Irises (Iris pseudacorus)

Irises The Irises that grow in the Conservatory Garden don’t share the fame of their cousins that hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just a mile to the south.  However they do display the same deep, opalescent blue color and intricately inviting design that inspired Van Gogh to paint them a century ago.  In fact the name Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow.  It is easy to see from their multi-hued blossoms how they inspired such a colorful name.

The Iris is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring, making its appearance in late March or early April, just after the daffodils and crocuses have opened the new season.  They are perennial herbs that have tall, erect flowering stems and feature flowers that consist of petals that are specifically designed to not only look aesthetically pleasing to us, but are also constructed to form an ideal landing platform for pollinating insects.

Irises also have a number of practical employments. They are used in producing perfumes, the distilled scent being very similar to Violets.  Essential oils derived from the flower are also used in aromatherapy, their scent said to have a sedative effect.  For that reason iris oil was traditionally used to sooth mothers in childbirth, as well as help to quiet their wailing babies.

The beautiful azure flowers also have a diverse and colorful symbolic history.  Perhaps the most famous of these is the fleur de lis, a stylized iris, which has for hundreds of years been the floral emblem of France. It was patterned after a white iris which graced the walls of its native city of Florence Italy.  A white iris on a red background was the symbol of the of the city until the Medici family, to signal a change in political power, reversed the colors making the white one red and setting in motion a centuries-long breeding program to produce a hybrid red iris.  Catherine de Medici carried this symbol of Florence to Paris when she married King Henry II of France in 1547.  It was then that this most famous of irises acquired its new name, fleur-de-lis.  In the United States the flowery symbol can be found in a highly unlikely spot – on the sides of the helmets of the New Orlean Saints professional footbal team.

Even without this royal pedigree it is easy to see why the Iris is a favorite flower the world over and a particularly lovely harbinger of spring in the Conservatory Garden.

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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