Central Park’s secret garden

Today a friend and I walked our boys over to Fifth Avenue at 105th Street and were greeted by this:

The wrought iron gate was made in Paris in 1894. It originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street

Walking through the gate, we found ourselves in a formal garden.

The central garden is in the Italianate style.

Kaya was pleased by the fountain.

On either side of the central lawn were lovely, shaded walks.

The trees are flowering crabapples. My mother came to the garden in Spring to see them in full bloom and said they were magnificent.

Further exploration led us to the northern, French-style garden.

Which we entered through lovely archways covered in vines and flanked by colorful groupings of flowers.

The flowers by the entrances included bronze fennel, dahlias, cannas, and decorative sweet potato.

And we stopped to admire another fountain.

The Central Park Conservatory gardens were created in 1898, but in another form; they were originally a display of glass houses containing tropical plants.

This was all quite enough to be impressed by, but further wandering led us to a third, English-style garden.

By 1937, the greenhouses had fallen into disrepair, and these three formal gardens were created for the site.

In this garden, there was something beautiful, surprising, or often both at every turn.

I love the Swiss chard in this border

There was a fountain here as well.

In the foreground, you may notice an inscription on the pavement.
It is a dedication of the fountain by the sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnah to the memory of the writer Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of the children’s classic, The Secret Garden.

The Central Park Conservatory is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. There are guided tours of the garden every Saturday at 11 from April to October. The entrance is at 5th Avenue and 105th Street.

(Thanks for joining us, Seema and Vishnu!)