On Shelter Island, nestled between the eastern points of Long Island, there is a special place that Leeza Stamm and her husband, Dale Boorer, like to call paradise. For the past two decades, Leeza, a garden designer, and Dale, an architect, have been working to transform the grounds of the "Homestead" into a space that reflects their passion for nature and design. Around their seventeenth-century home, which was originally built for a ship's captain and had been uninhabited for more than 50 years, they have created a garden that complements the house's rustic cottage style and have added quiet pools, handcrafted sculptures, and distinctive architectural elements such as a Thai hut.
When a hurricane destroyed many of the trees on the property, they found the acres of land that had opened up possessed a wild beauty they wanted to maintain. Of the property's numerous gardens, many have a loose formality, like the hundred-foot perennial border, and others are left totally natural, such as the land beyond the converted pond that was once a "kettle hole" swamp. Lined with paths, Leeza and Dale's garden is a private haven that preserves the island's pristine beauty.