Like perennials that bloom each year, Long Island’s eager gardeners have returned for another season.
One of their hot preparation spots on the East End is East Hampton Gardens, a go-to for gardeners looking for inspiration, resources and tips to make their spring property sing.
Michael Giannelli, 55, who bought the high-end nursery and shop in 2017 after two-plus decades of being a regular customer, says the inventory is specific to what thrives in the area — “Hampton-focused plants and materials.”
His evergreen clients, mostly avid weekend gardeners, make a beeline for the store’s large selection of David Austin roses, as well as hydrangeas and other perennials. “Our focus color palette in a traditional Hampton garden is blue and white, or purple and white,” he says.
Giannelli’s take on gardens not only matches the East End, but, he says, it pairs with his personal view on life and can be summed up in two words — “formally informal. I like a garden that has structure and symmetry,” he says. “I also like to include perennials and different flowers to make it a little more freeform and wild.”
Giannelli, who lives steps away from the shop, says when he became a homeowner, he also “became sort of an obsessive gardener. That was my relaxation on the weekends.” He sprouted a green thumb thanks to his late Aunt Dorothy, who lived in Dix Hills. “Her gardens were really quite beautiful, and she was super supportive of my exploring the hobby as a child,” he says. “I got the gardening bug watching her.”
Flowers aside, East Hampton Gardens offers a custom service where individual pots are designed and installed at nearby homes for varying prices. The shop also offers landscaping and “fine gardening services” that are already filling up fast for the summer. Along with his ace four-member crew, Giannelli brings a passion for getting his hands in the dirt plus deep knowledge when it comes to coaxing flowers to grow.
Looking for plants that are resistant to deer who want to turn your hostas into snacks? What flowers thrive in the shade? Staffers know the answers — and enjoy sharing their expertise.
East Hampton Gardens is filled with items that make great gifts and are designed for stylish entertaining and hosts. Celebrities, including Martha Stewart, Ina Garten and Charlotte Moss, have even stopped by, Giannelli says.
In April, adorable fuzzy chicks ($19.50) that perch in planters and double as napkin rings “sell like crazy,” he says. Luxurious Louis Sherry chocolates ($40 and up) and the shop’s signature candles ($48) are popular and affordable presents. Handmade birdhouses, topped by shiny copper roofs, start at $495. Pottery prices begin at around $25 and go up to $3,000.
East Hampton Gardens is located at 16 Gingerbread Lane, East Hampton; 631-324-1133, easthamptongardens.com. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The store is open through to Dec. 24.