Finger Lakes Summer visits “Sunny Hill” — Sonnenberg

June 6, 2010 at 2:49 am 1 comment

The Sonnenberg Mansion in Canandaigua

The Queen-Anne Style mansion is featured on America’s Castles.

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is tucked onto a quiet side street in the town of Canandaigua. It is one of the nation’s most extensively preserved country estates from the Victorian era. The 50-acre site has several themed gardens with stone bridges and walkways, a huge Queen-Anne Style mansion featured on America’s Castles, a greenhouse complex and beautiful views of Canandaigua Lake.

Located in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes wine region, the historic park is also home to the Finger Lakes Wine Center. This facility is open to the public during the Sonnenberg garden season.

This post features the photos of a Sonnenberg  regular, Linda J. Miller.

The Japanese Gardens at Sonnenberg

The Japanese Garden

Sonnenberg Gardens

Formal Gardens at Sonnenberg

Sonnenberg’s magnificent Queen Anne style mansion, was the summer home of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. It was built in 1887, while the gardens, with were developed between 1902 and 1920, and reflect a variety of themes, including Victorian, Italian, Colonial, plus a Japanese garden that features  a miniature mountainous landscape.  Try to find the Sub Rosa (Secret) Garden which is a green and white garden with white marble statuary set off by green lawn, boxwood and evergreens.

The gardens feature thousands of perennials, annuals and other plants on display. Even during cooler weather you can get a glimpse of beauty by looking inside the greenhouse complex which hosts an incredible orchid show early in the spring.

Mary Clark Thompson was the genius behind the gardens. The story goes that she was traveling through Europe, pursuing her passionate research on gardens and was scheduled to return home, but instead went to see a Tulip bulb display in Holland. She canceled her scheduled voyage, and the Titanic sank without her!

Sonnenberg Gardens is open 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. May 31 – September 6. On Friday nights during the summer they have live music, wine and refreshments 8-10 pm and on Thursdays they serve tea each Thursday in August with seatings at 12:30 and 3:00.

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Entry filed under: Activities, Canadaigua Lake, Rochester. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jack  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Once again you have found something I never heard of – and clearly I grew up where you did! I definitely admire your work ethic in ferreting out these interesting places.

    Reply

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