Sonoma County is renowned for its multitude of gardens and specialty nurseries, but visitors to Cornerstone Sonoma experience an altered state of reality in this unusual suite of gardens. Although this could be attributed to the fine wines available at Cornerstone—Roshambo, the Grange Sonoma Tasting Room Collective, and Larson Family Wines all have tasting rooms on site—it is the innovative work of internationally renowned landscape architects and designers that induces these visions. Visitors and even leashed pets are welcome to wander among the 20-plus avant-garde gardens that span nine acres in the midst of vineyards.
At the entrance, a giant indigo Adirondack chair, à la Lily Tomlin, encourages both adults and children to sit and play awhile. A large tree covered in blue balls tests conventional views of reality, and hundreds of pink plastic daisy whirligigs line up to catch the wind. Giant birdhouses, Monet's lily pond, and a subterranean plot tweaks the mind and stimulates the imagination. After hours spent roaming the grounds, hungry picnickers can gather a feast of seasonal menu items like salads, soups, artisan sandwiches and desserts made from locally grown ingredients from Sage Fine Food and Provisions, and eat on the patio in the courtyard. Peruse the cutting-edge design shops to find that one special thing to enhance the home or garden. The gardens change periodically, so go down the rabbit hole every so often, and see what might pop up next time.
Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Drive, (Hwy. 121), Sonoma. 707.933.3010.