The Central Park Conservatory Garden

Everyone who lives in or visits New York City knows about Central Park.  Its allure is undeniable.  There are so many aspects to the park it feels like different ecosystems melding into one another as you go further north.  It’s a shame that many people who go to Central Park tend to stay in the primary areas below, I would guess, 96th St.  There’s a wonderful part of the park that is hidden from the public eye, found all the way uptown on 105th St and it’s called the Conservatory Garden.

I discovered this garden while planning for my wedding.  I wanted something outdoors in the city and it had to be in a garden or park.  When the Conservatory Garden fell into my radar, I knew it was the one.  In contrast to the other parts of Central Park, this garden has a formal grandeur that reveals its beauty quietly.  You don’t  need to be wedding-minded to enjoy this garden.  It’s great for people who want the most privacy Central Park can offer in a lush setting.  It’s just as good for people who want to read a book in peace as it is for those on a date.

The entrance to the garden is quite impressive and sets the tone for the three gardens behind it.

Grand entrance

The vastness of the Central Garden draws you in as you enter.

The Central Garden

On either side are shaded walkways that lead to the back of the garden.  A good spot for reading.

To the left is the path to the English Garden, also known as the Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden is a calming waterlily pond with birds bathing among its silent guardians.

The English Garden

The French Garden on the other side of the lawn has a lively spirit.

The French Garden

Go in the spring and you’ll enjoy the striking tulips around this particular garden.

I would recommend going to the Conservatory Garden in May/June when the flowers are in full bloom.  Note that photography is allowed only with a paid photo permit.  The park rangers are pretty vigilant about checking for papers.

The entrance is at 105th St and Fifth Ave and the hours are from 8 am to dusk.

For information about the history of the garden, click here.

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