Sunday, August 05, 2007

Conservatory Garden

About a 20 hour visit with Rachel but we walked a lot and saw a lot. After meeting her at Penn Station and having dinner in restaurant there, we stretched our legs with a deepening dusk walk along the Hudson from 72nd to 92nd. Lots of people enjoying the breeze off the river and the glow of light on the water. This morning we were up early, had breakfast and walked over to the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Such a beautiful place! Especially on a refreshingly comfortable morning early enough to find only a handful of other people had arrived. These pictures are flowers/plants we enjoyed but give no true sense of the garden.
At the center of the garden are two alleys of trees enclosing rows of benches along walkways. The the far end a fountain casts rainbows this way and that in the sparking morning sun. To the right of the alleys is a formal garden in a bowl of carefully trimmed hedges with four entrances beneath hooped gateways with roses. In thecenter is a St. Gaudens statue of the Three Graces dancing -- one is laughing, one smiling as if she has a secretk, the other looks a bit looped actually. The curves of their bodies are very noteable under the supposedly sheer clothing. The picture below is in the corners by the rose gates, carefully chosen colors and plants from short in front to tall hollyhocks in back.
The the left of the alleys is a far less formal garden which has a statue of two youths holding the bowl of a birdbath above a small pool of water lilies. Here the plantings are thicker and wilder [tho' none are truly wild] A few wonderful spreading old trees, one a thick Rose of Sharon shade realy lush plants, some leaves and grasses and some flowers.

The entire garden is a place for wondering at the grace of plants/flowers/trees. There are benches well arranged throughout. The Conservatory Garden is not known to a lot of visitors because it is at 104th Street. The gates are closed at dusk and opened early in the morning but most tourists don't get that far uptown. I don't believe I have ever visited it without seeing at least one artist at an easel, as we saw this morning. Of course to get there we walked across the park, on different paths each way, sharing the early morning park with many, many dog walkers, tennis players, kids playing softball and other walkers. Such a treasure! With a cloudless blue sky and a fresh breeze it was as lovely as could be.

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