Home Ground

How do Westchester’s horticultural hard-hitters tackle their own yards? Eavesdrop over their garden fences.

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Eclectic style
Hallie Flanagan Wolfe Ossining

Q: Were you always a garden designer?
A: Originally, I studied as a medical technician. Then, I was in theatrical set design. I started gardening in 1968. I see design as a natural extension of building for the stage.
Q: What’s your philosophy?
A: We garden in four dimensions; the fourth dimension is time. You’ve always got to think, ‘How is this going to look in five years?’
Q: Do you have a signature style?
A: Eclectic.
Q: Describe your own gardening space.
A: I’ve got a very dense shade garden, a wildflower area, a reflecting pool, a raised vegetable garden, plus a tropical area with tree ferns and impatiens.
Q: How does your garden differ from landscapes you create for clients?
A: I’m more organized. I just indulge myself in my own yard.
Q: What’s your greatest challenge?
A: Trying to bring color into a shade garden.
Q: And your solution?
A: There are wonderful variegated and striped Hakonechloa grasses that love the shade and I grow hellebores. Cyclamen is an annual, but it blooms all summer.
Q: Have a favorite tool?
A: My bare hands.
Q: Do you have any money-saving advice?
A: Mulch with wood chips from a tree service working in the neighborhood. Grow plants from seed. Ask gardening friends for plants.


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