Astilbe is a genus of perennial, flowering plant, in the family Saxifragaceae (which sounds like a song from Mary Poppins). Some species are commonly known as False Goat’s Beard, and False Spirea. In the Central Park Conservatory Garden they are valued as hardy herbaceous perennials and noted for their large handsome, often fern-like foliage, and feathery plumes of flowers.

Astilbe grow in clumps and benefit from being divided every 4 years or so. The flowers bloom in hues that span the spectrum from white, pink and red to raspberry or purple for about 4 to 6 weeks.  Individual blooms are small and densely arranged in fluffy sprays up to 6 inches or more long at the ends of tall stems. Depending on the variety, blooms may be stiffly upright or airily open and plume-like. Some varieties even have a subtle scent. There are early bloomers (June), mid-season bloomers (July) and late bloomers (September), which makes them a perfect compliment to the seasonal variety in the Conservatory Garden.

does have an interesting history of cultivation.  A botanist from Ronsdorf, Germany, George Arends, is responsible for introducing the majority of the Astilbe cultivars, many of which bear his name. Most of the species and varieties Arends bred were originally from Asia. Interestingly, Arends seemed to have passed over the only American representative, A. biternata.  In any case he developed so many variations that it is almost useless to try and list them all.  Not to mention tedious to the point of being obsessive. Due to the fact that the development of these colorful woodland wonders involved so many parents, the distinction among them is largely lost.

But, it is this variety that makes Astilbe such a valuable component of the Conservatory Garden.  The feathery blooms of the fern-like flower can combine with any number of the more prominent blooms to create a richly colored tableau that lasts from June until early September.

Conservatory Garden

One of the hidden wonders of Central Park is the Conservatory Garden at Fifth Avenue and 105th St. A secluded oasis, just a few steps down from one of the City’s busiest thoroughfares; the garden offers a fragrant respite from the gasp and clatter of the urban afternoon.

Central Park Bike Tour

  • Our bicycle tour has been ranked as one the top 5 things to do in Central Park by TripAdvisor. It is the only tour that covers the entire length of Central Park and it provides an excellent overview of the whole park.
  • The tour takes approximately 2 hours and it includes various stops along the way. On those stops, you can park the bicycle and go for a short stroll along some of the most stunning views of Central Park.
  • Including Bethesda Terrace, Strawberry Fields, The Bow Bridge, Balto and many more. In addition, you will also visit some of the hidden places in Central Park - the Ravine, the secret waterfall and of course our team’s favorite - the Central Park Ramble!
  • 2 Hours - $53 - Prices are per person
    Book Here.

Central Park Pedicab Tour

  • Allow one of our experienced tour guides to show you the beauty of the park from the back of a pedicab. Those iconic NYC pedicabs are one of the best things to do in Central Park!
  • Sit down and relax while your tour guide tells you about the history of the park, architecture, interesting trivia and of course points out the exact location of all those blockbuster movies filmed in Central Park
  • Reserve either 1 hour or 2 hour guided pedicab tour. If you are already in the park, don’t worry, we can send the tour guide to pick you up from one of the many designated pick up zones inside Central Park.
  • 1 Hour - $53 - 2 Hours - $89 - Prices are per person
  • Book Here.

Central Park Bike Rental

  • Biking in Central Park is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the park and do it at your own pace.
  • You can pick up your bike from one of our convenient locations around the park. In case you are already inside the park, no worries, we can send our concierge to deliver the bike(s) to one of the many designated bike zones inside the park. At the time of booking, we will direct you to the nearest bike pick up station in the park.
  • Pack some light snacks and a water bottle, take one of the park maps we provide. When reserving your bike rental, you will have an option to include an audio guided tour.
  • 1 Hour $15 - 2 Hours $20 - 3 Hours $25 - All Day (9am -7pm) $40
  • Book Here

Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear – and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel – or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!

Contact Us

Contact Info

5th Ave. 
New York, NY, 10028

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