Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stop...Smell the flowers...See the...


avant-garde gardens.
['Blue Tree' by artist Claude Cormier. This tree is covered with 70,000 blue plastic balls. You can see it at Cornerstone Festival of Gardens. Keep reading...]

Last weekend, DollinkFriends told us about the 9 acres of fabulous artsy gardens at Cornerstone located in Sonoma County. I can hardly wait to visit the 'Not your grandma's rose gardens', and may schedule a visit before it closes up for winter and then again in spring when it re-opens.

Hwy. 121. We've driven on it hundreds of times, traveling from Petaluma (where we lived for 20 years) to the heart of wine country. Weekend day trips with the kids, family, friends, foreign exchange students. Fifteen minutes from home to local historical sites and boutique shop browsing; lunches of sourdough bread, local cheeses and seasonal fruit; a bit of wine-tasting for the adults (and feeding ducks for the kids). Opened in 2004, Cornerstone is located on the exact spot where 'World of Birds' (aka 'Birdland' to our DollinkDaughters) used to be.
We miss the exotic birds, but this looks pretty cool too.

Highways 121, 12 and 29 connect to Hwy. 80. En route from home to Sacramento, we were on those roads often. The scenery is picture perfect postcard: rolling hills, acres of wetland, farmland, vineyards. Grazing horses, ruminating bovines, hawks perched on fenceposts. You can get a bit jaded if it's along your commute route, so things can go unnoticed...

Like the di Rosa Preserve. Also located in the old stompin' grounds of Napa-Sonoma, we drove by this place dozens of times a year as well. Without fail, we'd point out 'the cool fake sheep on the hillside', unaware of what was housed beyond those metal artworks on the other side of the hill: a huge and outtasite art collection, the art collector's former home and his property - all 'visitable' (for a small fee, of course).

Last month, we went to di Rosa for the first time with DollinkFamily, who turned us on to the place. What a great day out! We celebrated son-in-law D's birthday by viewing art, basking in the pleasant early autumn sunshine, taking in the gorgeous scenery and eating the most delectable picnic lunch.

Yes, we even stopped to smell flowers in the gardens...

[An aside: sheep = carneros in Spanish = Carneros region is the area of Sonoma/Napa where these sites are located]

1 comment:

me again said...

yep that's one cool garden!