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The Work We Do: Tara Striano, Salty Roots

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My name is Tara Striano. I’m the owner of Salty Roots and we are based in Mattituck.

Salty Roots is a garden and landscape design company.

Being outside is a pretty awesome part of our job, not sitting at a desk all day, but we do have aspects that involve being at a desk.

Sometimes I’ll be doing design at my computer and research, sometimes we’re out sourcing. Sometimes we’re going to meetings with clients or going to check on gardens, doing some maintenance, making sure everyone’s homes are looking happy and healthy.

We work closely with clients to have their visions come to life if they have them and if not, help them create a vision.

We try to source locally and we work organically. We try to provide things for the pollinators to keep literally everybody happy.

The homeowners and the butterflies and the bees.

I originally worked for one year with Judy Plant, who used to be a garden and landscape designer out here. While we were working together, Judy decided to retire. She asked me if I wanted to take over the business. That’s when Salty Roots was born, three years ago.

I was passionate about gardening but hadn’t been doing it for work. After I decided to take over the business, I did the Master Gardener program here at the Cornell Cooperative Extension. I also completed the horticultural program at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

When I used to live in the city, I had a balcony and I always had a lot of plants on the balcony. That’s where my passion for container gardens started. I still love doing them because you can really control and manipulate when you’re working in a container.

When my husband and I moved out here, to Mattituck, and my balcony garden turned into a large landscape. I’m a photographer as well. That’s what I was doing before when we decided to move out here. Now, I’m able to do both.

It’s all visual, so they sort of complement each other. I really enjoy the creative process.

From start to finish, meeting with someone and trying to figure out what they want and helping them bring that to life through design, through the different plants, is a really enjoyable part about what we do.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork made possible by Peconic Landing.tara