Bold Romantic Gardens

Slifka Beach House

Sagaponack, NY • Ongoing since 1986


Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Wolfgang Oehme
James van Sweden

In Bold Romantic Gardens, van Sweden described this project as a “compact composition of distinct places and connections,” in which “we took a loose, unfussy approach, relying heavily on grasses and foliage plants.”[1] The plantings vary in color and texture throughout the seasons and offer moments of contrast, such as the tall, purple ornamental onion flowers emerging from the low-growing, yellow-blooming tickseed. The project continues to evolve and be refined; in 1998 the original house was moved farther from the ocean and replaced by a new beach house in 2004.


Looking down upon the garden at night is like viewing an illuminated bas relief.[2]

James van Sweden


Learn More

The Artful Garden, Bold Romantic Gardens, and Process Architecture No. 130. see resources


[1] Wolfgang Oehme, James van Sweden, and Susan Rademacher Frey, Bold Romantic Gardens: The New World Landscapes of Oehme and van Sweden (Herndon, Virginia: Acropolis Books, 1991), 159-161.

 [2] Ibid, 164.




The Photographers

Sara Cedar Miller (American, b. 1944)
As the official photographer and historian of Central Park for the Central Park Conservancy, Miller’s work has been dedicated to conserving the natural environment of both Manhattan’s East End and Central Park. She received an M.F.A. in photography from the Pratt Institute. She has written and photographed three award-winning books on Central Park and its enduring legacy.