Roundtables

Photo © Erika Shank

For the upcoming months we will be sharing our lectures via ZOOM. Watch your email for the link.
We study a specific area of horticulture, or a family of plants and other gardening related issues, usually on the first Saturday of the month, from 10 am until noon from October through March. All are welcome, whether members or not, to participate in these free discussions. They are moderated by Pamela Harwood and take place at the HAH Library and meeting room on the lower level of the Bridgehampton Community House. Enter at our parking lot on the west side of School Street and go to the door to the right of the Book Bay.

Reports on some of these meetings can be found in our newsletters and also here on the website in our Plant Info section. They may also have been recorded on video, the videos library of HAH Zoom programs is here.

Roundtable Dates

2022

Saturday, April 2, 2022 | 10am to 11:30am

Digging into Soil

Please join us for our last Roundtable of the season. Our focus will be all about soil, which Merriam-Webster defines simply as “the upper layer of earth that may be dug or plowed and in which plants grow.” But we gardeners know that there is so much more to be said about the material on which our plants depend for all their nutrients and good health. In addition to soil, we will discuss making and using compost and even touch on the subject of gravel gardening.

Our principal speaker, Pat Nadosy, has become intrigued with the life under our feet in our gardens. She will discuss the critical role of soil microorganisms: their interaction with each other and with terrestrial plants, the networks they create, and their destruction by man-made soil ‘improvements’. She will also touch on cover crops and the effect on soil of different animals, and will refer to her favorite books on these topics.

Patricia (Pat) Harrigan Nadosy started her professional life as a Foreign Exchange trader at JP Morgan. After burn out as a currency options trader, she obtained a PhD in Botany, studying the antioxidant compounds of Rosemary. She is currently Vice Chair of the Board of the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy and a Zone Gardener, Chair of the Committee of Trustees of the New York State Board of TNC and Trustee emerita of Barnard College. She and her husband Peter are now living primarily in Southampton where Pat is Co-chair of the Grounds Committee of St Andrew’s Dune Church and helps out with the gardens at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Pat is also a former President of the Southampton Garden Club (one of the Tri’s with Marge Sullivan and Tish Bliss). Pat is also an HAH member.

So please join the Zoom Roundtable on April 2nd, and if you have experiences of your own to share, or any other gardening questions, we welcome your input.

Moderated by Pamela Harwood


Saturday, March 5, 2022 | 10am to 11:30am

From Lawn to Meadow: Enhancing Biodiversity in our Gardens
Download reference list for slides for this Roundtable here.
Download slides for this Roundtable here.

As we are all active in the fields of gardening and horticulture, we have heard from many experts that more is needed to be done to increase biodiversity, to reduce our use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and to support our beneficial and endangered pollinators. And although many of us do not have acres to spare, we do have an opportunity to turn at least part of our properties into small meadows, borders with lots of pollinator-friendly plants, and to even rethink the very nature and composition of our lawns. So I’m pleased to announce that HAH member Erich Winkler has prepared a special presentation on this topic.

Erich Winkler, who gardens in Southampton, is a long-time HAH member and garden and landscape design enthusiast. Now retired, Erich is spending an increasing amount of time gardening, and deepening his knowledge of plants and landscape design through lectures, garden visits, and courses at the NY Botanical Garden. Erich divides his time between the East Coast and Hawaii, and also serves as an Advisory Board member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization.

“Over the past few years, gardening has undergone major transformations from focusing primarily on beautiful plants to creating gardens that attract pollinators and include native plants – but what about our lawns? I will present various approaches to increasing biodiversity of lawns, thus creating a healthier environment, attracting pollinators, reducing maintenance, and improving soil health. While many municipalities and neighborhood associations still maintain strict ordinances on “appropriate” lawn maintenance, others are beginning to restrict pesticides, water use, and even provide incentives to convert lawns into meadows. Are we ready for the new challenge?”

In addition, it will also be a pleasure to once again welcome Brian Smith, Vice President of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, who will mention his work with Rick Bogusch to create a new meadow area at Bridge Gardens.

So please join the Zoom Roundtable on March 5, and if you have experiences of your own to share, or any other gardening questions, we welcome your input.

Moderated by Pamela Harwood


Saturday, February 5, 2022 | 10am to 11:30am

Creating a Beautiful Shade Garden

I used to think that for the many gardeners that live on woodland properties, designing with plants that thrive in shady conditions was an imperative, “needs must” situation. After all, don’t most plants thrive in sun and in a sunny garden? Wouldn’t we all choose to have a sunny garden? But it was not until I spoke with our next presenter, Lydia Wallis, that I learned that many gardeners also choose shady conditions, because working in the shade makes garden work possible and enjoyable during the heat of summer, or because the plants that thrive in some form of shade are irresistible standouts, or sometimes we start out with a sunny, open space and then we plant trees and shrubs that create shade as they mature.

Lydia Wallis, who gardens in Southampton, is a Master Gardener, a past president of HAH, a former president of the Southampton Garden Club (member of The Garden Club of America), a past president of the Wilton Garden Club (member of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut), a former Inland Wetlands Commissioner in Wilton, and an Approved Horticulture Judge of the Garden Club of America. Lydia has also competed in many flower shows, winning several top awards.
I am so pleased that Lydia will guide us through her top selections of plants that thrive in shady conditions, including bulbs, rhizomes, and corms; perennials; groundcovers; and shrubs. She will also discuss such topics as why we garden in shade, types of shade, how to create shade if your garden does not have it, creating a true woodland garden with a natural style, incorporating colorful foliage plants, and how low light can show off plants to their best advantage.

Abby Jane Brody, a leading figure in the world of horticulture on the East End, will also be on hand to offer commentary and answer questions.

Winter PruningLast year, I visited Bridge Gardens and took several videos of Rick Bogusch demonstrating winter pruning techniques. Later, the staff at the Peconic Land Trust was able to combine these into one video. For the first time, I will “screen share” this video with HAH members at the February Roundtable. This is such an important garden task, and since our members always have questions about which plants should be pruned now, where the cuts should be made, etc., I really look forward to sharing this footage with you.

Moderated by Pamela Harwood


Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 10am to 11:30am

Propagating Your Own Plants from Seeds Indoors and Outdoors During the Winter and Early Spring

Growing your own plants from seeds can be one of the most rewarding as well as economical ways to add annuals and perennials to your garden. And what better time to do this than during the winter days that you are otherwise only daydreaming about when you will next be able to work in your garden again? I recall when, as a beginning gardener, I plunged in and started a variety of plants from seeds, and those became the backbone of my perennial herb garden, still thriving today. I still look at those herbs, and other perennials that I grew from seeds started indoors, with more pride than many of the other plants I purchased. In January and February each year I direct sow poppy and other annual plant seeds outdoors (amongst the most admired plants in my garden), and in early spring some annual and biennial herbs. And with advice and tips from our fellow gardeners, we can all start our gardening new year by giving this a try.

That is why I am pleased to announce that one of our own HAH members will help us do just that at our next Roundtable.

Dr. Jane Corrarino, who gardens in Setauket, NY, enjoyed a 40-year career in public health. After retiring, and with the pandemic altering her life, she decided to expand her gardening knowledge and skill set, which she has loved since childhood. Jane earned a Master Gardener certificate from Cornell, and is now a happy volunteer for them. Her volunteer action project for the Master Gardener program was to recreate a historically accurate colonial kitchen garden at the Ketcham Inn, a restored 1695 Inn/Museum in Center Moriches and on the National Register of Historic Places (Thomas Jefferson and James Madison stayed there in 1791). There are 3 gardens on site, including the kitchen garden, which contains herbs, vegetables and flowers all germinated from seed. In addition, they are restoring a boxwood garden and community garden on the site. And since Jane has said she welcomes anyone interested to visit the inn’s gardens, I hope this will be one of our in-person Garden Tour destinations later this year.

Moderated by Pamela Harwood


2021

Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 10am

Choosing Plants to Create a Standout Winter Garden & Ways to Bring Your Garden Indoors

Gone are the colorful annual, tropical, and perennial plants that gave us so much pleasure in late spring through early autumn. That is why this is the time of year when we all begin to really appreciate the plants in our gardens that will sustain us aesthetically as well as nourish our beneficial wildlife for the winter months ahead. And since that season can be a long one on Eastern Long Island, it’s really important that we have other beautiful and hardy plants to gaze upon in the coming months, including native varieties.

So I’m pleased that one of our presenters will be Anthony Marinello, Owner of Dropseed Native Landscapes, Creator of the Long Island Native Plant Gardening Group, and board member of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative. Please join us so you can share your favorites too. Topics we’ll be covering include:

  • Evergreen trees and shrubs that form the “bones” and backdrop of your garden
  • Semi-evergreens
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs prized for their
    • exfoliating bark
    • dense and interestingly shaped branches
  • Color in the garden provided by
    • Berries
    • Colorful branches
    • Varied evergreen shades of green, chartreuse, red, and gold
  • Hardy plants with winter flowers
  • Plants that provide winter-long dried flower and seed heads, nuts, and pine cones for you and your feathered friends
  • Winter containers
  • Decorative structures that stand up to our winter weather, including ones that will provide water for birds
  • Bringing your garden indoors with
    • Dried flowers
    • Dried herbs for winter cooking
    • Holiday decorations using your own plant materials.

Moderated by Pamela Harwood


Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 10am

November in the Garden: Jobs to Do This Month to Prepare for Winter
November is among the busiest and most important months of the year for garden work. But there
is often a great deal of uncertainty about what to do now and what should wait until spring, and
that’s why this is such an important discussion for our Roundtable. We’ll cover the following topics
and even share a video or two:

  • Pruning: we’ll describe the various tasks that fall under this umbrella term, what to do now, and what
  • should or might wait until spring
  • Dividing and Transplanting
  • Which plants should I leave for winter interest?
  • Tender perennials: how to save your Dahlias, Gladioli, Colocasia, Cannas, Calla Lilies, Caladiums,
  • etc
  • Fallen leaves: how to put them to work in your garden instead of throwing them away
  • Composting: the ultimate garden recycler and what to add or not add this fall
  • Collecting and saving seeds: a how-to primer
  • Protecting Evergreens
  • Winterizing garden hoses, irrigation, birdbaths, planters, furniture, and ornamental features
  • Fertilizing and mulching

Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 10am

Plants to Make Your Late-Summer Garden Dazzle
If your garden was looking past its prime by August and still looked tired in September, you might consider adding plants that look their best and bloom in late summer. This Roundtable will give you the information you need to extend the blooming season and keep your garden looking full of life, including with lots of birds and insect pollinators that are drawn to these late-season flowers.
October is a good time to re-assess your garden while you can see all your plants in place (unlike spring when so much has not yet come up and you forget what is where!), garden centers are more likely to have these late-season plants in stock, and some may be on sale. The cooler temperatures will also enable plants to establish themselves before the hard winter frost and spring.

HAH member Pamela Harwood will present an extensive selection of August/September standouts, and we are very fortunate to welcome back Brian Smith, Vice President of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, who will walk us through his own list of late-season-blooming plants that are native to Long Island. Both presenters will “screen share” photographs of these wonderful selections.
The session will be held on Zoom. The day prior to the Roundtable date, members will receive an email with the Zoom link to enable you to log on to the program. It’s best to log on about 10 minutes early to enable the host to let each attendee enter the meeting so we can begin on time. We hope you’ll join us to learn, ask questions, and give advice to others. As always, we’ll save time for questions from the floor about this and other topics. See you on October 2nd!

Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 10am to 11:30am

Moderated by Pamela Harwood
As this will be our last scheduled Roundtable before we’ll all be purchasing new plants and back outside spending time in our gardens, we thought the timing is perfect to discuss how important pollinators are to the success of our gardens and to the environment. And since not all plants, no matter how beautiful, attract pollinators, we want to focus on sharing information about the plants — be they trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals — that do the job. Many of these selections of course will be plants that are native to Eastern Long Island. But others are native to other areas of North America and even other parts of the world. But they all share characteristics that attract and nurture pollinators in various ways and at various stages of their life cycles.

Sarah Alford will speak about attracting butterflies to your garden. Brian Smith, Vice President of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, will focus on the native plants that host and nurture bees and other pollinators in our gardens. We will go beyond plant varieties and also suggest how various selections may be best placed in your garden for maximum enjoyment, and other garden elements that are important for our pollinator friends.

While in-person gatherings are restricted, our sessions will be held on Zoom. The day prior to the Roundtable date, members will receive an email with the Zoom link to enable you to log on to the program. It’s best to log on about 10 minutes early to enable the host to let each attendee enter the meeting so we can begin on time. We hope you’ll join us to learn, ask questions, and give advice to others.

As always, we’ll save time for questions from the floor about other topics. So see you on April 3rd!

Notes from our March 6th Roundtable on Landscape Lighting

Our featured presenter last month was Tyler Horn, principal of Luminism Design based in Sag Harbor. Tyler specializes in landscape lighting design and installation. It was fascinating to learn of all the technological developments that have brought this aspect of garden design to the forefront. For example, advancements in LED technology enable landscapers to offer a spectrum of colors, intensity, and levels of warmth to “white” lighting options. The choices of bulbs are important as well: some that have multiple sources of light can create a dizzying effect, rather than the crisp and naturalistic one that bulbs with a single light source provide. The good news is that these enhancements to the enjoyment of your garden during the evening and nighttime hours can all be accomplished while still adhering to Dark Skies codes and also without disturbing your neighbors. Timers can automatically shut off your system by midnight. Fixtures can aim the light directly downward. Special wiring can enable lights to be placed in shrubs and trees to illuminate the plantings without lighting the sky, and to mimic how the sun shines into a garden. One member asked if solar power can be used for landscape lighting, but Tyler explained the technology is not available yet for this sort of sophisticated system. Another questioned whether homeowners can use these techniques to make security lighting more aesthetically pleasing, perhaps through more extended use of motion sensors.

Susan Harder, an HAH member and also the New York representative of the Dark Sky Association, was also a welcome presenter, offering further suggestions such as using dimmers, that lighting doesn’t necessarily improve security, and that April 5-12 is International Dark Sky Week.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

ATTRACTING BIRDS TO YOUR GARDEN Planting the Shrubs, Trees, and Perennials that Provide Food and Shelter

Among our attendees will be Brian Smith, Vice President of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, who will speak about which native plants are best suited to this topic; member Nancy Gilbert who, with her husband Richard Wines, owns Winds Way farm and gardens in Jamesport, who will answer questions about the plants and habitats on their property that feed and shelter birds, and Eileen Schwinn, Vice President of the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society and in charge of field trips, who will describe which bird species are in our area during the winter months. Additional knowledgeable community partners will be on hand as well.

January 2, 2021

PRUNING: Tasks and Methods for Winter and Early Spring

While we are at home and in our gardens more during these unusual times, there is one garden task that can and should be done while shrubs and trees are dormant, and in the coming months we will have the time to take on tasks we might otherwise put off. But you may find yourself asking such questions as, “can I prune this hydrangea or other shrub now, or is it a variety that, if pruned now, will result in the loss of the spring or summer flowers?”  How do I identify where to make the pruning cuts, what is the correct method, and what are the best tools for each job?

That is why I am pleased to announce that one of our participants will be Jackson Dodds, a certified arborist and founder of Jackson Dodds & Company, who will be able to help answer such questions. We will also be treated to a live demonstration as he takes his computer outdoors to show us identifying plant markers and pruning cuts.

While in-person gatherings are restricted, our sessions will be held on Zoom. Prior to the Roundtable date, members will receive an email with the Zoom link to enable you to log on to the program. It’s best to log on about 10 minutes early to enable the host to let each attendee enter the meeting so we can begin on time. We hope you’ll join us to learn, ask questions, and give advice to others.

As always, we’ll save time for questions from the floor about other topics. So see you on January 2nd!


2020

March 7, 2020

TOPICS: Favorite Trees and Pruning Techniques for Shrubs and Trees! Late-winter and early spring are great times to plant new trees and  to do maintenance pruning of existing shrubs and trees. A favorite maxim is, “right plant in the right location.”  The questions are, which trees flourish in  East End conditions, and what is the right location to plant my dream trees, both standard and dwarf sized, on my property? To keep your trees and shrubs looking their best we’ll discuss pruning techniques and timing, an “evergreen” topic. Several varieties can be pruned to stay shrubs or to grow tree size,  including our favorite Crape Myrtles. 

February 1, 2020

TOPIC: Transplanting and dividing! 

This is a great time to begin thinking about which plants in your garden you can multiply and rejuvenate by dividing and transplanting, which plants might need to be transplanted to thrive better in another  location in your garden, and which plants would simply look better in another spot in your garden. The question is, when is a good time to transplant and/or divide the particular plants you have in mind? And how does dividing and transplanting help your garden flourish? It’s also the way that members can donate plants to the HAH Plant Fair’s “Member Digs” offerings.

January 4, 2020

TOPIC: It is time to start planting SEEDS already! Please join us for a discussion about seeds and seed catalogs. See Sarah’s article on seed catalogs on the next page and bring your own suggestions for others and particularly information about what ones are your favorites and why. What are your experiences with growing from seed?

December 14, 2020

TOPIC: FAVORITE NATIVE PLANTS    Following up on Doug Tallamy’s talk at the Karish Event, our Roundtable will include HAH members who grow native plants and will share information about their favorites.

November 2, 2019

TOPIC: Our topic of discussion will be GROUNDCOVERS and we will continue the exploration begun by last month’s speaker on this subject. Many of you have had the experience of dealing with invasive, weedy groundcover elimination. Come share what does work well for you. If you bring in some samples, we can have a plant swap. Or bring some photos of your successes.

October 12, 2019

TOPICS:

  1. Plants that Look Great in September, October, and November (and may be on sale now at local nurseries or available from other HAH members!)
  2. What to Do Right Now in Your Garden for Maintenance and Improvement
  3. Questions and Answers from the Group