Conservatory Garden is divided into three distinct sections: the French-style North Garden, Italianate Center Garden, and the English-style South Garden.
Central Park’s only formal garden is a six-acre oasis within an oasis, and its grand entrance is worthy of the experience within. Located at 105th Street and Fifth Avenue, the magnificent Vanderbilt Gate was made in Paris in 1894 and originally stood at Fifth Avenue’s Vanderbilt Mansion.
Through the gate is the Italianate Center Garden, featuring a large lawn bordered by yew hedges and a 12-foot jet fountain with stairs leading to the wisteria pergola. On either side stand exquisite allées that showcase rows of crabapple trees, which burst into pink and white blooms every spring.
To the north, the French-style garden offers spectacular seasonal displays of tulips each spring and Korean chrysanthemums in autumn, meticulously designed and planted by Conservancy gardeners, all within an ellipse of Japanese holly. At its center stands the Untermyer Fountain, featuring the Three Dancing Maidens by German sculptor Walter Schott.
The intimate English-style South Garden bears special significance for literature lovers. At its heart is sculptor Bessie Potter Vonnoh’s charming Burnett Fountain, a memorial for author Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary and Dickon, the protagonists of her beloved children’s book The Secret Garden, stand at the end of a small waterlily pool, summoning spring year-round and igniting the imaginations of passersby. This intimate spot is bordered by trees, shrubs, and perennial and annual flower beds, as well as a slope of woodland plants at its western edge, all cared for by the Conservancy’s team of expert gardeners and horticulturalists.
Many couples have chosen the enchanting Conservatory Garden as the backdrop to their nuptials, a testament to its beauty and serenity.