Garden Portrait: Rocky Hills

Rocky Hills embodies the creativity and extraordinary talent of the late innovative interior design executive Henriette Granville Suhr. Henriette and her husband, renowned art conservator William Suhr, began planting in the mid-1950s and created a layered garden, sensitive to the land’s history and terrain, filling it with flowering rhododendrons and azaleas, tree peonies, woodland plantings and meadows, and massings of spring-blooming bulbs. It is also home to a collection of rare magnolias from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s former Kitchawan Research Station.

Rocky Hills, located in Mount Kisco, NY, shares an idealized version of the natural world, and the evolution of the garden has much to teach us about stewardship of these special places. The garden is now in the care of the its new owners, Barbara and Rick Romeo, and is protected by a conservation easement that is held by the Westchester Land Trust.

Three shorter films clips are being produced to provide additional perspectives on Rocky Hills.

Produced by Udris Film and released in December 2020.

The Suzanne and Frederic Rheinstein Garden Documentation Program at the Garden Conservancy seeks to capture and to share the essence of something that is largely experiential—the beauty and stories of a garden. This presents unique challenges and requires an innovative and layered approach to create a multi-dimensional portrait of a garden, a living work of art. Our documentation program is using words and pictures, letters and notebooks, drawings and plant lists, along with stories, sounds, and experiences that have inspired garden creators. The goal is to build, over time, an online resource that brings gardens to life in a new way in an educational tool that will continue to provide important insights for years to come. 

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