Quench Your Thirst!
What’s in the Garden
Humans are a curious lot. Most of us love to travel, and those of us who garden can’t resist taking a peek into someone else’s yard. This month, we’ll be catering to the curious gardener in you as we embark on a guided tour of Wave Hill and Untermyer Park & Garden, two gems located in nearby New York City and Yonkers. Join us for our July 27 day trip, which will be led by Rohsler’s horticulturist Eric Rohsler and fellow plantsmen. We welcome everyone to sign up via Eventbrite.
“Gardens are always in transition. Over the decades, Wave Hill has transitioned into one of the premiere landscape designed gardens in the metro area,” said Trip Coordinator Betty Wiest.
A 28-acre estate located in the Hudson Hill section of Riverdale (Bronx), Wave Hill includes public gardens and a cultural center. The property features breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the Palisades. Its houses and botanical gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
New York City attorney William Lewis Morris had Wave Hill House constructed in Greek Revival style in 1843-44. Publisher William Henry Appleton, who owned the house from 1866-1903, made two additions to the building and began a garden.
Wave Hill House was home to several famous individuals, including Teddy Roosevelt and his family, Mark Twain, and Arturo Toscanini.
George Perkins purchased Wave Hill House in 1903 and planned the grounds to enhance the views and unify the multiple estates he acquired. Perkins had the grounds graded and planted with rare trees and shrubs. He also installed greenhouses, terraces, a swimming pool, and constructed the edifice now known as the Ecology Building.
Perkins leased Wave Hill House, and lived in Glyndor House, a Georgian Revival home on the property. Glyndor House was demolished and rebuilt following a 1926 lightning strike.
The property now known simply as Wave Hill was deeded to New York City in 1960.
Untermyer Park & Garden
Untermyer Park & Garden’s 43 acres includes three major garden features:
- The Temple of Love
- The Walled Garden
- The Vista
“Untermyer is such a unique site, particularly the Walled Garden with its reflecting pool and array of plants,” Wiest said of this location.
Samuel J. Untermyer, a New York City attorney, purchased the property in 1899 from the estate of Samuel Tilden. The site included Greystone, an imposing mansion. Untermyer hired William Welles Bosworth to create spectacular gardens on the grounds. Over the next four decades, the property became one of the best-known horticultural sites in the country.
In its heyday, Untermyer included the Color Gardens, six entirely monochromatic gardens; and the Sundial Garden, a reputedly accurate sundial made from flowering plants situated in a circular garden bed and an upright evergreen gnomon.
In 1946, the Untermyer family conveyed 16 acres to the City of Yonkers for use as a public park. The property underwent a limited restoration in the 1970s. In the 1990s, Nortrud Spero and Joe Kozlowski worked with the Open Space Institute to revive the restoration effort.
The property is now being restored by the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, a non-profit organization that is working with the City of Yonkers.
After we visit these inspiring locations, you will undoubtedly have plenty of ideas to take home to your own garden. We would love to help you realize your own gardening dreams and hope to have you along with us on Wednesday, July 27.