By Susan Miele
Jan. 15, 2020: An exotic-plant shop called Mossy Fern, has opened in Bronxville. The store sells rare and unusual botanicals. Bromeliads, orchids, ferns, cacti, succulents, palms, topiaries, climbing plants, hanging plants, and seasonal plants are among its offereing. Mossy Fern is locaed at 80 Kraft Avenue in the space previously occupied by Breezeway.
The Bronxville store is a second location for owners Harry and Catherine (Cat) Fellows, whose “roots” were first established by selling at local farmers’ markets and street fairs, including Bronxville’s. The response was so favorable that the Fellows began searching for a brick-and-mortar spot, choosing both Hastings-on-Hudson and Bronxville.
“It only took a couple of times being at the Bronxville Farmers’ Market before we realized that the Bronxville customers were really excited about our product,” Cat explained. “There would be a line at the booth, and people guarding the plants they wanted. We felt that our niche of selling rare, tropical plants, terrariums, and bonsai was in demand here.”
While most items range from $15 to $45, the selection starts at $5, and special-ordered plants—such as a large, variegated Monstera deliciosa—might sell for $800. At the time of this writing, the Bronxville shop had in stock one Pink Princess Philodendron selling for $375. According to Cat, this type of plant is sometimes sold at auction, often fetching even higher prices.
A growing market for collectors of exotic plants was the subject of an article in the New York Times this past November. “There’s a huge interest in houseplants now, especially statement pieces,” Cat noted, adding that apartment owners are often especially interested in indoor plants.
The plants at Mossy Fern are sourced domestically from different regions. The Fellows recently returned from a scouting trip to South Florida, where they met farmers and growers in person and looked at their methods of cultivation. Custom orders are accommodated, for which plant scouting and sourcing services are provided.
In addition to exotic plants, the shop also carries high-end pots, organic soils, and handcrafted tools, as well as other garden decor and gifts. Services include repotting and plant consultation for both residential and commercial spaces. Both desert and tropical terrariums can be made-to-order, while air plants and elkhorn ferns can be mounted and arranged.
The Fellows’ background didn’t begin in horticulture. Harry Fellows’ primary trade is commercial photography, while Catherine Fellows’ experience is in marketing. Neither is native to New York: Harry grew up in Washington, D.C., while Cat moved to California from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The two met in New York while Cat was visiting on a business trip and got engaged following a six-month long-distance romance. They settled in Brooklyn, then moved to Westchester.
Mossy Fern had a soft opening on December 31 and a grand opening on January 12. Store hours are: Wednesday-Friday: 11am-6pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10am-5pm; Monday/Tuesday: closed.