Celebrity News: For those with even a passing interest in architecture and fashion, Peter Marino needs no introduction. The larger-than-life mastermind responsible for groundbreaking architectural projects around the globe—from flagships for Louis Vuitton and Dior to private residences of untold elegance (and scale)—is always a few leaps beyond the forefront of cutting-edge design. Yet perhaps the most tangible demonstration of Marino’s ceaselessly creative outlook is the Long Island garden he’s lovingly tended for two decades.
Here, Marino, who has just released a new book dedicated to this very subject, The Garden of Peter Marino (Rizzoli, $85), sits down with AD to discuss his beloved green oasis.
Architectural Digest: The gardens are incredibly extensive—pink, purple, yellow, rose garden, the orchards, the forest, the great lawn. Do you have a favorite spot—or even a few—and why?
Peter Marino: I like the forest because it is all green and always cool. I like the yellow garden because it is so unusual and rare. I like the lotus pond because it is so lush and the sound of the running water so calming. I like the rose garden because it is so beautiful and smells so heavenly.
AD: Your friend comments that this could only be a garden of an architect after observing your design on an axis. What are the important similarities between designing buildings and designing your gardens?
PM: For buildings: be at the site, build prototypes, and adjust accordingly. For landscaping: be there whether planning trees or bushes; try out several ideas and adjust accordingly.
AD: Your garden contains so many different plant varieties that you’ve grown, selected, developed? Do you have any favorites?
PM: I love many of the underused native viburnum. The peonies have a fullness and beauty that is so unique. I understand why Van Gogh painted irises; they are truly outer-space cadets, exotic sculptures, almost anthropomorphic.
AD: There are 42 sculptures by Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne—and as you say, they’re a major component. Friendship aside, what led you to choose sculptures by Les Lanlannes—and to do so over and over again?
PM: The Lalannes’s surreal qualities and sense of humor are the two qualities that I wanted my gardens to share. In every sense, the blooming gardens are totally surreal, and I purposely let them get overgrown so they don’t look too serious.
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