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Conservatory Garden - Central Park
Conservatory Garden is Central Park's only formal garden. It takes its name from the huge glass conservatory that once stood on this same spot, built in 1898. In 1934, when maintenance of the facility had become too costly, the conservatory was demolished and replaced with the present Garden, which opened to the public in 1937. The Conservatory Garden is in fact three gardens representing different landscape styles: Italian (center), French (north), and English (south).
To enter the six-acre Garden from Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, you must pass through the Vanderbilt Gate, which originally stood before the Vanderbilt Mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, the site of today's Bergdorf Goodman store. An Italian-style garden opens immediately before you. It is a restful oasis of formal green lawn and clipped hedges. It is bordered to the north and south by alleés of crabapple trees; their bloom times vary from mid-April through the first week of May, depending on the weather. On the west side is a wrought-iron wisteria pergola that sits atop a series of tiered yew and spiraea hedges. An elegant geyser fountain in front of the pergola provides a vertical contrast to the rows of hedges.
To the north is the classical French-style garden. At its center is German sculptor Walter Schott's Three Dancing Maidens, which dates from approximately 1910. The southern garden is English in style and planted for year-round interest. Sheltered in the center is the Burnett Fountain, a bronze sculpture of two children, Mary and Dickon, characters from Frances Hodgson Burnett's book The Secret Garden. The fountain was created by Bessie Potter Vonnoh and installed in 1936. The children are on a pedestal ‧' Dickon playing a flute and Mary listening ‧' in the center of a reflecting pool where water lilies float in the summer.
HoursHours: 8:00 am to dusk
Bicycle riding prohibited
Wheelchair access at 106th St. gate inside Park