A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Wave Hill Sends off its First North American Christopher Lloyd Scholar

Louis Bauer is Wave Hill’s Director of Horticulture.

With Wave Hill gardener Harnek Singh in the midst of a Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development, and gardener Shane Pritchett recently returned from a week Garden in the Woods, home of the New England Wild Flower Society, it hardly feels unusual—almost!—to be getting ready to send Assistant Gardener Coralie Thomas off to England on a year-long sabbatical as a North American Christopher Lloyd Scholar.

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Only one of these prestigious scholarships is offered each year, and with the program only five years old, we are very pleased that she has been selected. The intent of the scholarship is “to provide a North American gardener with a year-long, practical education in the traditional style of ornamental gardening as practiced at two of the world’s most respected gardens, Great Dixter in East Sussex, England, and Chanticleer near Philadelphia.”

Coralie leaves for England in early September and will be living and working at Great Dixter for 11 months, learning all aspects of the garden’s operations. She will come back to the U.S. late next summer to spend the last month of the scholarship living and working at Chanticleer. And then she returns to us at Wave Hill, just in time for the busy pace of the harvest season. Her time in England will also include travel to other gardens, as well as to see plants in the wild.

A Baltimore native, Coralie is a graduate of McGill University with a degree in political science. Thanks to two undergraduate summers on a farm, one in Montana and the other in Colorado, she had changed direction radically by the time she graduated and came to New York to become a Nally Intern three years ago. At Wave Hill, she has worked with Gelene Scarborough in the Wild Garden and the Herb & Dry Gardens.

I am especially pleased about this further expansion of our network of learning opportunities because of the parallels between Great Dixter and Wave Hill. Both have their origins in estate gardens that were rather ordinary but have evolved—and continued to evolve—in new and interesting directions. I know that the Scholarship is intended to give recipients an understanding of the “‘sense of place’ needed to manage complex, innovative flower gardens.” That makes this experience an especially valuable one. Perhaps most importantly, Great Dixter and Chanticleer have dedicated themselves to being places of horticultural learning, and that commitment is one that Wave Hill cherishes as well.

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