). Don't get me wrong, Mastic doesn't seem to be the next "Place To See and Be Seen" due to Ms. Wintour's presence. Anna is famously known for saying "I just import the people I want... I don't mind the town. It's white trash of course, but I don't care" but there is obviously some sort of a draw for the Artistic Director of the Condé Nast empire.
At 42+ acres and counting, one of the most impressive parts of the property are the grounds. Designed by landscape architect Miranda Brooks, there is a very natural and light feel to them. Much more untethered English Garden than uptight Hamptons Estate. While much of the property looks "unkempt" it is in actuality a thought out 20 year process. Many of the organic seeming meadows were meticulously sewn to appear as if they have always been. One of the great talent of Ms Brooks is to make everything seem so natural, when in fact all of it has been well planned. The video below from the NY Times gives a great insight into this process.
I'm definitely biased, having spent much of my youth visiting my British family in the countryside of Somerset, but the way all of the plantings are over grown and uncultivated makes for a perfect escape from the harsh reality on the city.