Revisiting the Conservatory Garden

There are a handful of people working and living near enough this public garden in New York City that they come here during their lunch breaks or right after a long day and sit here to decompress.   Wouldn’t you like to do that?

Not only is this impeccably maintained garden a welcome spot to relax, it is also full of views and vignettes that can be translated into small garden inspiration.


There are combinations of colour and shape that are striking and beautiful.

One of the biggest lessons from the Conservatory Garden is the use of interesting annuals in the beds.  Choices like canna, alternanthera, coleus, fuschia, zinnia, fennel and others create bursts of colour and texture in these narrow beds.

To give some sense of these effusive plantings, a languorous and undulating boxwood hedge provides a solid backdrop.  The contrast between the two makes the display even more dynamic.  Contrast in texture and mass should never be underestimated. 

Go big and bold or go home!


2 thoughts on “Revisiting the Conservatory Garden”

  1. Nice post about the Conservatory Garden. Lynden B. Miller has designed theses plantings since the garden was rescued from decline in the 1980’s. She has been a mentor of mine and has been an inspiration for many people creating public gardens. I have recently found your blog and look forward to exploring it.

  2. Thanks Michael! Welcome. I’m intrigued that you design public and private gardens AND also have a full-time job as an optometrist. You are driven. I am keen to give your blog a comprehensive visit as well – especially if you’re a fan of both Lynden Miller and James Golden.

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