A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

The Rewards of Succession Planting

Louis Bauer is Wave Hill’s Director of Horticulture.

I am very pleased to be able to share the news that one of our horticulturists, Harnek Singh, has been awarded a Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, the first to be awarded to a Wave Hill gardener. Chanticleer is a 35-acre “pleasure garden” in Wayne, PA. Its esteemed scholarships—five were awarded this year—are designed to promote creativity and leadership through academic study.

Harnek-headshotHarnek has been awarded a scholarship for a program he designed himself. It comprises two weeks in England in August this year. For the first week, he will be at Great Dixter House and Gardens, south and east of London, working alongside their gardeners. He’ll spend the second week visiting Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Sissinghurst Castle Garden; Hidcote Manor Garden and other, small, public and private gardens.

Great Dixter is renowned for succession planting—the ability to design and plant a garden in such a way that there is an uninterrupted succession of horticultural interest and beauty—and that’s of great interest to Harnek. This shot of Great Dixter’s gardens, taken by Jonathan Bickley, helps explain why. Succession-459x300He will tell you that the majority of what we plant stays the same from year to year. Yet for all that, the minority of plants that do change annually have an outsized impact on the whole. These are the annuals and tender plantings—like dahlia, salvia and others. So, yes, Harnek’s interest in what Dixter calls “succession planting” is particularly appropriate in the Flower Garden, a space for which he is responsible.

Wave Hill  credit Joshua Bright

Since he joined Wave Hill in the fall of 2006, Harnek has rotated a bit, as our gardeners are typically asked to do. Prior to working in the Flower Garden, he has had major responsibility for the Aquatic Garden—as ably demonstrated in this shot from 2012—and the Shade Border, for instance.

I am quite sure that he will discover plenty of inspiration at Great Dixter, and will find the second week, hopping from garden to garden, equally illuminating. We’ll be delighted to have him back here at Wave Hill in time for September and the burst of energy we summon for the annual Gardeners’ Party—not to speak of the harvest season.

2 thoughts on “The Rewards of Succession Planting

  1. Congratulations, Harnek. We wish you a season of enjoyment and professional stimulation–although it’s hard to believe you could become even more a master of the beautiful than you are now!

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