Garden Artistry in The Hamptons
It Started in Israel
At the age of just 18, having graduated High School with straight A's, a young man named Mark decided to go on Kibbutz in Israel. He was active in the Zioniest movement and Israel had been beckoning for quite some time.
In Isreal he would learn to plant and grow the very fruits and vegetables that all those who lived on Kibbutz would rely on for their sustenance. Mark learned about gardening and irrigation. He woke up long before the sun kissed the sky and joyously loaded trucks and scrubbed vegetables. He enjoyed his work, he loved working with the earth.
Eventually, Mark would enroll in University in Jerusalem. Incredibly intelligent he would not only be able to get his education purely on scholarship, but the University would do something they rarely ever did. They would pay for his room and board as well. All of this was free to Mark who's years of education at Hebrew University would lead him to a Ph.D in Philosophy. He would then become a professor there.
While living in Israel Mark had a strange desire to live on the Arab side with his 5 dogs, where he enjoyed building a stone wall and planting a garden in the desert. This is when he met his friend Thomas. Mark used his knowledge about irrigation that he had learned on Kibbutz to plant his desert garden with his friend. .
Eventually Thomas would leave Israel for a life in the States in an area his brother (a famous fashion photographer) would tell him about called the Hamptons on the East End of Long Island, New York. Thomas built some gardens for a few people and then Autumn came. Thomas had a hard time collecting from his clients and didn't know how he and his wife Martina would make it through the winter. They called Mark for help.
Mark scraped up enough money to fly to New York to help his friends. What he realized once he arrived was that the world outside the protective walls of University was very different and more exciting now that he was older. Eventually he left Israel to stay in the Hamptons with his friends. They would create gardens together, write a book (well Mark would write the book), and for a while even live together.
Then one day it seemed clear that his friends no longer had an interest in the business. They had purchsed a mountain (yes a mountain) in Italy and were planning to build a house on their mountain once a huge inheritance came through.
Mark went to Virginia and worked on a huge public garden project in Richmond. He then traveled around Europe and even lived in Germany for a year before returning to New York in 1994.
Mark decided he wanted to start his life over again. Start his own Landscape Design Company. He made a list:
1) Find a woman. This he felt would be a friend and partner to start the business with, someone he would marry and have children with. Which meant, he had to fall in love.
2) Start the business
3) Buy a house
4) Have children
He pursued this dream for a year and was just about to give up when in November of 1995 he finally met....me!!
The Most Beautiful Gardens in the Hamptons
Mark's first huge job was perfect for him. His favorite thing. A blank canvas that required a garden, a pool, stone patio, stone walls, a fence, trees and pots. It required everything. That for Mark is a blank canvas and that meant that he could create his masterpiece from scratch without having to work with or transplant what he called "the mistakes the previous person made".
I must say right now so you are aware: All photographs I have included here are such as F02 or H01 this means that all F's are the same property, all H's are the same property and so on. Those not connected in letter and numbering stand alone and are used for a specific purpose.
The F01-F04 pictures are the first property Mark did with Mark Moskowitz Landscape Designs, Inc. or what we like to call MMLD.
After convincing me to leave my job in Westchester County and commute 2.5 hours to the Hamptons, I spent the Winter months freezing with Mark in gardens or on vacant properties outlining his design plan, taking measurements and begging for a cup of hot tea. Summers were not a welcome relief. This was the season and the paperwork, billing and phone calls were mind numbing. I was one woman in an office that required about three. And MMLD was gaining in popularity with our clients, we doubled the first year.
It was exciting to see the development of a blank canvas into a work of art. I am including in this hub just a small amount of the thousands upon thousands of pictures I have taken of Marks Landscaping art. He has constructed some of the most beautiful gardens in the Hamptons.
MMLD became a huge success over these past 13 years with over 60 clients that Mark handles personally. He prefers to care for gardens he himself has installed, but often gets emergency phone calls from people who had hired large well known commercial people to do their landscaping and want Mark to come and fix it or change it.
When Mark arrived at the house in the H01 to H05 pictures there was only a pool in the middle of a lawn. Mark first built the irregular rose stone patio then surrounded that with layers of garden.
Pots, Wild flower gardens and More...
Pots should overflow with flowers. Just enough is not enough. Too much is perfect. They are magnificent additions to any deck, porch or patio.
One of Marks wildflower gardens was used in the commercial with Gwyneth Patrow for Estee Lauder. But not this one.
Marks one Italian Romance garden was one of those landscape properties Mark had to fix. He got rid of or transplanted most of what the previous company had done and installed this one instead. This property is wonderful in the front and back, but my favorite part is this arch and the fountain. (G01 & G02).
Garden K01 to K05 is a large property that actually has about 4 or 5 different major gardens; a woodland garden, a rock garden, an Iris garden, a hidden garden behind huge trees with a path, a wildflower garden, and an orchard. These pictures show the gardens on either side of the driveway, the rock garden, the garden behind the house near the patio, and the grasses planted by the entrance. For a garden that is easy to maintain grasses are beautiful.
I have also included a picture that recently appeared on the cover of Hamptons Magazine with Russell Simmons standing on one of the boulders surrounding his pool that Mark installed along with the garden, prior to Russell purchasing it. Russell says he saw the property from a helicopter and bought it for the garden and pool. He purchased the house before ever setting foot inside it. Marks gardens have appeared in several garden magazines as well and his book "Ornamental Grass Gardening" was available at Amazon.com up until a few years ago. Now it can only be purchased through us.