A short visit to Prince Edward County

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)June 28, 2008

We spent W-F in Prince Edward County (an almost-island at the east end of Lake Ontario) for a mini-vacation. This was our first vacation trip there so we werent sure what to expect. We usually go to Niagara where there are lots of gardens and garden related things to do/see. PEC has an ideal climate for gardening so I was hoping for some nice gardens. The weather was perfect  not too hot; not too cool; mostly sunny. ItÂs a very rural county that has recently got into wine growing and making. While they are starting to advertise themselves as Âthe new NiagaraÂ, they have a long way to go yet! Artists, craftsmen  and chefs! - have also Âdiscovered PEC and a major part of tourists activities revolve around crafts and art galleries, and restaurants serving locally grown food products.

In a little town on the west end of PEC on our way to our B&B, we stopped for a little walk and saw this this clematis group on a street corner (gb  guesses as to what they are�)


Clematis look so nice with cedar rails  as gb demonstrates regularly. There were lots of cedar rail fences in PEC that were in need of clematis! I particularly like this common style:

The presence of the clematis on a street corner got my hopes up for interesting gardens. Alas, it wasnÂt to beÂ. The website for the B&B looked like there was going to be interesting gardens there but they turned out to be pretty ordinary and not as big as the pictures seemed to indicate. There was supposed to be a seasonal natural waterfall but it was not accessible and Randy didnÂt go looking for it.

Not too far from the clematis on the street corner was a house that had a sign that said ÂOpen garden, please walk inÂ, so we did. It was a model of garden maintenance  not a weed in sight; perfectly edged beds; currants and raspberries grown in hooped tunnels covered in netting. Most of the garden was roses and annuals with a few perennials. The most interesting feature of the garden was a gazebo made with trumpet vines:


The owner/gardener was in his mid-70s IÂd guess and he said he started it about 20 years ago. The most interesting thing was what the pillars had become:


There was a lattice roof to direct the growth upward:


He did say that the vines do sucker badly into nearby flowerbeds but it would be an interesting thing to create a gazebo like that one in a large lawn area where any suckers would get mowed down regularly.

Some of the craft places where there are normally artists demonstrating their crafts were missing their artists  they usually arrive for this weekend and July and August, which are the peak tourist months. We bought a few small things but some of the nicer ones were more than we were willing to pay. There were some very nice quilts including a portrait quilt that we didnÂt realize on first glance that it was a quilt! Here are two craft pieces that appealed to us but didnÂt make the trip home with us:

(This one reminded us of Gandalf  the picture cuts off the pipe in his mouth thoughÂ)



The big tourist destination for families is the Sandbanks Provincial Park. It was mostly not accessible for me but I did get to see some of it. IÂm not a swimmer and the water would have been too cold anyway but it was a pretty scene and, because of the cool temperatures and not yet peak season, it was very peaceful. Perhaps scenes like this may be more common for any of you on the coasts, but it is unusual here~

It was a pleasant,peaceful vacation but I wouldn't have wanted to stay longer. We were happy to get home - and Misty was very happy to see us. (Barb and a neighbour provided pet-sitting, with Barb staying afternoons and overnight and the neighbour dropping in regularly through the day to give her bathroom breaks and attention. But she was still unhappy to be left behind.) Jasper and Blue arrived a couple of hours ago for a 10 day stay so she's happy with all the attention she's getting now.

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nice to go exploring new areas Woody!
I'd guess that is Ville de Lyon and Henryi in the first shot...but that is a total guess based on commonly available plants.

I'm really fond of that style of split rail fence too. Most of them are disappearing these days as farms are sold and used for new purposes. Very sad in my opinion.

I'd certainly be afraid of so much trumpetvine! I hate suckering things, even when mowing. We have some pretty wild sumac here at the farm that threatens to spread over all 10 acres. The way it covers the supporting pillars is great though. I'd choose a different vine, maybe your wisteria!

I like the stained glass piece, though I wouldn't bring it home either unless I had the perfect spot for it.

Long ago we spent time at Sandbanks Provincial Park with the kids. I remember canoing there and seeing a turtle. That was in the days when we still had a VW camper with a pop top. Ancient history....

Glad you had a fine get-away with good weather!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 4:03PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Beautiful pics Woody, that trumpet vine gazebo is amazing. I can't imagine dealing with the suckering though. I've got one vine that keeps popping up all over the place but mostly in the lawn so it gets mowed down. I'm really glad I put it far away from any of the beds and borders.

Deanne

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:20PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks for the clematis ID gb - I think I'll have to try to find a place for a Ville de Lyon...

I asked what color the trumpet vine is - he said sort of orange. I'll bet it looks fabulous in bloom, but it's sort of scary too! Trying it with a wisteria was one of my first thought too gb! But you'd also have to do that in an open area - I do get one persistent sucker on the Chinese one (I rip it off each year but it always comes back the next year...) Also, with a wisteria, you'd want it well away from anything it could latch onto in case you get lax on pruning! Pruning - for a wisteria or the trumpet vine I think - would be a non-stop issue! But if I had the space, I might give it a try.... but there's no space left....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 9:24AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody...Glad you had a chance to get away. It's always nice to have a change of scenery. I thought it was unusual to see Clematis on a street corner and that would have raised my hopes of finding more too. I am also a fan of cedar post and rail fence and found that first and second photo of them, very attractive.

The trumpet vine gazebo was quite unusual but boy they scare me. I have read a number of accounts of nightmare maintenance and not being able to get rid of them.

Very pretty scene along the water.

I am so glad that you are feeling well and able to travel. So what did you bring back with you?

pm2

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:28AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We didn't bring much back with us - some chocolate made locally, a couple of glass Christmas tree ornaments and a Sedum 'Matrona', a hydrangea 'Blue Bird' and a Knautia.

I wonder what will happen to that gazebo when it's now-elderly creator is either unable to prune it or moves on...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 12:14PM
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ctlavluvr

Looks like a peaceful place, Woody! Just to get away for a few days seems a long-ago luxury so I'm glad you had the opportunity.

I love the stained glass piece, too, and the wood carving does seem Gandolphish. Both the type of pieces I'd get and wait for just the right spot to emerge.

Interesting to know that Prince Edward Island is not in Prince Edward County. An early Canadian must've liked Prince Edward a lot!

My friend, if I can grow Ville de Lyon, you most certainly can :-)

Thanks for taking us along ......

Martie

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:51PM
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michelle_zone4

Woody, it looks like you had a lovely get a way. That beach is certainly not one for lounging on LOL

Michelle

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:30AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - there are beaches for lounging on. We were at one when that pictures was taken - that sandbank was across the water to the left of where we were sitting. But there are a lot of huge banks like that which meant I had limited access to the beaches because a lot of the access paths went either up or down slightly smaller sandbanks like that!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Dispite the fact that it wasn't all that you hoped for, it looks like a rather nice time was had, espacially at the 'open garden',and the trumpetvine gazebo. I wish I had seen that some years ago. We could have done that with our trumpet vine.
I am happy that you had that get-away trip.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:17PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

True, Marian - we did have a nice relaxing getaway. But three days was enough - longer and relaxing would have become boredom :- )

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:36AM
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chelone

I am particularly struck by the shot of the sandbanks. There is nothing like that sort of formation here, Woody. The land is either flat to the ocean or it's very rocky and plunges into very deep water. Your shot is much more evocative of the shores of the lovely freshwater lakes I knew so well in my childhood in NH. Especially the shade trees in proximity to the water... you never see that on the beaches around here.

I love that you noticed the clematis on fence rails, too. Like you, I frequently think of my Idyll friends when I'm out and about and see things that pique my fancy.

Thank you for sharing your weekend... I one day hope to be able to sail the Great Lakes with the helmeet. I can't even imagine anything freshwater as large as they are!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We passed a field with a collection of hives - and I thought of Saucy.... :-) If you're sailing on Lake Ontario some day, our town has a very nice marina with lots of services for visiting sailors...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:10PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wonderful pictures, Woody! A few days away does it for me, then I'm ready to come back home. I love that gazebo with the trumpet vines. We have a perfect area in the yard for one, too. I'd be a little nervous about using trumpet vine, though. I'm not a diligent enough pruner for that, and I've seen it get really crazy.
I love the stained glass piece. My DB learned to do stained glass. I keep hoping he'll get a hobby area set up at home and make some cool garden pieces for his little sister :)
Brenda

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:58PM
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cynthia_gw

Trees growing in Sandbanks is a first for me Woody! Really unique, and no not common on east coast of US that's for sure.

I find wisteria much more frightening than trumpet vine. Maybe it's the colder climate there, but if that pergola were wisteria, it would be thrice the size and the supports would have been crushed by now... :-)

Very interesting place, thanks for sharing Woody!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 9:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I would have thought, from pictures I've seen of sandy beaces, that something like Sandbanks might be less unique elsewhere - it is certainly unique here! I think the trees were some kind of willow so I assume the roots are long enough to reach the water. Perhaps the unique thing is the sandbanks on a fresh water lake instead of a salty ocean. The fresh water would be kinder to things like tree roots than a salty ocean would be.

It must be the cold that helps make my wisteria more manageable. I could see doing a gazebo like that in wisteria here if I had the space. It would undoubtedly take a lot of pruning of course. After a few years, the wisteria vines would merge like the trumpet ones have in those pictures and the actual underlying framework of posts would sort of become irrelevant. I've seen some nice older wisterias where the stems have merged to form a ropy-looking woody trunk that is very attractive.

Thinking about what would work but be less of a thug, I think I'd opt for Graham Thomas honeysuckle vines. I planted several of them at the longterm care garden several years ago. They were slow to get big but several of them are now substanitial vines covered in lovely scented pale yellow and white flowers in June. I think they would make a great choice, especially as I've never seen their leaves succumb to mildew like many honeysuckle vines do.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 1:38PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Another thread, I finally got to look at -- Woody, I love seeing and reading about PE - a place I've heard nice things about; some friends went there years ago and I often wondered what it looked like -- looks like a great time to visit.

I love to see these travelogues from Idyllers!

-Cindy

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 9:48AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cindy - somehow I doubt you've heard of PEC before - maybe you're thinking of the province, PEI (Prince Edward Island), instead...? PEC is just a county a couple of hours east of Toronto in the province of Ontario. Actually, I've never been to PEI, although I grew up in a nearby province. I've always meant to get around to visiting PEI someday but I don't think I'm ever going to get there. The drive on the Confederation Bridge is supposed to be great - but not for the faint of heart! :-)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 8:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've been to PEI years ago with the kids. I long boat ride during a storm where everything had to be tied down. Video games were sliding across the floors, cars below were bumping each other. What memories! We drove a VW camper bus and the high winds threatened to knock it over and we camped in a rest room...Oh joy!

Woody, there's a place called The Pinery where there are sand dunes as well. It is to the west of us, along Lake Huron.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 7:39AM
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