Marilyn Young is Wave Hill’s Horticulture Assistant.
For some time, a small group from Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture Committee (FOH) has been planning to take a moment in May to visit Chanticleer, a splendid garden outside of Philadelphia that is so often compared to Wave Hill, and it finally happened late last month.
While it is always hard to get away during what is a busy month for gardeners, Katie Ridder and Bea Welch inspired the visit. Katie drove down Louis Bauer, Wave Hill’s Director of Horticulture; Pat Jonas; and myself. Bea and her son Sinclair met us there. It was a rewarding time to visit, but I suspect any day would be as it is so beautifully planted. We had a remarkable four-hour tour led by the knowledgeable B. J. Johnson from their Visitor Services team. (How could you not love a tour guide with butterfly-print pants!) Executive Director and Head Gardener Bill Thomas greeted and joined us for a time in the central gardens and then Jeff Lynch, Chanticleer’s Grounds Manager, joined us for some of the other areas, like the new elevated walkway. Then we moved on to the Bulb Meadow and the Asian woods. Details about the plantings surrounding the new elevated walkway—and the new woodland area with its bridge resembling a downed giant beech tree—were especially welcome, as was the opportunity to meet Chanticleer’s gardeners as they quietly worked away. Pat Jonas summed it up beautifully: “Chanticleer never disappoints and this was a particularly memorable day.”
Chanticleer isn’t just a fabulous garden. It’s also a garden that, like Wave Hill, is devoted to fostering new generations of horticulturists. In fact, Wave Hill Gardener Harnek Singh is headed to England this summer thanks to a Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, and Assistant Gardener Coralie Thomas has just been awarded one of Chanticleer’s North American Christopher Lloyd Scholarships.
Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture Committee is a group of garden enthusiasts who have joined together to support the horticulture program at Wave Hill. The Committee hosts Wave Hill’s annual Gardeners’ Party, a benefit that has taken place each fall for 35 years, and our series of Horticultural Lectures each winter.
If you’d like to know more about the garden, I recommend a new book from Timber Press, The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer.
Pictured here, from the top:
• From left to right: Bea Welch, Jeff Lynch, Louis Bauer, Pat Jonas, B. J. Johnson and Katie Ridder overlooking the Bulb Meadow
• Sinclair and Bea Welch, Pat Jonas, Marilyn Young, Louis Bauer and Katie Ridder—again, left to right—in front of the new beech bridge
• Katie Ridder, on the right, and Beatrice Welch