Conservatory Garden

Location: 402 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

The six-acre Conservatory Garden is Central Park's only formal garden. It is divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style: Italian, French, and English. The Garden's main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets.

This magnificent iron gate, made in Paris in 1894, originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. The Italianate center garden is composed of a large lawn surrounded by yew hedges. On the walkway under the pergola are medallions inscribed with the names of the original 13 states.

The northern, French-style garden showcases spectacular seasonal displays of spring tulips, and Korean chrysanthemums in autumn, all within an ellipse of Japanese holly. To the south is the very intimate English-style garden. There are five mixed borders of trees, shrubs and perennial plants, and five seasonal beds featuring spring bulbs that are followed by annual flower displays.

At the center is the lovely Frances Hodgson Burnett Memorial Fountain, a tribute to the author of the children's book, The Secret Garden. The children - a girl and a boy, said to depict Mary and Dickon, the main characters from the classic - stand at one end of a small water lily pool.

The Conservatory Garden is an officially designated Quiet Zone and offers a calm and colorful setting for a leisurely stroll or an escape with a good book. Come here either before or after a visit to the Museum of the City of New York, you’ll be glad you did!

This page was edited by Steven Thomas