Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens:
I am happy to report that the crumbling gatehouse did not collapse over the last year. Construction on stabilizing it has begun in the nick of time (thanks to the Gerry Charitable Trust), and new steel beams, lintels, timber frames, and a reinforced concrete bond beam at the top of the walls should put it in good order. We would love to create a Piranesian ruin filled with soothing green plants.
So our stalwart crew of six has now sprung into action and is taking advantage of the August lull to get rid of this mess. We will now be able to see into the woodland for the first time, where we have dreams of planting a beautiful shade garden. Farther down the hill is a large area that was used by the City as a dump many years ago; it is now concealed by a rampant growth of Japanese knotweed. Dealing with that is something we will definitely postpone for some years!
As I look out my window now, I see several Indian families making their way to the Walled Garden, gorgeously swathed in beautiful saris and madras shirts. Visiting our Indo-Persian garden, they are tasting a part of their heritage. The joy that our Garden of Eden brings to so many different people fills me with joy and increases my resolve to keep picking up the trash so that it is an inspiration to all.
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy