Douglas Hunt
Douglas Hunt
  • Hometalker
  • New Smyrna Beach, FL

A visit to Central Park's Conservatory Garden


I lived in New York for 20 years and had never visited Central Park’s Conservatory Garden before I went as a visitor yesterday. This six-acre quiet enclave near the north end of the park affords the opportunity to compare three formal garden styles—English, Italian and French—side by side. At the center is an Italian-style garden with a vast lawn and a jetted fountain at one end, backed by tiered hedges that lead to a large wisteria-covered pergola. To the south is an intimate English-style garden that reveals itself through concentric rings of mixed borders, which were looking remarkably fresh for this late in the season. To the north, elaborate parterres and an ellipse of Japanese holly demarcate a French garden where thousands of Japanese chrysanthemums were on the cusp of blooming. If you're visiting New York City and want to escape the hustle and bustle, there are few better places to do it.
The Italianate central garden with fountain and wisteria-covered pergola.
The Italianate central garden with fountain and wisteria-covered pergola.
Seasonal plantings in the English garden.
Seasonal plantings in the English garden.
Gomphrena globosa paired with elephant ear.
Gomphrena globosa paired with elephant ear.
Two salvias, "Wendy's WIsh"  and "Indigo Spires," with zinnias in the background.
Two salvias, "Wendy's WIsh" and "Indigo Spires," with zinnias in the background.
Japanese anemones lighting up a shady spot.
Japanese anemones lighting up a shady spot.
Allee of crabapple trees.
Allee of crabapple trees.
Colchicum blooming amidst the ivy.
Colchicum blooming amidst the ivy.
Ripening crabapples.
Ripening crabapples.
Dwarf cleome work well in a mixed border.
Dwarf cleome work well in a mixed border.
A beautiful dark-leafed dahlia (and note the vivid colors of the background foliage).
A beautiful dark-leafed dahlia (and note the vivid colors of the background foliage).
An appropriately sized pergola for wisteria!
An appropriately sized pergola for wisteria!
The mid-height background plants behind this fountain are all Japanese chrysanthemums. Can you even imagine?!
The mid-height background plants behind this fountain are all Japanese chrysanthemums. Can you even imagine?!

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4 of 8 comments
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Oct 1, 2013

    @Douglas Hunt have you ever visited the Biltmore Estate Gardens? The first picture reminds me of some of the gardens there. I used to ahummm know my way in on the back of the estate gardens...

    • Douglas Hunt
      on Oct 2, 2013

      @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) I was there for Thanksgiving once, Donna, but have never been there when the gardens were in full swing. Time to go back.

  • Beautiful! Love Gomphrena...is that 'Fireworks'? I have some growing in my garden right now. Japanese anemone is another fall favorite of mine. Lovely photos.

    • Douglas Hunt
      on Oct 11, 2013

      @The Graceful Gardener-Brenda Addington I am not sure. The plants weren't labeled.

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