The Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park, New York City. Comprising 6 acres (24,000 m2), it takes its name from a conservatory that stood on the site from 1898 to 1934. The park's head gardener used the glasshouses to harden hardwood cuttings for the park's plantings. After the conservatory was torn down, the garden was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, landscape architect for Robert Moses, with planting plans by M. Betty Sprout; constructed and planted by WPA workers, it was opened to the public in 1937.
After the Second World War the garden had become neglected, and by the 1970s a wasteland. It was restored and partially replanted under the direction of horticulturist and urban landscape designer Lynden Miller, to reopen in June 1987. The overgrown, top-heavy crabapples were freed of watershoots and pruned up to a higher scaffold for better form. The high-style mixed planting was the first to bring estate garden style to urban parks, part of the general renewal of Central Park under Elizabeth Barlow Rogers of the Central Park Conservancy.