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The Central Park Conservatory Garden

 

It always a little strange—and more than a little delightful—to take a few steps from one of the busiest avenues in town and be surrounded by… quiet. And peace. And an almost shocking lack of people.

But that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Central Park Conservatory Garden, six acres of serenity just off upper Fifth Avenue. The park’s only formal garden, this lovely oasis is divided into three distinct areas, each representing a different, classic landscape style.

Enter the park through the Vanderbilt Gate—which, by the way, originally stood guard before the Vanderbilt Mansion on 58th Street—and the Italian-style garden, with clipped hedges, trimmed lawn, and geyser fountain, pictured above, spreads out before you.

 

 

To the south is the English garden, an extraordinary collection of perennials surrounding the almost-hidden Burnett Fountain, a flowing sculpture of Dickon Sowerby and Mary Lennox from the beloved classic The Secret Garden. And every spring some 20,000 tulips bloom in the French-style garden to the North; come October, the Three Dancing Maidens fountain in the garden’s center plays hostess to 2,000 Korean chrysanthemums.

The Central Park Conservatory Garden is perhaps the finest of all New York City gardens. The entrance is located on 105th Street and Fifth Avenue, and it is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until dusk.

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