The Conservatory Garden in Central Park is one of my favorite gardens in New York City. If I were a marvelously social sort of creature, I would call everyone I know with an invitation to meet at noon, with a sandwich, to enjoy the garden together. If I were truly 21st century, I'd organize a meet-up.
But I'm not. I am, however, an inveterate sharer. Everything is better for me when I can tell others--how beautiful, you must go look! I suppose that's the shy person's way of being social? That desire to share my wonder and astonishment made me a magazine editor, that's for sure. And now a blogger.
I'm always amazed that so many New Yorkers are unfamiliar with the Conservancy Garden, when it is right in their front (or back) yards.
The fountains are glorious; they are dormant all winter, and part of spring's zeal is in the renewed play of the water. I am mesmerized by falling water.
The rich scent of the lilacs made me dizzy. I was entranced by the deep purples. And I was lucky enough to stroll through while gardeners were pruning the leggy bushes, so I was able to strip some blossoms off discarded branches. As I write their fragrance hangs in the air.
These are classic, formal gardens, where the labor intensive art of bedding out is still practiced by volunteers for the Central Park Conservancy.
This photo spill is for all of you not able to be in New York. I visit the garden throughout the year, and its many moods are always enthralling. But this spring the flowers seem unusually vibrant. Or maybe I'm especially receptive to the gift of such beauty. I look on this as a serious improvement in my nature.
For those of you who live here, this is the place for a few hours of slow love. Who doesn't need that? Bring a book, or your camera, or watercolors, or simply your weary soul, and be nurtured. Bring nothing but the intention to stay at least an hour.
Find Tulipa Blushing Lady, ready for a swoon onto her fainting couch...
Right now the garden is in a riotous burst of tulip mania, loud with color and verve, in spite of its being a designated Quiet Zone. Tulipa Spring Green is vibrant, nearly spent, like a frazzled adolescent after a long night. Young beauty holds up under any circumstance, doesn't it?
And if I were repainting my library I would go with Tulipa Queen of the Night.
It doesn't get any more glorious than this, in a public garden; what a gift. Spring is peaking now; if the weather holds, with nice cool nights, the garden will wait for you through the weekend.