Serene Central Park Garden Offers Summer Escape
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Julia Buczynski ‘13
Walk through the grand iron gates and smell the aroma of French lilacs. Continue your leisurely stroll and listen to the steady flow of the water flowing out of the fountain jets.
The Conservatory Garden at Central Park features three small gardens with their own unique styles: French, Italian, and English. It is the only formal garden in Central Park and is an official Quiet Zone for all visitors.
“Being in the gardens is very enchanting,” said Veronica Berti, a garden visitor. “They remind me of my childhood.”
According to centralparknyc.org, the Italian garden features a large lawn that is circled by yew hedges and further surrounded by pink and white crabapple trees. A jet fountain is located on the western end of the lawn and is 12 feet high. Nearby, the stairs lead to a gazebo-like walkway with the 13 original states written on medallions inscribed on the ground.
The French garden is located in the northern section of the garden and includes parterres of flowers that depend on the season. A parterre is a flower garden that is arranged to form a specific pattern. Tulips are planted during the spring and Korean chrysanthemums during the fall.
“I enjoyed the fountain with the three girls,” said Ana Ramirez, another garden visitor. “They seemed to be having a lot of fun.”
According to tc.Columbia.edu, these bronze figures are known as Three Dancing Maiden, made by a German sculptor named Walter Schott in Germany in 1910.
The English garden is located in the southern section of the Conservatory Garden. At its center is a memorial fountain dedicated to Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden. There is a water lily pool with figures of a girl and a boy, known as Mary and Dickon, at one end of the pool. Flowerbeds encircle the pool as well as tree lilac and magnolias.
“I enjoyed the walk through the canopy and shade,” said Annabelle Luggoddosse, a Central Park visitor.
The trees offer a source of shade to seal out the sunny areas. There are different seasonal offerings for people visiting from April to October. The Central Park website offers a bloom schedule to show when certain flowers are planted in the garden.
“I loved how the different flowers were set up in the garden,” said Carolina Gomez, a tourist. “It was very beautiful.”
According to centralparknyc.org, the main entrance of the Conservatory Garden is through the Vanderbilt Gate, which was constructed in Paris in 1894. It is located on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th St. The gate was first located at the Vanderbilt mansion on 58th St.
The Conservatory Garden was publicly opened in 1937 and takes up six acres. A conservatory had already been on the site from 1898 to 1934. That conservatory was torn down. Later Gilmore D. Clarke designed the garden with WPA workers who helped construct and plant.
There are no sports or bike riding allowed in the Conservatory Garden. It is the ideal place for a quiet picnic, a wedding, or a place to read a good book. This is a great way for a Midwood student to spend his/her summer.