When I lived in New York, one of the men I worked with raised orchids. His orchids had their own room, he loved them so much. He assured me most varieties were not difficult to raise.

Many varieties will be on display at Sonnenberg's Annual Orchid Show

When I walk past these lovely flowers in a florist or at Wegmans, I’m always tempted to try my hand at raising one, in spite of having  what I call ‘a purple thumb.’

If you, like I, are attracted to orchids, you’ll want to put Sonnenberg Garden’s Annual Orchid Show on your calendar. This show will be in bloom within Sonnenberg’ Garden’s historic Lord & Burnham greenhouse complex Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.  You’ll delight in a wide array of these exotic blooms, including Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilums, colorful Cattleyas and Cymbidiums and delicate Dendrobiums and more.

The show will also offer you the opportunity to take a seminar on orchid care Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Orchid growers, including Joe Kunisch of Bloomfield Orchids of Pittsford, will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer your questions. A variety of orchids will be on sale in the Sonnenberg Gift Shop.

On Friday, Sonnenberg Garden’s Executive Director and horticultural expert David Hutchings will be on hand to re-pot your plants for a donation.  And while at the show, be sure to stop by Sonnenberg’s Gift Shop, where you can enjoy a wine tasting, served from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Admission to the Annual Orchid Show is $5 and goes to benefit Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit Sonnenberg Gardens’ website or call (585) 394-4922.

Sonnenberg Gardens is located at 151 Charlotte Street in Canandaigua.


Learn about the history of Rochester’s major parks and how to develop your own garden design at Sonnenberg Garden & Mansion‘s all-day seminar.  This symposium will be held in the Carriage House meeting room at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion in Summer

The morning session, “Early Development of Rochester’s Flower City,” will feature Beverly Gibson, Horticulturalist of the Landmark Society of WNY, who will discuss the design and development of Rochester’s Highland Park and Durand Eastman Park.  She will also highlight the establishment of the Ellwanger Estate and the Harris Seed Company, the key foundations in making Rochester the Flower City of the USA.

The afternoon session, “Principles of Garden Design,” will be led by Sonnenberg’s Executive Director and Horticulturist, David Hutchings, who will be assisted by Sonnenberg Garden volunteers.  Participants will learn how to design a new landscape around their home for the spring.  Supplies list available upon registration.

Reservations are $18/person, or $15/ Sonnenberg members, and the seminar cost includes hot soup and a beverage served at the lunch hour (bring a sandwich, if desired).  Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion Historic State Park is located at 151 Charlotte Street in Canandaigua, NY.

For more information or to make your reservation, call (585) 394-4922 during business hours (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M- F).

Photo courtesy of Sonnenberg Gardens and Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.