Rocky Hills, a beautiful thirteen-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. Alternatives are being explored to achieve Henriette Suhr's vision of preserving the garden as a public resource and horticultural center.
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 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 845.424.6500.
Click here to view a "Gardening Life" profile of Henriette Suhr, from the January/February 2012 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: Preliminary 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 it's "distinguished alumna" Henriette Suhr. On April 14, the Friends of Westchester County Parks presents Mrs. Suhr its Best Green Friend Award
2011: At the New York School of Interior Design, Henriette Suhr and Marco Polo Stufano present a public conversation about her "half-century in the garden" and the influence of her career in interior design on her work outdoors
2013: Westchester County's Parks department is no longer able to take on future management of Rocky Hills. The Garden Conservancy is working with Henriette Suhr to explore alternative options.
Special events in 2014
April 16 – Rocky Hills environmental lecture, Margery Daughtrey, Chappaqua Public Library
Dates for the Annual Garden Party and Plant Auction, Garden Conservancy Open Day, and fall lecture are being determined.
Private group tours
From May through September, by appointment only. Please e-mail the Preservation Projects office at the Garden Conservancy at email@example.com 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.