On Friday evening in Water Mill, New York, more than 50 guests ascended the red sandstone stairs to the garden courtyard of fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s sleek Hamptons home (featured on the cover of AD, April 2023). There they were greeted by a bamboo grove that led to a flowery hillside meadow lush with native plantings and pollinators, among other landscaping delights. Indeed, the verdant setting was the star of the cocktail party, and its designer, Edwina von Gal (founder of the nonprofit organization Perfect Earth Project), the guest of honor.
Founded in 2013, the organization promotes the practice and implementation of toxic-free, nature-based landscapes. Van Lamsweerde and Matadin’s magnificent exterior surroundings—designed in collaboration with Tony Piazza, founder of Piazza Horticultural Group and board member of Perfect Earth Project, and maintained without chemicals—was all the evidence needed to believe in and support Perfect Earth Project’s mission.
“People are feeling anxious about our environmental future, and they want to do the right thing. A great opportunity to make a big difference is right outside the door, but people don’t know how to do it,” von Gal tells AD PRO. That’s where Perfect Earth Project’s latest initiative, Living Lands, comes in. “We are going to make sure everyone has access to the best information and personal guidance, and that their landscapers get the education they need to make it all happen.”
The Party on the Pond, as Friday evening’s benefit was dubbed, continued the conversation around reestablishing landscapes that work with—not against—nature, which contribute to better health for people and the planet. Guests including writer Derek Blasberg, Munder-Skiles owner John Danzer, journalist Alina Cho, AD100 landscape designer Ed Hollander, and more showed their support, as did event sponsors AD, Casa Dragones, Bedell Cellars, the Birdsong Project, Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, and Loewe, which just celebrated a store opening in nearby East Hampton. The Spanish fashion house surely had a warm East End welcome, as several attendees donned the label—from Piazza’s suit to the handbags of AD global editorial director Amy Astley, journalist Linda Wells, and artist Cindy Sherman.
One look around the evening’s replenished landscape—inhabited by guests and pollinators alike—and the Perfect Earth Project’s stance against artificial and chemical-ridden lawns speaks for itself. “The alternative is a landscape full of life, less stress, more natural beauty,” says von Gal.