While a Central Park bike rental offers a fresh perspective into the heart of the city, one must not overlook a tour of the Conservatory Garden. This masterpiece of serenity is an officially designated Quiet Zone, setting itself apart from the bustle of greater Manhattan. It is the perfect escape for a devoted cyclist or someone who just wants a brief escape with a Central Park bike rental.
Restored in 1983 by the Central Park Conservancy, the garden is divided into three sections: Italian, French, and English. The main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, located between 104th and 105th streets on Fifth Avenue. The iron gate is a tribute to the history of New York City. It was made in Paris in 1894, originally gracing the entrance of the Vanderbilt mansion at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue.
You can pedal through all 6 acres of the lush gardens, taking in the magnificent landscape popping with bloom and color, soaking up the sounds of singing birds and the soft whirr of your bike tires. While you are enjoying your Central Park bike rental, here are a few experiences within the Conservatory Garden that you won’t want to miss:
The Picturesque Pergola
Afford yourself the luxury of stopping long enough to see the pergola dripping with wisteria in the Italianate center garden. Visiting the pergola, as one reviewer put it, is “like wandering inside a Tiffany window” when the timing is right. You can look under the structure and view medallions naming the original 13 states. You also can take a rest by a 12-foot-high jet fountain.
Untermyer Fountain, “Three Dancing Maidens”
This fountain was donated to Central Park in 1941 by the children of American lawyer and civic leader Samuel Untermyer, who kept it at his estate in Yonkers. German artist Walter Schott created the sculpture prior to 1900. It depicts three carefree young women playing in the spray, a charming work in bronze with a limestone base. The sculpture is highlighted by a planting of tulips each spring and asters later in the season.
The Secret Garden
As you pedal through the south end of the Conservatory, you will find an English-style garden. The careful landscaping here features a cluster of five seasonal displays of trees, shrubs, and splashing vivid blooms. The central feature is a sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh of a girl and a boy. They depict Mary and Dickon, the main characters of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic story, “The Secret Garden.” The children are positioned near a small water lily pond.
Be sure to check the bloom guide prior to taking your Central Park bike rental through the Conservatory Garden to make the most of your experience.