Conservatory Garden

The Conservatory Garden is Central Park’s formal garden and one of the most significant public gardens in New York City.

A destination for neighborhood residents and visitors from all over the world, its six acres are well-known for plantings of tulips, lilacs, crabapple trees, summer perennials, and chrysanthemums. Its more formal design and specular floral displays have also made it a popular destination for small weddings.

The Garden opened in 1937 and is named for the glass conservatory that was built at this location in 1899 to offer seasonal plant displays to the public. Even earlier, this area had a horticultural function—it housed a large greenhouse designed by Park co-designer Calvert Vaux for growing plants for the Park’s landscapes.

The Conservatory Garden is composed of three areas, each with a distinct design: the French-style North Garden, the Italianate Center Garden, and the English-style South Garden. The main entrance is marked by an ornate gate, known as the Vanderbilt Gate, which was donated to the City by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and once adorned the mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt II at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.

Conservatory Garden Stroll

Take a walk through the Conservatory Garden in the spring, when crabapple trees and tulips are in bloom.

View with audio description

Through the gate is the Center Garden, influenced by Italian Renaissance gardens. Its symmetrical design features a central lawn with a single jet fountain, behind which is a semicircular pergola covered in wisteria. The lawn is bordered by yew hedges and flanked with allées of crabapple trees, which bloom every spring.

The North Garden offers spectacular seasonal displays of tulips each spring and Korean chrysanthemums in autumn. At its center stands the Untermyer Fountain, featuring the Three Dancing Maidens by German sculptor Walter Schott, which is surrounded by an intricate French parterre garden.

The South Garden is arranged in concentric planting beds in the style of an English perennial garden. It contains a diverse array of plantings that bring interest and beauty to every season, including bulbs, annuals, perennials, and numerous flowering trees. This garden also features the Burnett Fountain, a memorial to the author Frances Hodgson Burnett, that stands at one end of a waterlily pool.

Also in the area

Read more

  • Restoration and Maintenance

    Hand-in-Hand with Harlem: The Conservancy's Four-Decade Restoration of Central Park's North End

    In the 1980s, the Conservancy turned its attention to the Harlem Meer and went on to address the needs of Central Park’s north end over the next four decades. Throughout all of this work, the communities surrounding the Park have been vital partners in the care and maintenance of their backyard.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / Playgrounds

  • About the Conservancy

    A New Era: An Expanded Summer Festival and Sneak Peek at the Harlem Meer Center

    In honor of the Harlem Meer Performance Festival’s 30th anniversary, we’re looking back at its start as well as what’s to come at the Harlem Meer.

  • About the Conservancy

    People of the Park: Martha & Serena

    Central Park is integral to many people’s lives, and we're talking to some of them to get to know the people behind the people’s Park. Meet Martha and Serena, whose relationship is deeply entwined with this vibrant greenspace.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / Tips for Visiting / About the Conservancy / Nature Lovers / Park Experts / First-Time Visitors

  • Restoration and Maintenance

    Restoring the Dairy, Naumburg Bandshell, and Other Beloved Park Features

    Discover what Park features and destinations the Central Park Conservancy is improving this fall.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff

  • Plants and Trees

    What Are Central Park’s Most Colorful Fall Trees?

    In appreciation of this photogenic time of year, we asked a Conservancy arborist what trees you should look for this autumn and where to find them.

    Tags: Fall / Trees

  • About the Conservancy

    Preserving a Masterpiece: The Next Generation of the Conservatory Garden's Crabapple Allées

    After decades of enjoyment and care, the crabapple trees in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden have come to the end of their lifespans and must be replaced. For years, our team has been diligently planning for their replacement as part of an in-depth restoration of the Garden. Discover the journey of Conservancy experts to grow, select, and plant 44 new trees and preserve the Garden’s longevity.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / Park Design / About the Conservancy / Trees / History / Nature Lovers / Architecture / Landscape Design / Landscapes / Restoration and Maintenance

  • Park History

    See Newly Digitized Images of Winter in Central Park

    Snowy scenes from the 1980s and 1990s are some of the Central Park Conservancy's recently digitized images.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / History

  • About the Conservancy

    5 Questions with Michelle Mueller Gamez, Manager of Climate Change Research

    The Conservancy’s recent launch of the Climate Lab is the next step in our mission to care for this Park forever—especially through the unknowns of the climate crisis. We spoke with Michelle Mueller Gamez, our new Manager of Climate Change Research, to learn more.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / About the Conservancy / Nature Lovers

  • Park Information

    Sculpted Nature: Landscape Architecture in Central Park

    Every acre of the Park was meticulously designed and built as part of a larger composition, created through the practice that would come to be known as "landscape architecture."

    Tags: Park Design

  • Health and Fitness

    A Place Where Hope Blooms: The Healing Nature of the Conservatory Garden

    The colorful display of tulips and daffodils is made possible every year by months of thoughtful planning, design, and planting by the Central Park Conservancy’s gardening team.

    Tags: Conservancy Staff / Park Design / Spring / Flowers / Nature Lovers

  • Things to See and Do

    What’s Blooming This Summer in Central Park

    Visit these must-see spots in the Park this summer to find picturesque blooms.

    Tags: Summer / Flowers