How to Choose the Perfect Plants for Your Local Garden

Westchester County’s diverse landscapes, from rolling hills to charming villages, offer a unique backdrop for home gardeners. Whether you’re cultivating a sprawling estate in Bedford or a sunny window box in Armonk, a touch of floral magic can transform your space and connect you with the changing seasons. But with so many captivating perennials and annuals plants vying for your attention, choosing the right plants for Westchester’s microclimates can feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow Westchester gardeners! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to create a thriving garden, bursting with color and life throughout the year.

Understanding Westchester’s Climate:

The first step is familiarizing yourself with Westchester’s specific climate. Most of the county falls within USDA Hardiness Zone 6b, experiencing hot, humid summers and cold winters with occasional snow cover. This zone rating indicates the minimum winter temperature your plants can tolerate. Choose perennials that are rated for zone 6b to ensure they’ll survive the colder months. However, some microclimates within Westchester can vary slightly, so consider your specific location when making final selections.

Embrace Each Season with Perennials:

Perennials are the reliable stars of your garden, returning year after year with minimal maintenance. Here are some stellar choices that thrive in Westchester’s climate:

Spring: Daffodils, tulips, peony varieties like ‘Karl Rosenfield’ or ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, columbine

Summer: Daylilies in a range of vibrant colors, black-eyed Susans, shade-tolerant hostas like ‘June’, bee balm in pink or purple hues

Fall: Asters in a symphony of colors, fiery mums, goldenrod for late-season pollinators, ornamental sedum varieties with interesting textures
Annuals for a Burst of Seasonal Color:

Annuals provide a dazzling pop of color for a single season. They’re perfect for filling in gaps in your perennial beds, adding drama to containers on your patio or balcony, or experimenting with new varieties each year. Here are some excellent choices for Westchester’s warm summers and cool falls:

Warm Season: Impatiens for shady areas, petunias in vibrant shades for containers, marigolds to deter pests, zinnias for a late-summer burst of color

Cool Season: Pansies and violas for vibrant winter interest, snapdragons in sunny spots, ornamental kale for a touch of winter texture

Sun or Shade? Westchester’s Light Conditions:

Not all plants thrive in the same amount of sunlight. Observe your garden throughout the day to determine the predominant light conditions in different areas. Here’s a general guideline for Westchester:

Full Sun (6+ hours): Most vegetables, many herbs like rosemary and thyme, roses, coneflowers, lavender

Part Shade (3-6 hours): Hostas, columbine, bleeding hearts, impatiens for shade-dappled areas

Shade (Less than 3 hours): Ferns like maidenhair fern, coralbells in a variety of colors, impatiens and begonias for a touch of color

Designing Your Westchester Oasis:

Now comes the fun part – creating a visually stunning and vibrant garden that reflects your personal style! Consider these tips for a masterpiece:

Mix and match heights: Plant taller perennials like daylilies or bee balm in the back, followed by mid-sized varieties like hostas, and finish with low-growing options like creeping phlox in the front.

Play with color: Group plants with complementary or contrasting colors for a stunning visual effect. Imagine pink and purple hues of coneflowers and bee balm dancing together, or the fiery orange of marigolds against the cool blue of lavender.

Incorporate texture: Combine plants with different leaf shapes and textures to add visual interest. For example, the spiky foliage of ornamental grasses can contrast beautifully with the broad leaves of hostas.

Bonus Tip: Attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your Westchester garden by choosing pollinator-friendly plants! This creates a vibrant ecosystem and adds another layer of beauty to your outdoor space.

With a little planning and these helpful tips, you can create a flourishing Westchester garden that reflects your personal style and brings joy throughout the seasons. Remember, gardening is a journey of discovery, so embrace the learning process and enjoy witnessing the blooming beauty you’ve cultivated!

Mark your calendars! On May 2nd, Bedford Ace Hardware welcomes a stunning selection of Proven Winners Plants.

Transform your garden with an abundance of vibrant perennials and annuals chosen for their long-lasting blooms and easy care.

Stop by Bedford Ace Hardware on May 2nd and let’s get your garden growing! 

2000 2000 Bedford Ace Hardware

Bedford Ace Hardware

Bedford, NY 10506

Store hours
Mon – Fri 7:30am – 6:00pm
Sat 7:30am – 5:00pm
Sun 7:30am – 4:00pm


466 Old Post Rd,
Bedford, NY 10506
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