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!)

11 thoughts on “Central Park’s secret garden

  1. What a wonderful place to spend an afternoon! I would really enjoy taking the tour or, for that matter, just strolling about, exploring. Thanks for letting us tag-along. 🙂

  2. Bill Linet and Elaine Louie

    Siobhan, Isn’t this conservatory one of the best kept secrets of NYC! We are so happy that you had a chance to visit this magical garden! We absolutely love it when the crabapples are in full bloom. The canopy of blossoms takes your breathe away! Love, Elaine and Bill

  3. What a lovely part of Central Park…I especially loved the fountains. I planted rainbow chard in my flower garden this year. I think the leaves and stalks will add beautiful texture and color.

    1. I have always thought that chard was pretty and I think I will plant it with the flowers next year too. I have rhubarb in the flower beds at the moment, and some artichokes with flowers.

  4. Yasmine

    Hello again
    What a nice picture
    I really like Central Park 🙂
    I wrote back to Onke same hour I received her e mail.,hope it did not go to the spam,
    I am glad we are all connected again.Your children are so beautiful 🙂
    Sincerely
    Yasmine

  5. What a sight to see! There’s not much like that in my city, everything seems so brand new here so I love visiting neighboring places where there’s history like this. Thanks for sharing and also…Kaya is a CUUUTIE!

  6. baconbiscuit212

    And let’s totally get that coffee! Just let me know when you’re free. I sent you my number via email!

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