“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
We recently discovered a hidden garden paradise in Yonkers, New York called Untermyer Park & Gardens. We can't think of a more calming place to quiet the mind than a Garden, and Untermyer is the kind of garden that draws you in with its beauty, calling you to return again and again.
Once called "America's Most Spectacular Garden" the gardens were originally part of Greystone, a 150 acre estate acquired by Samuel Untermyer in 1899, a very successful lawyer. In 1917 Untermyer commissioned architect William Welles Bosworth to design the gardens.
Now renamed and owned by the City of Yonkers, Untermyer Gardens is a free public park comprised of about 43 acres. In collaboration with the City of Yonkers, the gardens are maintained and being restored by the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. Timothy Tilghman is Untermyer's head gardener and horticulturist.
The garden is broken up into sections and trails; The Walled Garden, The Vista, Garden Remnants, Vista Overlook, Rhododendron Walk, Gate House, Woodland Trail, Carriage Trail, Temple of Love, Rock Garden – each with their own tranquil beauty.
The Walled Garden
The entrance to the garden is a single doorway carved out of the massive stone-walls of the garden. Fittingly, a carving of Artemis the Greek goddess of wild nature is above the doorway.
As soon as we entered the garden we were immediately transported under a shady canopy of weeping birch trees with the soothing sounds of water. Hidden inside the walls is a Indo-Persian inspired garden with crisscrossing water canals. The canals break the garden into four quadrants which represent the four elements; earth, air fire and water.
The Entrance's Weeping Birch Trees
Abelia grandiflora 'Rose Creek'
Greek-Inspired Temple of the Sky
The Vista & Overlook
Inside the walled garden is a doorway to a dramatic stairway called The Vista. The staircase was modeled after the stairs at Villa D'Este in Italy and is flanked with more than 100 Japanese cedar trees. The doorway view is beautiful... a window to nature.
At the base of the Vista stairs is the Overlook with stunning views of the Hudson River and the steep cliffs of the Palisades. The two columns framing the Overlook are ancient monolithic marble columns from the estate of Stanford White.
The feeling at the Overlook is so calming and viewing Nature's silent beauty will take your breath away.... everyone sharing the view with us were silent.
The Temple of Love
Created by Genoese stone mason, Carlo Davite, The Temple of Love is a cascading rock waterfall topped with a round temple surrounded by rock gardens overlooking the Hudson River. It is best viewed from below, so take the Vista stairs down then take the dirt trail to your left right before the Overlook.
945 North Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701