Wave Hill announces Cathy Deutsch as new horticulture director

Cathy Deutsch has been named Wave Hill's new director of horticulture.
Photo Joshua Bright

Wave Hill announced Cathy Deutsch as the organization’s new director of horticulture, effective Sept. 27. Deutsch succeeds Louis Bauer, who retired after close to seven years in the position.

A public garden and cultural center, Wave Hill has attracted exemplary horticultural leaders whose long tenures have enabled each to shape its extraordinary 28 acres. Founding Director of Horticulture Marco Polo Stufano, trained by the legendary T.H. Everett, arrived in 1967, and soon began to collaborate with John Nally, a born gardener and trained printmaker, to design the landscape. Followed by Scott Canning, now horticulture and special projects director at Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and then by Louis Bauer, Cathy Deutsch is only the fourth to lead horticulture at Wave Hill since it became a public garden in 1965.

“Wave Hill is a such an influential garden to so many,” Duetsch said. “Every gardener I know revels in Wave Hill’s daring and layered compositions that represent a global diversity of plantcommunities. Wave Hill sparked my interest in plants and inspired a lifelong passion for gardens. I feel an inherent responsibility to maintain the traditions of innovation, inclusion, and thoughtful cultivation. To follow my mentors in this position, is an extraordinary honor.”

Deutsch’s connections to Wave Hill reach back more than two decades to the two last years of Stufano’s tenure as director, when she volunteered in the garden, and was one of Wave Hill’s John Nally Interns in 2001-2002. A two-year stint at the Central Park Conservancy honed her skills as an arborist, after which she went on to design and install the gardens of Stuyvesant Town with a crew of 28 union staff. She spent seven years at Greenwood Gardens as garden manager under Louis Bauer, during his tenure there as director of Horticulture. More recently, she devoted seven years to transforming the gardens at Iroki, a private estate in Mount Kisco, and two years running her own garden design/build business. Her new appointment at Wave Hill brings her once again close to a place for which she feels “uniquely primed.”

“Cathy Deutsch could not be more perfectly suited to the role of Director of Horticulture,” said Karen Meyerhoff, Wave Hill president and executive director. “The first woman to hold this position, she takes a beauty-first approach to design using her deep knowledge of plants to breathtaking effect. She is an experienced manager who understands the multi-faceted needs of a public garden. And she understands Wave Hill’s intimate scale, its power to fill people with wonder and delight because these qualities are the foundation of her own work. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome her.”

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