Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
Just the act of writing a new year, 2021, lessens a bit of the tightening in my chest. Let’s hope for a much better go of it as we change the calendar!
One piece of very good news is that our donor base continued to grow despite the many challenges we experienced last year. The yearly number of recorded donations grew 23% to 1481. Keeping the garden open and free of charge has cheered many people. Thank you to all.
Our communications increased 30% over 2019, and our newsletter subscription list grew from 10,000 to 23,500 people. Word is getting out – and how.
In fact, one of our readers had the following to say about our communications: “We also love your newsletter, which contains real information, clearly not drafted by a PR department, but by one deeply involved in this wonderful garden!"
Some people wonder about how our newsletters “happen.” Well, I write the first draft, which is then polished by Cathy Michelsen, our development officer. Jessica Norman scouts out the garden for the perfect images and captures them in beautiful photographs. Then the text is given a final professional review by Luise Erdmann, a retired editor and Untermyer relative who lives in Cambridge, Mass. Timothy Tilghman’s horticultural videos are of course the product of his own genius, captured on video by Jessica. I'm grateful to lead this wonderful team!
Toby and Timothy will explore garden features at some of the world’s great gardens as described in his book. Of real interest will be a look at Untermyer features that we plan to restore as well as some that we hope to create and that might even surprise Samuel Untermyer! This will be an excellent way to peek at our plans for the next ten years. By purchasing tickets, you can attend the event live or later, at your convenience, for two weeks.
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy