If you were to venture to the Conservatory Gardens at 104th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, and walk through the Vanderbilt wrought iron gates, you will come upon arguably most the verdant, bucolic and gorgeous 6 acre spot in all of New York City.  This jewel is the work of Lynden Miller who raised the money, renovated and redesigned the space in the mid 1980’s with the Central Park Conservancy.

In her own words, “Parks and beautiful places, lots of trees and year-round plantings raise public morale by making people feel that their city cares about them.  And in turn, business improves” She has “proved her conviction that these beautiful outdoor spaces, maintained to the highest standard, contribute greatly to the quality of life in a city.”

Ms. Miller is an inspirational gift to Manhattan, it’s residents and visitors through her advocacy and rejuvenation of the Conservatory Gardens of Central Park, Bryant Park, Madison Square Park and Wagner Park.  You can also find her designs at the New York Botanical Gardens, Columbia University, SUNY @ Stonybrook, Princeton University and the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Next up for Lynden Miller is the Heather garden of Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan.  If you don't have the opportunity to see her speak, here are videos from YouTube (1 + 2) and an article from Fine Gardening.  But try to see her in person... she's charming and a living legend.