This is the time of year when our gardeners perform a distinctly nonhorticultural task, maintaining the mosaics. Having outdoor mosaics in our climate is not at all practical, as winter freezing imperils them. The gardeners annually clean the mosaics, regrout where necessary, inject fill material where there are air pockets, and finally apply multiple coats of sealer -- all to keep water from seeping below the surface. The job is not foolproof, but it will help protect this gorgeous part of the Walled Garden.
Last Sunday was a perfect autumn day to inaugurate our Family Fun Day. More than 175 parents and children gathered in the amphitheater and enthusiastically cheered, squealed, and otherwise engaged with ROGUE the magician. The performance was followed by magic lessons, multiple Family Adventure Tours through the garden, and a nice breeze that allowed us to fly kites on our big lawn. There were lots of smiles all around.
Our second group of Yonkers high school interns just completed its session. One area that saw a huge improvement is our expanded woodland trail network. Under the leadership of John Jacono, the interns constructed a long loop in the southwest quadrant of the garden, connecting the ruined fountain/future Stumpery area to the top of the slope below the site of Greystone, the demolished Untermyer mansion. It makes for a lovely walk and includes a very large mushroom along the way. I measured our trail network to date: it is about 3,400 feet long. I yearn for the day when it is a mile long!
For those interested in more Untermyer history and unbeatable architecture, I am leading a walking tour at Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, on October 30. In a setting of great natural beauty, huge specimen trees display fall color. The architecture of the tombs at Woodlawn is unrivaled and, although I may be prejudiced, the best tomb of all is the Untermyer memorial, which will be our final stop.
You might want to visit the lower cascade section of the Temple of Love, where a riot of asters is in bloom. Timothy Tilghman has the following to say about late season flowers in the garden.
All about Untermyer Gardens: history and horticulture.