Sonnenberg Gardens

Yesterday we went to Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua. For my long time readers, you may remember my Sonnenberg Gardens post from last year, wherein I said it is now a NY State Park, and they’re working to fix it up, slow but sure, after years of it having gone downhill.

One of the first things we saw was a turtle basking in the sunshine on a rock. Did a get a photo before he knew I was interested in him? No.

The next thing we spotted were the ducks while we were eating lunch. They were bathing themselves like mad, and then settled down for a nice long afternoon siesta.

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It looks like this one was naughty because it is separated from the rest sleeping on a hard rock instead of the relatively soft grass.

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After we were done eating, I saw this dragonfly.

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Then we saw these frogs, who thought they were hiding from us. It took me a while to find them but I knew they were there somewhere.

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We then went to the trial gardens and saw these gorgeous cosmos:

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These vivid morning glories were along the fences:

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There are signs like these now. Even though the sky looks evil in this picture, it was perfect day.

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We went inside the conservatory:

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And one of the first things we saw, besides the plants, are the fish, which made me think of Mary right away! This is the first place we noticed the water level was half of what it normally is, and the fountains and waterfalls all over the gardens were shut off.

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Water for the City of Canandaigua comes from Canandaigua Lake, and since we haven’t had much rain this summer, maybe there is a water restriction there. I don’t know for sure.

In the cactus part we saw this cactus with some really cool flowers:

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I’m skipping ahead now, to the part that we noticed they have been working on. They’ve cleaned up this statue and the area around her and in front of her,

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And these guys in front of the woman statue:

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You can see on the end of the “bench” how black these used to be:

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The floor is totally gorgeous:

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And they’re laying a new marble walk in front of the statue and along the side going towards the house.

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I turned around and saw they’ve cleaned up the steps to the house, and saw the pile of marble waiting to be laid down:

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Next we went to the rose garden. I love the color of this rose called ‘Singing in the Rain’

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Here’s part of the aviary complex where they used to keep 891 birds representing 246 species. This particular building is meant to look like a small castle.

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This is the first time we’ve been able to go into the ice house:

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Where we saw carriages:

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Imagine being socked into this pony cart. Maybe I’ll explain how this pony cart works in another post.

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Here’s part of the carriage house, where the carriages used to be stored,

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Here are the leaves of the Fern Leaf Beech (Fagus salvatica ‘Asplenifolia’). I love this tree. But there aren’t too many trees I don’t love.

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And here’s the bipinnately compound leaf of the Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus). My Mom is holding the leaf in the middle so I could photograph it:

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I remember using this leaf in my plant collection for one of my classes and I had a hard time fitting it all onto a standard sized piece of mounting paper.

The trees still have issues at Sonnenberg, but I found out they’re working on them. Yay! I hope it’s not to late to save some of the old beauties there.

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My Mom standing next to a Purple Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘purpurea’) so you can see just how huge the trunk is!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cathy
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 18:41:41

    How beautiful! I love, love marble anything and sculpture.

    Pam – just one little bitty complaint or rather a Wahhhh moment: I keep trying to click on your pixes for a little better look – I mean who can resist frogs and morning glories, but Flickr won’t let me. Waahhh ;0)


  2. Cathy
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 19:58:01

    Oh Pam! Thrice as beautiful when they’re enlarged! Thank you :0)


  3. mon@rch
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 22:05:30

    That is a huge tree for sure! So many wonderful photos! you guys always find the coolest places to visit!


  4. mary
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 22:46:45

    Oh, my Lord. That Purple Beech is amazing, Pam! I’m just so happy for you and your Mom to share a beautiful place on a perfect day.

    Here goes a little rant: We are stuck inside the air conditioning. It’s too hot for swimming pools. It’s a ghost town here. Waaa Waaa Waaa! I’m done crying now :o)

    Note: My pond is covered with plants to shade it and I haven’t fed my Koi at all (twice, really) in over three weeks. The water temp ranges 90-95. They are thriving on plant roots. But I wish I could see them… Maybe in a week I’ll weed out some plants and feed them!


  5. laurie
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 22:51:42

    Your photos are amazing! I would so love to visit there, but this is the next best thing.



  6. jayne
    Aug 21, 2007 @ 06:54:18

    Wow Pam… so wonderful that they’ve cleaned it up so nicely and are continuing to make improvements. I so enjoyed your photos from your trip there. Thanks for sharing them with us.


  7. Susan Gets Native
    Aug 21, 2007 @ 23:09:53

    OH, look at your wee little Mom!

    How do you take such balanced, interesting pictures? I mean, really. I try to be arty or interesting…but all I get is bald cardinals.
    : )


  8. Pam
    Aug 22, 2007 @ 19:45:05

    Cathy – Me too! Especially now that they’re cleaning it up!

    Mon@rch – It sure is! Thanks! We’ve been going to Sonnenberg Gardens for many years!

    Mary – I love the beeches at Sonnenberg Gardens, and hope that they can rescue them in time from their diseases. Hopefully it will cool down for you soon! I hope the fish I photographed for you help get you through until you can see your own fish!

    Laurie – Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the online tour! {{{Hugs}}}

    Jayne – Thank you, and they have a long ways to go, but it is nice to see these improvements!

    Susan – My Mom is tiny (and has gotten tinier since my Dad passed). I don’t take after her body shape, unfortunately. I love your bald cardinals and your other photos. I guess I look at other people’s photos quite a bit and get ideas on how to take different types of photos. I’m still playing around quite a bit with the ideas.


  9. judy avedisian
    Aug 27, 2007 @ 09:43:15

    Lovely pictures. Are the gardens really beautiful right now? We have out-of-town family coming, world travelers, who have seen many beautiful places. We have one free day and I was thinking of Corning because they collect Art Glass. Would Sonnenberg be better? Or are the gardens just not that outstanding right now? (Mine are yukky with the lack of rain!)
    Thanks for your help. Judy


  10. Pam
    Aug 27, 2007 @ 17:35:08

    Hi Judy – Thank you for your comment! While I love visiting Sonnenberg Gardens for other things besides the gardens, you’re right on, some of the gardens have suffered from the lack of rain. Corning would probably be a good choice for them! Which reminds me, I need to go there again!


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