CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Like the native plants that are central to her new business venture, Croton’s Amanda Bayley hopes to bloom where she’s been planted.
After working for different landscaping design firms for 10 years, the 33-year-old Peekskill native has decided to branch out on her own.
She launched Bayleywick Green as a bridge to connect quality landscape design with high-functioning natural areas in the form of native plant gardens.
Setting out on her own, without the security of a regular paycheck or benefits, was pretty scary, Bayley said.
But she felt that it would be worth the risk to fulfill a “need that was being overlooked.”
Using native plants, flowers and shrubs, such as mapleleaf viburnum aka dockmackie, echinacea (purple cone flower), black-eyed Susans (part of the sunflower family) and Summersweet clethra in residential or commercial gardens not only look nice, but they also provide birds, bees and other pollinators what they need to survive, such as pollen, nectar, cover and seeds.
These creatures, Bayley said, are necessary to keep local forests, meadows and wetlands “diverse.”
Bayley said she was bitten by the gardening bug while growing up in Peekskill.
She and her two brothers liked to "play in the mud" in their parents' backyard, where the family had a large pear tree.
"We used to get a nickel for every pear we picked (from the tree)," Bayley said, laughing. "That was a lot of money for a kid."
Their parents also took the three siblings camping a lot, and Bayley said she always knew she'd want to get a job where she could be "in nature as much as possible."
Transforming a suburban backyard from a lawn and exotic shrubs into one filled with native plants also conserves an area’s natural history, Bayley said.
Like the local food movement, native gardens are healthy, sustainable, low-maintenance and cost-effective because they don't require much water and don’t need toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
“Homeowners and property directors can help the local ecosystem one property at a time,” she said.
Bayley said she meets with each client, assesses the best place for the native plant garden on the property and provides a garden design, plants and materials purchase list, site preparation instructions and long-term care guidelines.
She earned her master’s degree in landscape design from the City College of New York in 2009.
Before starting Bayleywick Green, she designed high-end residential landscapes in Westchester and Connecticut, New York City coastal wetlands for the Natural Areas Conservancy, and rain gardens and bioswales for the New York City Parks Department Green Infrastructure Unit.
Bayley also did habitat restorations while working as a project manager for eDesign Dynamics.
A member of the Cortlandt Conservation Advisory Council, she has a certificate in sustainability analytics from Columbia University.
She also served as treasurer for the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Among the firms Bayley has worked for are: Green Jay Landscaping (Westchester County); Bloom Fine Gardening (New Paltz); C&C Landscape Contractors (New York City); CLC Landscape Design (northern New Jersey); Findlay Landscaping (northern New Jersey); Sean Jancski Landscape Architects (Westchester County); Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects (Massachusetts); and Langan Engineering (northern New Jersey).
For more information about Bayleywick Green, visit its website, www.bayleywickgreen.com , email Bayley at email@example.com or call her at 315-PLANTS7 (315-752-6877).