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The Gardens & Wildlife

“To understand Mr. Bryant’s inmost poetic life,” The New York Times wrote upon his death with a reference to Cedarmere, “one should have visited him on a Summer’s day in the old-time mansion, smothered in forest trees and vines planted by his own loving hand, near the pretty village of Roslyn, on Long Island.”

The Gardens

The FRIENDS OF CEDARMERE volunteers work to restore the gardens to their former grandeur, based on existing records of the original layouts and plantings. Click on Events for more information on gardening events.

The gardens include the Boxwood Parterre Garden, designed by William Cullen Bryant in the 1860’s, and the Sunken Garden, laid out by his grandson Harold Godwin, in 1916.  An ardent horticulturalist, Bryant purchased and planted many of the property’s trees, bushes and plants.

In 1975, The New York Times noted: “The Victorian natural-looking gardens of Cedarmere are a manifestation of his love of nature and gardening. The gardens remain one of the most picturesque survivals of mid-19th Century landscaping.”

The plantings were carefully placed to enhance the view and create an idyllic surrounding for Bryant and his family.

Fruit trees now on the property, donated since 1994, emulate those planted during Bryant’s time. The copper beech (felled in 2014) and tulip tree by the Mill also date to that period. Blight-resistant varieties of elm and chestnut trees, as well as Carolina Silverbell, Paulownia, Southern Magnolia and other flowering trees grace the 7-acre grounds.

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The Birds at Cedarmere

NOTE:  The checklist and other checklists for Cedarmere Preserve can be viewed at  On Home Page click on “Explore Data” at top of screen, then scroll down and click  “Explore Hotspots”.   Next, type in the Hotspot name  “Cedarmere Preserve” in the search bubble at top. Anyone who wishes to submit their own checklists can do so by creating an account on the website (free). is hosted by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Featured Trees at Cedarmere

  • NYSDEC certified – Largest American Holly in New York State.

  • Largest Pignut Hickory on Long Island.

  • Chinese Scholar Trees (Sophora Japonica)

  • Tulip Tree near the Mill dates to Bryant’s time.

  • NYSDEC certified – Largest Kentucky Coffee tree in New York State (so called because the early settlers in the area used the seeds as a coffee substitute)

Commitment to Care


The Friends have assumed responsibility for restoration and maintenance of the historic gardens. Gardening tasks include planting, weeding, pruning, watering, tending to gravel paths, pond care and other projects.

Check the calendar on our home page or the events page for dates. Want to volunteer? E-mail us at or call 800-763-7190.

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