Thanks to ten years of dramatic improvements at Untermyer Gardens undertaken by the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in cooperation with the City of Yonkers, visitorship exceeded 100,000 people for the first time in 2021. Noted by Mayor Spano in his State of the City address last week, the public garden is now the Number One visitor attraction in Westchester County.
The Conservancy activated all four of its water features on April 9: Walled Garden canals, Temple of Love, Rock and Stream Garden and Ruin Garden grotto. The new lower switchback fountain is being restored and should be operational by early May.
Continued improvements this year will be Phase One of the restoration of the Persian Pool in the Walled Garden. Installation of the mosaics will take place next year. The Conservancy also plans to rebuild the lost Sundial during the summer.
The gardening staff will be increased to nine workers this year, still a long way from the sixty full-time gardeners once employed by Samuel Untermyer in the 1920’s. 15,400 plugs and seedlings are now being grown in the municipal greenhouses, to be planted in the garden this spring.
With a new season upon us comes a real need for volunteers. The Conservancy is already blessed with devoted volunteers, but more are needed, especially to greet our many weekend visitors. If you are interested in knowing more about this important service, click here.
Early April means it’s daffodil season. A ton of them are now blooming on Daffodil Hill, below the Temple of Love arbor.
We’ve been dreaming up an engaging roster of tours and classes this year. Below is a look ahead at our events during the next six weeks. It is not too early to buy tickets, as events often sell out.
Click on any event to learn more or purchase tickets
Saturday, April 23: Plant Geek Tour
Sunday, April 24: Garden History Tour, Part 1
Saturday, April 30: Illustrative Drawing with Donna Ingram
Sunday, May 1: Family Adventure Tour: Walled Garden
Sunday, May 1: Garden History Tour, Part 2
Saturday, May 7: Bird Walk with Fran Greenberg
Saturday, May 7: Drawing and Painting in the Garden with Shelley Haven
Sunday, May 8: Family Adventure Tour: View to Ruin Garden
Sunday, May 8: President’s Tour
Saturday, May 14: Garden of the Heart: Sufi Poets at Untermyer
Sunday, May 15: Sunset Yoga with Sarah Knox
Sunday, May 15: Trees of Untermyer Gardens Part 1 with Stephen F. Byrns
Public tours every Sunday will be starting on April 24 at 11 am. This will be a history tour, part 1. This year, because there is now so much more to see than can be covered in 90 minutes, the docent led tours have been divided into part I and part 2 which will be given in different weeks , again subdivided into history and horticulture. Part 1 features the Walled Garden, Lower Terrace and top of the Vista steps. More talking, less walking. Part 2 features Color Gardens, Vegetable Garden, Rhododendron Walk, Ruin Garden, Woodland Walk, Temple of Love and Rock and Stream Garden. Lots of walking. Regular public tours are $12, President’s tours are $25. Advance registration is required for all at untermyergardens.org
And something that I hope you will share with your readers: we always welcome volunteers, but we especially need more Greeters. The weekly Greeter program will start the weekend of April 16: four 2 hour shifts from 10-6 both Saturday and Sunday through the end of October, 2 people per shift. That’s 16 people needed per weekend. Sit under a tent, say hello to visitors, answer questions about the garden, collect donations. Come with a friend. It’s fun, helpful and a major source of fund raising for the Conservancy. There will be multiple Zoom training sessions starting April 6. Go to untermyergardens.org then go to Support and then to Volunteer for the link to contact the Volunteer Program coordinators.
With springtime upon us, anyone in Westchrester who loves to garden, or visit the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, should pay a visit to Untermyer Gardens. You will not be disappointed.