Rocky Hills, a beautiful twelve-acre property and strolling garden in the northern suburbs of New York City, is the product of an old-world sense of stewardship and the patient artistry of Henriette Suhr. The Conservancy holds a conservation easement on this property, protecting it from development. Ownership will eventually transfer to the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation through the generosity of Mrs. Suhr, and long-term plans are being implemented to accommodate the eventual increase in public visitation.
About the Friends of Rocky Hills
The Friends of Rocky Hills support the garden through their participation in programs, as volunteers, and through their generous donations to the Garden Conservancy for the garden's future preservation as a public garden and center for horticultural education. The Friends work closely with the Garden Conservancy and the Westchester County of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, and generate income from garden memberships to help support garden operations. The Friends plan events, such as the Rocky Hills Lecture Series of horticultural talks held every spring and fall, and other activities to engage both members and the general public.
For more information about the Friends of Rocky Hills, call the Garden Conservancy at 845.265.2029.
Click here to view a "Gardening Life" profile of Henriette Suhr, from the January/February issue of Horticulture magazine.
Watch Henriette Suhr in conversation with Marco Polo Stufano, June 1, 2011, at a Garden Conservancy event at the New York School of Interior Design. Henriette and Marco discussed her "half a century in the garden" creating the garden at Rocky Hills, and her earlier life, career in interior decoration, travel, and other design influences. In six parts, each approx.10-12 minutes long. The intro is only 3 minutes.
Part 1: Introductions
Part 3: New York, interior design
Part 4: The beginnings of Rocky Hills
Part 5: Rocky Hills today, 1
Part 6: Rocky Hills today, 2
Watch a video of the March 10, 2010 New School President's Forum with Henriette Suhr, a discussion of Mrs. Suhr's long and distinguished career in interior design and the evolution of design over the last century.
Martha Stewart video about Rocky Hills. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. (Originally aired on July 4, 2003)
Horticulture magazine profile of Henriette Suhr, Jan/Feb 2012
Westchester Generations, July 2011
Sitelines, Fall 2009Garden Conservancy News, Summer 2009
1956: Henriette Suhr, a designer and one of the innovators of Bloomingdales department store's furniture showrooms, and her late husband William, a renowned art conservator, acquire a farm called Rocky Hill, slightly larger than twelve acres, as a weekend retreat. They add an "s" to the original name and call their Mt. Kisco, New York property, Rocky Hills. Neither had gardened seriously before, but their new hobby turns into absolute passion and over the years they transform wild woodland and meadow into one of the country's most distinctive gardens
1977: Henriette and William Suhr leave Manhattan and make Rocky Hills their permanent home
1984: William Suhr dies
2000: Henriette Suhr announces plans to donate the property to the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation for use as a publicly run horticultural education center. Strategies are drawn to eventually transition this privately-owned space into a public garden
A conservation easement is granted to the Garden Conservancy and the Rocky Hills Advisory Board is formed
2004: The Friends of Rocky Hills is established to raise public awareness and support for the garden through educational programs and tours.
2007: The New York Times calls this wonderland a "Living Legacy."
2009: Henriette Suhr is honored by the Foundation for Landscape Studies with its Place Maker award
2010: The New School, New York City, hosts a President's Forum, March 10, with distinguished alumna Henriette Suhr. On April 14, the Friends of Westchester County Parks presents Mrs. Suhr the Best Green Friend Award
2011: At the New York School of Interior Design, Henriette Suhr and Marco Polo Stufano present a "conversation" about her half a century in the garden, and the influences of her early life beforehand.
Special events in 2013
April 18 – Rocky Hills Lecture, Margery Daughtrey,Chappaqua Public Library
May 25 – Garden Conservancy Open Day
June 1 – Annual Garden Party and Plant Auction, $55/$45 Friends of Rocky Hills
October 10 or 11 – Fall lecture at the Chappaqua Public Library
October 19 (tentative) – Garden Conservancy Open Day
Private group tours
From May through September, by appointment only. Please e-mail the Preservation Projects office at the Garden Conservancy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845.424.6500 ext. 207.
Admission and Tours
$5 per person on Garden Conservancy Open Days
Group tour fees are $10 per person, with a minimum fee of $150.
There is limited parking available along the road; please carpool.
Directions and additional information are available in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Directory.