The one–third acre Littman residence in Deal on the New Jersey shore was in the process of being dismantled for a new permanent garden being designed by Martha Schwartz Partners The transitional state of the landscape allowed the team great freedom in constructing a temporary garden for the wedding of the Littman's son.
Since both the bride and groom love gardening, "the garden" was the thematic focus for the wedding. The project became an opportunity to create a garden for a special event, and through the design, to allude to the impermanence of the installation. A series of event spaces was designed to accompany the choreography of the wedding:
The Long Walkway with Handsome Men:
Two rows of 8–foot–tall arborvitae line a 150–foot–long Astroturf walkway located along the existing gravel driveway. The walkway passes through a field of empty flower pots, painted blue on the inside, which marks the entrance to the ceremony tent and refers to the ocean view beyond.
A simple white tent faces the ocean. The ceremony takes place with the ocean as a backdrop. A field of candles and black–eyed susans in pots surrounds the bride and groom.
The existing pool deck is transformed for a cocktail party by a painted pattern of random yellow circles that overlap the patio and lawn.
A 50–by–100 foot white tent houses a field of white–clothed tables set in lines, as in a Bruegel painting. Potted orange trees, their foliage trimmed into balls at eye level, are arranged in rows in the center of the tables, blocking guests views of the room when they first enter it. When seated, the guests can easily see the whole space and feel the enclosure of the overhead tree canopy. The roots of each tree are exposed, potted in clear, 12–inch diameter, acrylic cylinders that run down the center of the table.
The Sunflower Grove:
A strolling garden is designed as a transitional space that guests walk through between events. The existing gravel, concrete, and grass surfaces are transformed by overlaying a 40–foot square of purple paint. A grid of 5–foot–tall bundled sunflowers are anchored in pots and placed upon the purple grass.