Since 1995, when the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program was founded, Henriette Suhr has been opening her wonderful garden in Chappaqua every Memorial Day weekend, for visitors to see her astounding collection of azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom. And this year, for just the second time, she is throwing open the gates to her 13-acre garden in the fall.
It will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. It’s one of the best private gardens in the Lower Hudson Valley and certainly worth a visit if you’ve never been.
Don’t expect to see a parade of blooms this time of year, but the trees are beginning to color up quickly and the remaining greens are rich and varied. So far, the predominant fall colors have been deep yellows and golds, Suhr says.
“The woodlands look good,” she says. “They’ve really taken on a life of their own.”
“We’ve done a lot of pruning and the garden looks good, to me,” she adds.
Suhr, a long-time interior designer, has been gardening at Rocky Hills for more than 50 years and hers is a deeply personal garden, formed and molded with her designer’s eye for color, texture and form. Her taste in plant material is absolutely exquisite, and she never stops adding and subtracting things.
New since her last Open Day in May is a sloped rock garden taking shape on the hillside outside her back door, where tree peonies had dominated for many years.
IF YOU GO …
What: Open Day at Rocky Hills
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19
Where: 95 Old Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua
Admission: Open Days are rain or shine, no reservations needed, $5 per garden.
Information: gardenconservancy.org/opendays (with driving directions), 845-424-6500 (Monday to Friday only).
photo from the Garden Conservancy