Scouting: Central Park Conservatory Garden

  Vanderbilt Gate Central Park Conservatory Garden  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Vanderbilt Gate Central Park Conservatory Garden | Image: Laura Messersmith

One of the best parts about living on the Upper West Side is access to Central Park. I know I've talked about how much I love the park before, but it really is one of my favorite places. I think what makes it so great is how varied it is - woodsy in the Ramble, grassy in the Sheep's Meadow, and manicured in the gardens. There's always something new to see or a different corner to explore.

On a gorgeous late spring day a few weeks ago I took a little stroll across the park and up Fifth Avenue to visit the Central Park Conservatory Garden. This will probably sound ridiculous to non-city dwellers – but across the park and 30 blocks north is not exactly in my backyard. Fun Fact: The Garden's main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, which originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street so it headed north too.

  Central Park Conservatory Garden  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Central Park Conservatory Garden | Image: Laura Messersmith

You all know my love of gardens and this one is laid out in formal beds with a central fountain and a really stunning arbor of wisteria vines – very Game of Thrones. I wandered along the paths testing my knowledge of the plants (moderate), checking out the new plants being laid out by the gardeners, and observing the people sunning themselves on the benches in one of the quietest places in the city.

Next time I go my plan is to bring a book, pick up a cool beverage on the way, and just camp out for an hour or two in this little oasis. It's the perfect destination for the kind of day when you want to wander, but wander to somewhere.

  Central Park Conservatory Garden  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Central Park Conservatory Garden | Image: Laura Messersmith

  Central Park Conservatory Garden  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Central Park Conservatory Garden | Image: Laura Messersmith