A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

A Succulent Micro-climate

Wave Hill gardener Jen Cimino earned her BS in Wildlife Management and Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire, where she got her first taste of horticulture.  In the last five years, her responsibilities have included the Tropical House in the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory, the Pergola, the Kate French Terrace, The Rossbach Monocot Border and the Aquatic Garden.

Out and about in the gardens this morning, during and just after the welcome rainfall, we stopped to chat with Wave Hill Gardener Jen Cimino. She was tending to the plantings at the Pergola. The-PergolaJen-at-the-PergolaOne surprise are the lovely, round pots of succulents that have returned to the steps leading down from the Pergola to the Lower Lawn. Here’s a snapshot of two of them.

Succulent-pot-1Succulent-pot-2These were planted last year, she told us. “I had two thoughts really, when I planted these up last year. One was to lighten the burden on the Nally Interns a little—they are responsible for watering the Pergola. These succulents obviously don’t demand water the way the ones growing above in the Pergola. Also, this stepped area is hot, dry and sunny and I wanted to feature here plants that would be happy in this micro-climate.

“So, with Harnek’s blessing, I went shopping in the Cactus & Succulent House―that’s one of the areas gardener Harnek Singh is responsible for. On this side, the first big pot is plant up with a pup of the Agave americana that is now front and center in the Flower Garden!agave-at-the-pergola

agave-americana-in-the-Flower-Garden“These clay pots are super heavy, so getting them back out in the garden this year after they overwintered indoors was a challenge. I’ve thought they are really too heavy to bring indoors and out again, but they’ve really grown on me…We’ll see!

“When I chose the plants for this site, I really had practical considerations in mind—plants that like growing in a hot, sunny spot. But aesthetically speaking, I chose for texture and shape. When the practical and the aesthetic balance each other is when I think we achieve artistry in the garden.”

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