February 21, 2023

Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,

The unnaturally warm winter may have deprived us of the pure beauty that comes with a snowy landscape, but the flip side is that it allowed our gardeners to be tremendously productive outdoors as well as indoors.

Timothy Tilghman has been whaling away at a steep slope in the lower area of the future meadow that was formed from piles of stone, masonry elements, and excess soil that were dumped there decades ago. It mars the line of the natural slope and will be regraded to create a more harmonious landscape. I am hopeful that this will also address some stormwater runoff problems there.

In the new hoop house, the gardeners have assembled a battery of movable benches that are tabletops that roll from side to side. It became officially operational just in time to receive its first shipment of plugs—lettuce and cabbage—that will be cultivated for the new vegetable garden. When our first Yonkers public high school interns arrive shortly in March, they will propagate a wide variety of edible plants for this garden. We are seeking interns for the summer session right now. Details about the program and an online application are available on our website.

For those of you who miss our water features during the winter, let me call your attention to our upcoming symposium, “Ornamental Water Features and Aquatic Habitats.” Timothy will lead a panel of experts who will discuss how to add water as a design feature to your garden. The symposium, which will be virtual, will take place on Sunday, March 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The municipal greenhouses are stuffed to the gills with seedlings for our splendid annual borders and container displays. Speaking of which, hundreds of our goldfish are swimming cozily there now, with aerated water, heat, and plenty of food while awaiting their return to the canals in April.

Over the years, the gardeners keep acquiring more tropical plants for our seasonal displays—amphitheater, East Stoa, canal crossing, Drewtopia, and the Vista---and I was staggered by the size of the collection when I paid a rare visit to the municipal greenhouses. Impressed, too.

Timothy will talk about the beauty of bark in the following video.

Kind regards,

S Byrns signature

Stephen F. Byrns

President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy

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