The East Aurora Garden Club extended an invitation to a few of the Knox Estate Gardeners to take a couple seats on their bus tour to Sonnenberg Gardens. The Sonnenberg Estate has a similar history to Knox Farms in that it was once a grand, historic, privately owned estate and it is now operated by the New York State Park System and exists largely on the love and volunteerism of it’s local community
We started by walking the long beds and greenhouses at the entrance of the estate….and yes we shamelessly plugged the East Aurora Co Op while we were there, lol.
The roses are late to bloom but are arriving just in time for a Wine and Bloom event the Sonnenberg Gardens host every year.
Sonnenberg is using their historic green houses to feature exotic tropical plants, cacti, and Orchids. They have gratefully just received grants and private donations totalling over 1 million to restore the dome of the largest greenhouse.
The orchid display
There are over 200 dedicated volunteers that help take care of the gardens. The volunteer program started in 1973 when the nonprofit “Sonnenberg Gardens” (much like our Friends of Knox) obtained title to 52 acres of the estate and opened the gates to the public. In 2005 New York state came to the aide of the park by forming a partnership with Sonnenberg Gardens and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. During my walks I met a young woman who has worked there since highschool. She is now a paid employee with 10 years of service.
There are interesting mature trees all over the property
Thank You East Aurora Garden Club!!
Written by Donna Reilly