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  • Press Release
    Garden tours: See 4 great ones in northern Westchester

    For several years now, Barbara Israel has been the leading dealer in the country in garden antiquities, and her delightful 5-acre property in Katonah is her showroom. Here at Steepway Farm you'll find some 250 sculptures, benches, animals, obelisks, chairs, finials, fountains and other priceless treasures tucked among the many colorful perennial beds, groves of trees and shady allees. Except for a few pieces from her personal collection, everything in the beds and display areas around the 1830 farmhouse is for sale. Prices range from $75 for a small, cast-stone animal, all the way up to $175,000 for a rare statue with an important maker. Most pieces are in the $2,500 to $25,000 range. Come see for yourself on Sunday, when Israel's garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the Cold Spring-based Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program. Three other very impressive gardens in northern Westchester will also be open on Sunday. (Details later in this story, plus tips on how to maintain garden furnishings)) Following the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program can be a great way to play tourist in your own town. You simply pay $7 at the gate, up from the $5 it's been for 20 years, for a chance to wander around some of the best private gardens in the country that are open for a single day a year. A few gardens open a second day in summer or fall. An impressive Westerly granite statue of “Industry” at the end of an allee of bluebells and hostas. She is clothed in classical robes, with the attributes of ancient industry at her feet: anvil, hammer and the cogwheel symbolizing 19th-century mechanized production, American, ca. 1880. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News) Israel is the author of the definitive "Antique Garden Ornament: Two Centuries of American Taste" (Harry N. Abrams, 1999). Her garden has been a mainstay of the Open Days Program for a few years, and visitors will see some new things this year, partly because of damage from Superstorm Sandy and a microburst that tore through the front of the property. "We lost two dozen trees,"…