The results are in, and they tell a compelling story of growth here at Untermyer Gardens: we welcomed 175,000 visitors in 2023, up from 150,000 in 2022. Our calculations are based on a combination of factors, including clicker counts taken by our volunteers on weekends and during the Illumination, the quantity of brochures used throughout the year, and registrations for tours and programs. It’s a real treat to know that the garden brings joy to so many!
Just before the harsh winter weather set in, we completed a beautiful 200-foot-long stone retaining wall along the carriage trail below Daffodil Hill. The original wall had largely collapsed, compounding the impact of storm damage to the adjacent carriage trail and the slope below. This urgent repair dovetails with our project to make major improvements throughout the mile-long trail. It will take years, but the result will be a properly drained road, free of ruts and rocks, that traverses the more natural portions of the garden and woodland, greatly increasing their accessibility.
Do the zinnias know their bright blossoms
Continue to lift in a crushing world?
Do they say their own silent “thank you” for the last frost
(Not knowing what it portends)?
Do they know the joy they bring to our garden and table?
Do the dahlias know their late summer blooms sing for the bees?
Do they know our promise to dig them up,
To keep them safe for next Spring’s planting
Keeps our hearts safe—planning for
Another bright Spring?
The humanity of flowers lifts me up--
In this world—so stark, so inhuman.
Do the flowers know they are symbols of hope
For next year’s garden bounty,
For next year’s quiet beauty?
A haven for the swallowtails and monarchs, and bees
And for my hopeful heart.
Please take advantage of this year’s Winter Symposium on the subject of vegetable gardens, as well as our winter classes.
Stephen F. Byrns