Historic Cherry Walk Rehabilitation
Over the decades, the Cherry Walk (the upper portion of the perennial level) has gone through many changes. Unfortunately, few records exist of the time period prior to the Vanderbilt's purchase of the estate. There are, however, numerous pictures from the early part of the 20th century, not long after Frederick Vanderbilt began redesigning the gardens. Photos circa 1900-1910 show a very lush, overgrown garden full of evergreens and other large bushes. By the 1920's and 1930's, it was quite different. Cherry trees, and garden borders had replaced the evergreens, following a design developed by well known landscaper, Robert Cridland. After the NPS acquired the estate in 1940, the Cherry Walk, along with the rest of the garden, fell into ruin. By 1970, only the stone walls and path remained. The FWVGA has replanted the garden and maintained it since 1985. It is now working on a major rehabilitation project to bring it back to the Cridland plan, circa 1930. This is a multiple year project that includes planting new varieties of trees, shrubs as well as introducing vintage plantings along the pathway.