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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Canandaigua in Ontario County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Moonlight Garden

 
 
Moonlight Garden Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 22, 2019
1. Moonlight Garden Marker
Inscription.  The Moonlight Garden was the last and smallest of three garden rooms that landscape architect John Handrahan designed and built for Mary Clark Thompson, probably in 1916. Located near the mansion, it was surrounded by an oval-shaped hedge. His plans showed that the Moonlight Garden had a single entrance from which a triangular turf path led to a bench and covered seat. A bed was planted on each side of the path, and one was located at the garden’s center. The flowers in this romantic garden were primarily white and night-blooming, filing the darkness with a tantalizing fragrance.

Historical photographs of this garden have never been located. In fact, this garden had completely vanished until John Handrahan and Ernest W. Bowditch’s plan of the Moonlight Garden from “portion of Sonnenberg, 1917,” was found in 1984. Restoration of the garden using this plan began the following year.

The garden’s original turf path was replaced by stepping stones during the 1985 restoration, and in 2006, its perennials were replanted. The garden’s original benches are still in place.

“dressed mostly in white and the air
Moonlight Garden & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 22, 2019
2. Moonlight Garden & Marker
was heavy with the sweet aromas of heliotrope, tuberoses, and verbenas and filled with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.”

This description of the moonlight Garden comes from Mary K. McKechnie’s unpublished 1953 essay, “Sonnenberg: The Golden Era” and was used as a guide for the garden’s replanting. McKechnie was Mary Clark Thompson’s niece.
 
Location. 42° 53.987′ N, 77° 16.28′ W. Marker is in Canandaigua, New York, in Ontario County. Marker can be reached from Charlotte Street near Howell Street. Marker is on the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua NY 14424, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pansey Garden (a few steps from this marker); Blue & White Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Old-Fashioned Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); The Peacock House/Aviary (within shouting distance of this marker); Rock Garden (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Japanese Garden & Tea House (about 600 feet away); Japanese Garden (about 600 feet away); Granger Homestead (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Canandaigua.
 
Also see . . .  Sonnenberg.org. A non-profit organization, Sonnenberg
Moonlight Garden, Marker & the Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 22, 2019
3. Moonlight Garden, Marker & the Mansion
operates in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and relies solely on visitor admissions, memberships, donations, wine and gift center sales, and special events to preserve public access to the site. – Quoted from a printed self-guided tour provided upon admission. (Submitted on June 23, 2019, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 
 
Categories. Architecture
 

More. Search the internet for Moonlight Garden.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 23, 2019, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 70 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 23, 2019, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.
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