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Untermyer Temple of Love Restored
(with a little bit of GCI’s Help)
In May, 2015, Garden Club members were treated to a tour of Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers — once considered the greatest Garden in America — by Stephen Byrns, chairman of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy board of directors and the architect of its restoration. The tour included several important, newly opened vistas and areas under construction and renovation.
This magnificent allée, leading to the Hudson, was recently cleared of debris and will be planted with flowering shrubs and 200 chamaecyparis trees, the nearest local equivalent to Italian cypress.
The Walled Garden owes its inspiration to the great Indo-Persian gardens of antiquity. The north border, shown here, flanking the amphitheater, offers moist shade and a large reflecting pool dotted with tropical water lilies and other aquatic plants. Goldfish and koi enjoy hiding near these plants, and local residents and workers can be found enjoying their lunch breaks.
The Temple of Love, above, at the southern end of the garden, is, according to Stephen Byrns, the only gazebo of its kind — perched on a rock promontory — in the western hemisphere. This year, it will be restored. Last year, the Garden Club of Irvington applied for a Garden Club of America Founders’s Fund grant to aid in the estimated $275,000 restoration. GCI was the second-place winner, and $7,500 was awarded towards the restoration of the waterways. Native plants from our members’ gardens will be used in the plantings. A copy of the grant proposal follows.
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Flowers in the Font
It is an April tradition for new, provisional members of the GCI to plant “The Font” on Main Street in front of Irvington Town Hall with spring flowers such as these bi-colored Martha Washington pelargoniums (geraniums).
As the sign partially visible in the lower left of the picture recounts, the Font is a stone bowl that was originally part of a 19th-century water trough for horses and dogs, which stood at the intersection of Broadway and Harriman Road until 1954. It was dedicated to Dr. Isaiah Ashton, who traveled by horse and buggy to tend to the sick and deliver babies. He died in 1889 after a carriage accident. The inscription on it reads, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. In memorium, Feb. 16, 1889.”
GCI members keep the Font planted with seasonal displays all year long. The Club also designed and cares for the Rip Van Winkle garden on the property of Main Street School just up the hill from the Font.
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Garden Club Identifies Trees and Shrubs
in Irvington’s Scenic Hudson Park
By Sandy Miller
If you are considering enhancing your property with additional landscaping, you are invited to browse the plantings in Irvington’s Scenic Hudson Park. Over the past several years, the Garden Club of Irvington has spearheaded a project to identify trees and shrubs in the park with their botanical and common names, and native origins where appropriate. The Club hopes this will provide information to help park visitors choose trees and shrubs for their own properties, and to encourage the use of native species. The project was part of the GCA’s Centennial Celebration in 2013, for which each of the 199 member clubs championed a particular tree for research and public education.
The project was undertaken in cooperation with Irvington’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Club members referenced the original landscape plan provided by DPR, chose the trees to identify, and researched the origin and botany of these trees to determine the labels. There is a total of 115 signs, which were made by Tyler Blair of Sign Extreme in Tarrytown.
Below: Garden Club of Irvington members (L to R): Anne Myers, Barbara Defino, Gerrie Shapiro and Gerry Gilmartin, with Parks Foreman Chris DePaoli, installing signs in Scenic Hudson Park.