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Going Native

What’s trending among local gardeners



The night-blooming moonflower is a popular native perennial that charms gardeners with its sweet aroma.

If you speak to local gardening enthusiasts or experts, there is one trend on which they will all agree: they’re going native. What does that mean, exactly?

Gardeners, whether they are planting for beauty, food, or environment, are choosing native plants over exotics. Similar to the slow food movement, the Bedford gardening community has shifted its focus to local, organic, and sustainable practices featuring native plants that attract the birds and the bees, require less effort, and are more environmentally conscious.

“One of the bigger trends over the last couple of years is to garden for pollinators that attract the butterflies, birds, bees, and insects,” explains Vicki Marwell, a past president and current member of Bedford’s Hopp Ground Garden Club. “We are becoming more environmentally conscious and choosing plants that aren’t so highly cultivated. We are planting things that should be planted here, including less lawn that needs to be fertilized and watered, along with more plants that are self-sufficient.”

The most popular plants among the Hopp Ground members include Asclepias (milkweed); Echinacea; Lobelia (cardinal flower); Monarda (bee balm); Solidago (a type of goldenrod), and moonflowers (vining plants that are nocturnal pollinators with big blooms).

Mary Adam Lines, owner of Mary Adams Lines Landscape Design & Installation Services in Bedford Hills, counsels her clients on environmental issues and promotes using native plants. Lines stresses that even though plants may be native, it is important to select properly for the location, taking lighting and soil conditions into consideration. 

“I have a few plants that I always use, such as Carol Mackie Daphne because it has a variegated edge on the leaves and fragrant smell, the Cotinus coggygria, commonly known as a smoke bush, and the Viburnum juddii is a good shrub,” says Lines. “I also regularly use Stewartia pseudocamellia, a medium size tree that has an exfoliating bark, so it’s even attractive in the winter.” 

Native plantings also provide for easier maintenance, which Louis Fusco, of Louis Fusco Landscape Architects in Pound Ridge, sees as a major trend. “People are concerned with sustainability issues and want to do something that is going to be easy to maintain. They are choosing more native plantings, and we are transforming large lawn areas to meadows with tall grasses or flowering meadows that don’t need to be mowed.” 

Xenia D’Ambrosi of Sweet Earth Co. regularly receives requests to plant cut-flower gardens in people’s homes, specifically butterfly gardens that benefit not just the pollinators, but also improve the biodiversity of the land. 

“You can accomplish a pollinator-friendly garden and an edible garden together,” D’Ambrosi explains. “Many of the herbs flower beautifully and can be used for culinary, medicinal, and ornamental purposes, such as bouquets. I also always mix vegetables with flowers. My number one go-to in every garden is Agastache, or the hyssop plant. It’s a perennial and a three-season plant. The birds and bees love it.”

Local food growers, such as Liz Taggart of Amba Farms in Bedford Hills, have also seen a rise in interest for locally sourced herbs and food. Taggart, whose small farm grows almost exclusively for restaurants, has seen a spike in requests for native foods. In fact, local food has become so popular that while she previously limited selling to restaurants that were no more than a 40-minute drive, she now sells out to those within a 10-minute radius. 

One of the most common trends is a request for numerous variations of the same food. For example, five years ago Taggart would grow two varieties of arugula, but she now grows seven, and her kale production has increased from two varieties to eight. 

“One consistent theme in Bedford is that this community is extraordinary in its support for carefully grown, nutritious, organic food,” Taggart says. “We have such a wonderfully educated population that discriminates about what they want to eat and feed their families. Folks are very supportive of artisanal growing.”


LEARN TO GROW  For gardeners who would like to learn more about native plantings, the Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York Botanical Garden are great places to start. 

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December 2018

Join us to see work by local photographer Curtis Ryan Lew.

Cost: no charge

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle

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Jolly Saint Nick comes to Caramoor to fill the Rosen House with holiday cheer. The little ones will be in for an adventure with I Spy a Santa or Two in the Music Room followed by a 30-minute...

Cost: Children $10, Adults $15

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

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Buddy (Will Ferrell) is different from all of Santa’s other elves. For one thing, he’s “a cotton-headed ninny muggins” when it comes to making toys. For another, he’s...

Cost: 12.00

Where:
Bedford Playhouse
633 OLD POST RD
BEDFORD, CT  10506
View map »


Website »

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Jolly Saint Nick comes to Caramoor to fill the Rosen House with holiday cheer. The little ones will be in for an adventure with I Spy a Santa or Two in the Music Room followed by a 30-minute...

Cost: Children $10, Adults $15

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

The ghosts of Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, klezmer, ragtime, Peruvian folk music, and Hindustani singers hover over the music of Pulitzer Prize-winner JOHN HARBISON, WILLIAM...

Cost: $25, $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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The Sanctuary Series celebrates the Holiday Season on Sunday afternoon, December 16, with "Bach for the Holidays" featuring keyboardist Anthony Newman performing selected works on piano and organ...

Cost: $15 to $50

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
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Sponsor: The Sanctuary Series
Telephone: 203-550-5992
Contact Name: Mary Jane Newman
Website »

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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Making a stamp from a potato is a fun and inexpensive way of turning plain paper into something special. Why not try personalizing your next gift with potato stamp gift wrap? You will have the...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Join us as we make SLIME take home with you using glue, baking soda, and other safe ingredients!Ages: 6-12Registration required - please call 914-864-0130Location of event - downstairs in the kids...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Vanessa Williams, the multi-platinum recording artist and actress from Chappaqua will headline a holiday benefit concert for San Miguel Academy of Newburgh (SMAN) on December 18 at 7:00 p.m. at...

Cost: $100

Where:
Chappaqua Performing Arts Center
480 Bedford Road
Chappaqua, NY  10514
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Sponsor: Orange Bank & Trust Company

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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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December 19th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Decorate holiday cookies with icing, candies, and other treats! This event is free and no registration is required. Co-sponsored with the NS Recreation...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

December 22nd at 1:00 PM. Open to all ages. Create ornaments out of popsicle sticks such as popsicle snowflakes and more! Free and no registration required. For questions, you can email the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

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