The Cherry Tree Walk
One of the highlights of a visit to the garden is a stroll down the Cherry Tree Walk. Located on the third tier, this is a narrower part of the garden that begins with an ornate, brick pergola and leads to a formal perennial garden and reflecting pool. Through the years, the design of this area has changed dramatically. From 1897 through 1904, Fredrick Vanderbilt consulted with designers Charles Platt and James Greenleaf on the overall design of the garden, and this area in particular. During this time, it followed a traditional "Italian" style garden. "Characteristically
Italian garden effects included the use of symmetry, central walks, terraces, walls,
formally clipped hedges, water, statues, and evergreen plants." While some flowering plants were used, the main characteristic of this part of the garden was the foliage.
In 1913, Vanderbilt engaged famed designer Robert Cridland to develop new plans for the garden. Many of these designs were executed in this area of the garden, changing it from an Italian style, to the Cherry Tree walk that exists today. Lined with two different varieties of ornamental cherry trees, and flower borders, it is the formal entrance into the garden. The FWVGA is currently working on a project to introduce plantings that more closely match Cridland's original designs. (See Cherry Walk Rehabilitation.)