Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
A few weeks ago, with no snow on the ground, I explored the site of the former Rose and Dahlia Gardens. They were part of an axis of extensive gardens heading north from the base of the Vista, now truncated by a nursing home built nearly 20 years ago. These gardens had been abandoned for more than 70 years, since the death of Samuel Untermyer. Gradually we have been uncovering masses of accumulated vines and bramble, and last year we were able to mow it fully for the first time - only to reveal some stairs lost to time.
Since then, bits of steel edging marking flower beds have been coming into view, and I decided to pick at them with my shoes. The winter grass was quite flat, and I found more than I'd expected, although the edging was quite hard to see.
Two days later, we had some snow after a period of sun. Our eagle-eyed gardener Jessica Norman happened to be at that spot and captured this view. The sun had warmed the edging, which briefly melted the freshly falling snow to reveal the original elaborate parterre design. What a surprise!
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy