USA: NY: Conservatory Garden Part 3

The third section of the delightful Conservatory Garden in the northern section of Central Park, Manhattan, was inspired by English gardens. Here you will find a beautiful selection of trees and herbaceous borders surrounding a central, secret, water lily pool.


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Walking towards the “Secret Garden”



P1100842 © JT ofd jtdytravels

Concentric bands of paths give a maze like structure to this garden.



P1100854 © JT of jtdytravels

Greens predominate with a clever use of shape and texture.



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Feathery textures are also used to good effect.



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The water lily pond in the centre of the garden.

This pond was dedicated in 1936 to the memory of Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose story of the “Secret Garden” has captured the hearts of so many, young and old. The story was originaly published in 1910 in serial format but was published as a book in 1911. It has become a classic of English children’s literature and over the years has been adapted to film and TV.

This garden, like the book upon which it is based, explores the healing power of gardens, and indeed, of all living things. There is also a powerful message here that being in a quiet place amongst living things can help to bring calm to the mind, to transform negative thoughts into positive thoughts, helping both psychological and physical well being. This is a garden that gives a much needed sense of tranquility in an otherwise very busy city.



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Mary and Dickon; sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh

The sculpture represents Mary and Dickon, the central characters of the book, who find healing of both mind and body in the secret garden they discover, a garden that had been locked away from everyone for many years. Mary holds a bowl of water for two little robins. It was a robin that lead Mary to find the secret garden. The robin had turned up some soil and it was there that Mary found the key to the garden. No key is required to enter this secret garden, just the desire to spend some time in the peace and quiet of a tranquil, beautiful space in a very big city.



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Simple flowers add just a touch of colour to this garden.



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A closer look at some of the feathery grasses.



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We could have stayed much longer but rain clouds threatened.



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The northern end of Central Park.

We had to tear ourselves away from the beautiful and peaceful Conservatory Garden and head back towards the city before the rain came down. This part of Central Park is itself very attractive with undulating lawns, large rock faces and many trees, some of them not very old.



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Fifth Avenue near the Met Art Gallery.

With the rain cloud becoming ever more threatening, we came out of the park onto the famous Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue and made our way to the fabulous Metropilitan Museum of Art.



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New York Metropilitan Museum of Art

There we had lunch in the member’s lounge before spending the rest of the day being entranced by a wonderful exhibition called “Assyria” which transported us as far back as 11th century BC. You could spend many happy rainy afternoons exploring this art gallery with its changing exhibitions adding constant new attractions to the many, many permanent exhibitions.



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Sun shining on one of the fountains at The Met.

By the time we emerged from The Met, the rain had passed and rays of sunshine were sparkling on one of the fountains in front of The Met. We made our way back to our friend’s apartment ready to relax our tired feet after what had been a truly enjoyable day in Manhattan.



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View down the East River, New York.

And put our feet up we did as we watched barges move slowly down the East River towards Brooklyn in the late afternoon light. T’was a delightful way to unwind, again away from the chaos and hustle and bustle of New York. With a view like this to enjoy every day, I understand why our friends like to live in New York. We thank them for their wonderful hospitality… and the view.

Jennie and David

All Phot0graphs ©  Copyright JT and DY of jtdytravels

other photos and stories of our journeys can be found on





Bhutan : # 11 Bhutan Crafts

The Zorig Chusum School of Traditional Arts in Thimphu is a teaching institution where the arts and crafts of Bhutan are taught to the next generation of craftspeople.  The continuation of this important part of Bhutanese culture is therefore ensured.


P1000642  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000642 © DY of jtdytravels

All signs in Bhutan are in English. Because there are many Bhutanese dialects,

English is taught in school and is the main language of communication.


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P1000643 © DY of jtdytravels

Learning woodcarving techniques requires time and infinite patience.


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P1000654 © DY of jtdytravels

Many sewing machines are used by the students to refine their embroidery techniques.


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P1000655 © DY of jtdytravels

Heavy-duty scissors are used to cut leather templates required to shape each piece of

embroidery and each colourful silk hanging.


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P1000656 © DY of jtdytravels

The school room was colourfully decorated with examples og the student’s work.


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P1000665 © DY of jtdytravels

Students in the painting class draw the outlines that will later be painted.


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P1000667 © DY of jtdytravels

Working with clay is an important part of creating idols used in Buddhist worship.


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P1000668 © DY of jtdytravels

Senior students create very complex and intricate statues.


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P1000669 © DY of jtdytravels

This piece appeared to have been damaged and sent to the school for repair.


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P1000650 © DY of jtdytravels

This finished piece is being painstakingly repaired.


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P1000673 © DY of jtdytravels


Most, if not all the crafts, have a five year apprenticeship.

Senior students, like these, have a desk of their own with good window light.


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P1000674 © DY of jtdytravels

Palettes are generally messy but intriguing and colourful things.


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P1000677 © DY of jtdytravels

These girls are happily working in close proximity to each other.

Perhaps they are not very far into their apprenticeship.


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P1000679 © DY of jtdytravels

Extreme concentration is evident in this photo.

Note the thimble – made simply from a piece of cardboard.


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P1000683 © DY of jtdytravels

The National Library and Archives of Bhutan is near the Crafts School.


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P1000684 © DY of jtdytravels

This lidded wooden bowl is intricately painted.

It depicts various aspects of Bhutanese culture and the environment.


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P1000689 © DY of jtdytravels

The institution stores many valuable manuscripts including these Bhuddist mantras.

Carefully wrapped in silk cloth, the parchments are held between outer wooden protective boards.



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P1000690 © DY of jtdytravels

Taking photographs of statues of the various Buddhist deities are forbidden in temples.

However, in the museum this was allowed.


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P1000694 © DY of jtdytravels

Although the protective glass caused annoying reflections,

the intricate detail of the statues could be seen.


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P1000695 © DY of jtdytravels

Scholars at the Craft school aim to be able to make intricate works of art like this one.

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P1000696 © DY of jtdytravels

Some of the colourful and grotesque masks made for the tourist trade.


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P1000871 © DY of jtdytravels

Full-sized masks are used in many of the dances performed on festival days.


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P1000872 © DY of jtdytravels

It was good to experience some of this Bhutanese dancing and music.

More anon


Photography   Copyright  ©  David Young of jtdytravels

More of our travels stories and photographs can be found on