A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Summer 2017: A Global Cast to the Paisley Bed

Louis Bauer is Wave Hill’s Director of Horticulture.

Each spring, we plant up succeeding waves of brightly hued tulips. This shot of the bed in May, 2015, tells that story.


Once summer arrives, the bed gets planted up again for the longer stretch of summer into fall.  Each year, the bed displays a particular character, and this year is no exception.

Here’s what it looked like in 2011…



…and in 2014.

Sunset Wednesdays

Sometimes the hardest aspect of planting up this bed is the fact that it is small and has a particular (paisley!) shape. So, what to focus on and how many plants to include for an interesting and aesthetically pleasing bed?

We’ve all been reading a lot about people from other parts of the planet, about whom I suspect we actually know little—especially about the plant life in their home towns, villages and cities and countryside. That gave me the idea of selecting plants that originated in Mexico and several nations with majority Muslim populations, as a way to offer a fresh perspective on countries that are very much in the news.

Summer is a very busy season in the garden, so when I had a chance to get to the Paisley Bed a week or so ago, I seized the opportunity to plant up my selection.


Mind you, many of them are plants that already grow at Wave Hill, in different spots and different combinations. So, many of them will be familiar to visitors, but I think you may be surprised to learn their origins. Some of the plants we depend on in our kitchen, for instance, hearken from another region of the world—tomatoes from Mexico, for instance.

You can expect the plantings in the bed, especially the castor bean plant and amaranth, to be several feet tall come fall. Enjoy the slow but sure transformation! In the meantime, the Perkins Visitor Center, just a few steps from the Paisley Bed, will soon be armed with lots of details, provided by our Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day, about the plants I finished putting in last night.

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