March 14, 2023

Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,

One of the glories of Untermyer Gardens is its underlying architecture. This is especially palpable in the Walled Garden during winter, when the trees, shrubs, and beds are largely bare. Fully revealed, the bones of the garden are quietly powerful. The rhythm of the evergreen hollies alongside the empty canals is offset by the vertical framework of the pale grey fastigiate beeches, while the ribbon-like paths are juxtaposed with the tall, crenellated walls. It is a geometric treat.

With the weather beginning to warm up, go take a look at the Ruin Garden below the Vista. There you will see the earliest blooms of the year, including witch hazel without and hellebores within.

Please note that with the advent of Daylight Savings Time, the garden now closes at 6:00 p.m. daily, and we will soon see a steep increase in the number of visitors. Last year, we surpassed 125,000 visitors—about 25 times more than when the Conservancy was founded 12 years ago!

We have embarked on phase one of the restoration of the mile-long historic carriage trail, which has suffered severe storm damage. Missing sections of the gutters that flank the trail are being cast in concrete, and we have hired a company to investigate some of the terracotta drainage lines that have likely been clogged for more than 75 years. We hope they will lead to a still viable dry well or detention pond. These improvements will help protect the trail from future storm erosion. Ultimately, the restored trail will allow visitors to reach the bottom of the garden without climbing down hundreds of steps, greatly enhancing accessibility.

With the onset of spring, please take note of these annual educational opportunities led by our expert gardeners. It is time to prune and think about attracting birds to our gardens!

Are you looking for a fulfilling way to give back to your community and connect with nature? Volunteer with the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy and become a garden greeter, docent, special event volunteer, or garden class volunteer and be a part of restoring and promoting this beautiful oasis.

Timothy Tilghman is back to conclude his observations about bark in the winter landscape.

Kind regards,

S Byrns signature

Stephen F. Byrns

President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy

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