NEW KDHamptons Garden Diary: Madoo Conservancy Director, Alejandro Saralegui
This weekend the spectacular Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack hosts their ‘Much Ado About Madoo’ benefit, celebrating 20 historic years in horticulture! KDHamptons catches up with Alejandro Saralegui [above], Director of The Madoo Conservancy, who shares:
“What makes Madoo so magical is its poetic and romantic nature. Much Ado About Madoo is our signature event, and this year we will have amazing activities all weekend long; it’s our way of saying thank you to our devoted members, and a great inducement for new people to join the Madoo Conservancy.”
Learn more about Alejandro and the Madoo Conservancy in his NEW KDHamptons Garden Diary below:
KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much?
Alejandro Saralegui: I’ve been coming out here since I was in high school ages ago! Kendell and I lead a pretty simple life out here of family, lazy evenings at the beach, outdoor exercise and plenty of work. But it is a remarkably beautiful place. I’m very fortunate to live here.
KDHamptons: Please describe your job at the Madoo Conservancy for our readers.
Alejandro: As director of the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack [below], I am responsible for the administrative side of the garden. This not just paying the bills but getting and retaining members, creating community outreach programs like our painting classes or Roots and Shoots with CMEE. And of course when there is a spare moment I too do some weeding, clipping and painting in the garden!
KDHamptons: What do you love most about the Madoo Conservancy?
Alejandro: I’m a linear thinker and like classical compositions but Madoo has taught me to be much freer with my garden designs……and even my way of thinking.
KDHamptons: How would you describe your PERFECT Hamptons day in detail?
Alejandro: Sleeping in! Ok, otherwise I’d start with coffee, a banana, and tartines with beach plum jelly, and reading the New York Times [in paper edition]. Then perhaps a bit of gardening that is always in need of attention, and a run or swim in the pool [below]. Perfect doesn’t include fighting the traffic, so lunch is at home under the shade of the dogwood tree. Maybe pan bagnant, filled with great veggies from Marilee Foster’s farmstand. In the late afternoon I love going to Scott Cameron beach to see my nieces and nephews who are usually there with at least one of my brothers, or sisters and my mom.
KDHamptons: Do you like to entertain at home? What’s your “go-to” dinner plan?
Alejandro: We’re quite busy in the summer, however, we do make time to have two or three dinner parties a season. We both love to cook, but Kendell is a mean baker so he handles that end, and we’ll do something easy on the grill with a great cheese selection from Cavaniola’s [below].
KDHamptons: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant, got a favorite dish & drink you get every time?
Alejandro: Pierre’s in Bridgehampton is our go to standard that we can walk to [below]. We almost always get the tarte flambé and I do like a Campari and soda in the summer!
KDHamptons: What is your little secret about the Hamptons?
Alejandro: The Nature Conservancy Sagg Swamp Preserve. It’s an easy 20 minute hike through the woods, and close to our home.
Please describe your Hamptons home and decorating style? Do you have a favorite element?
Alejandro: Kendell and I live in a ‘70s beach shack in the village so it has a very casual air with some sophisticated pieces. And we’ve packed the white spaces with bright colors to get us through the year! I’m quite fond of our lap pool which acts as a reflecting pool when I’m not splashing around in it!
KDHamptons: If you could invite three people to your Hamptons home for dinner [dead or alive], whom would you choose?
Alejandro: Well, my mother, who can talk to anyone and makes everyone feel comfortable; Thomas Jefferson as I’m sure he’d have some good tips for our garden; and Gore Vidal whose writing I love.
KDHamptons: What are three Madoo summer events you are most excited about?
Alejandro: Well of course Much Ado About Madoo is our signature event and this year we’ve busted it open to two days. Year by year it gets bigger and bigger but in a nice organic way. Also we’ve got painting classes in the garden that start July 11 and we end the summer with a free cocktail party for members on September 20. It’s our way of saying thank you to our devoted members, and a great inducement to joining the Madoo Conservancy!
For more information and to purchase tickets to the event please visit: http://www.madoo.org/ado.html#