When Michael and Kathy DiGiovanna moved into their Dix Hills home, recently listed for $1.325 million, the backyard had numerous trees, a few flower beds and an inground pool with an attached waterfall. Twenty-eight years later, the trees, pool and waterfall are still there, but they are surrounded by a lush landscape the owners refer to as their own “botanical gardens.”
Depending on the time of year, visitors can sample a peach or fig — the banana tree has yet to bear fruit — and take in the sight and smells of a dozens of plant species. That list includes the hummingbird-attracting salvia Roman red, a 4-foot-tall Oriental lily, a red-and-yellow Canna “Cleopatra” lily, a dwarf burning bush, a miniature autumn moon maple tree and upright elephant ears.
“I used to tease my husband, saying we should rent it out for events,” Kathy DiGiovanna says. “It’s like being at a resort. It is so quiet, really amazing, and a great place to have parties.”
She says she believes their backyard’s setting stands apart from the “clean, crisp, even cold” design of many modern backyards built around stainless steel outdoor kitchens. “With this, you get that warm, comfortable feeling of relaxation and peace," she says.
The backyard shares a one-acre lot with a six-bedroom, five-bathroom, two half-bathroom house. Built in 1971 and remodeled in the late ’90s, the home includes an updated kitchen and formal dining room, a mother-in-law suite and office with outside entrances, and four fireplaces, many in rooms that are almost fully ensconced in woodwork.
“It’s just a great place to raise your kids, to have parties, to bring family together,” Kathy DiGiovanna says, noting that the couple is looking forward to downsizing but shares their children’s reluctance to leave their home — and their gardens — behind. “It really is a beautiful home to feel comfortable and safe in. We loved it.”
The listing is with Gina Amen of American Real Estate Associates.