WALATing on Canda Day (photo heavy)

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 1, 2009

Today is a holiday here - of course every day is a holiday here now that Randy has retired :- ) After a walk around the front garden after lunch, we visited a historic home property that we'd never been to before in a neighbouring town. The house wasn't open today but the grounds were. We got rained out so didn't get to see it all. We'll definitely go back. The gardens weren't extensive - unless there were more in the part we didn't get to... - but it was a very pleasant spot on the lake. The property is maintained by the town so I didn't expect there to be much in the way of an elaborate garden. Here are pictures...

Some shots from our garden first:

Vyvyan Pennell is fading fast and will soon be a puddle of purple on the ground!

Hot Cocoa nearby clashes with Vyvyan dreadfully! One of these years I'm gonna yank this rose....

The x durandi clematis is finally starting to look good on the BDC and angel rose combination - but the roses are fading fast so the timing is off for the three of them to make a nice show together :-( The clematis is a darker blue than it turned out in this picture:

This is part of the base of the iron arbour, on the garage side of the arbour. I fear that the honeysuckle is the dreaded Hall's honeysuckle... We started the honeysuckle a few years ago from a cutting we took off a nice-looking one on a street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I gather here Hall's is not the fearsome thing it is furhter south though.

The shrubs (Viburnum opulus and various hydrangeas and a holly) along the garage wall have become climbing frames for clematis - it's all gb's fault!

The plantings in the new bed are starting to fill in now. The main bed is looking a bit plain in the background - it is currently dominated by Brookside blue geraniums sprawling over everything! The blue doesn't show up well in the pictures. We dug out a lot of the daisies last year and I think we took out too many. The coneflowers are ready to bloom in a few days but there's a lull on at the moment - likely because of the cool temperatures.

Moving on to the estate on the lake....

The front entrance:

There was a nice terrace off to the right with a wonderful view of the lake.

Looking back at the house from the lake, the terrace isn't visible in this view (it's behind the trees on the left)

That smooth green lawn is neatly clipped by the resident geese!

I thought of Chelone and the discussion about paths when we walked in the woods. The path was wide. The surface was fairly coarse bark so it was a bit heavy going for me but walkable.

Aside from a bit of rain in late afternoon, it was a very nice day here.

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

That shot of Misty between the pillars is adorable! Looks like a good day indeed. I like the path in the woods but those chunky bark chips would be a challenge for you. We didn't get any sun.

Today I went off shopping and had a long list. Surprisingly, the vet was closed. Then the place where I get my hair cut was closed too. Stupid me, I continued on to buy dog food and the feed mill was also closed. Finally I went past a parade! That's when I finally realized that it is Canada Day and that was why people were crowded everywhere waving flags and wearing crazy T-shirts. I still needed groceries and the main place was closed. So I went to the small local place and bought vegetables, cheese, pasta, juice, meats and so forth. Low and behold the bank had not transferred money to my account... and so I had to use a Visa card. What a bother. I suppose they will be blasting off fireworks tonight here. Guess I'm not very patriotic.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 5:30PM
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I kind of like Hot Cocoa and Vyvyan Pennell together Woody. Unless they look different in person.

Misty looking through the balusters with the flowers needs to be framed.

Your Clematis seem to be enjoying the cool weather.

I hope you and Randy keep visiting these neat places so I can see them too. Norma

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Looks like it was a very nice walk. I agree that the shot of Misty is adorable. What a great expression on her face!

V. (who's thinking that she may have remembered that it was Canada Day well before 'bug did!)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

The best photo of the lot, is of Misty looking through the railing. What a cutie! The Hot Cocoa looks very healthy and the color is great. I guess you're not a fan of purple/orange? Your clematis really add so much to the garden. I thought that was a very nice pink rose under you and Misty on the garden tour. Imagine someone lived in that house on that property at one time. So gorgeous! Do you ever wonder how people have these magnificent estates and somehow can't hold onto them? Thanks for the tour! :-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 6:06AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Marvelous shots Woody!!!! Love them all. your gardens are a marvel! I just love those formal balusters and of course Misty is just too cute!

I really love your Hot Cocoa rose, its a beauty. It would be sad to remove such a pretty rose...


    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:12AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

All of your pics are so pretty, and I am one who loves the orange and purple combo, but we all have differant tastes. I would love to have both of the plants, but they would not look that good here. :-(
Your new bed is filling in nicely.
Misty is so cute ..loking through the railing...great shot!
I like the one of Randy and Misty on the wide wood's path also.
The coarse bark would be hard for me to walk on too. Our yard has lots of holes, and I frequently step in one and jar myself pretty badly.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Misty specializes in cute for pictures!

The rose is a somewhat darker red than it shows in the picture. It is and odd/awkward color that just doesn't appeal to me somehow. A neighbour loves it though and took a cutting from it. If I decide to yank it, she'll take it. Randy likes it though so I'll probably end up keeping it. Another annoying thing about it is that is gets some blackspot on the lower leaves so I end up having to remove a lot of the lower leaves starting soon. Blackspotted roses always end up getting evicted here sooner or later. It doesn't get totally covered with blackspot; just the bottom 12" or so.

PM - the estate was built around 1930 by the daughter of an industrialist. I think it remained in the family until they all died out. The town bought it around 1990 to save it from development.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Wow, Woody, that estate is really beautiful. I would have thought the date of the house would've been earlier than the '30s. I love the stacked stone and the terracing... if I had deep pockets that sort of architecture would appeal to me greatly (I also love stucco and Italianate styling).

Misty does do "cute" well. How long did it take you to teach her to pose? I love all the clematis in your yard... you've been hanging around with 'bug, haven't you??

What made the paths heavy going for you exactly? Do you use a walker all the time? was the surface tough going for wheels? I am interested in the practical realities of surfacing.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - yes, I use a walker all the time - outdoors at least. (I can use a quad-cane in a house and this house is set up so that I can do some walking around without support...) The main problem with the particular mulch path at that estate was the material was too loose and the base too soft so it took a lot of effort to push the walker. It wasn't quite as bad a pea gravel - impossible to push a walker through that stuff! The path also was a bit too steeply pitched to the sides in places so the walker had a tendency to want to slide sideways. The path was running along a creek, through a wetland area so the ground was quite soft. The same bark over a very firm base would probably been much easier to walk on.

My paths here are about 1/3 concrete sand; 2/3 pine bark mulch. Our soil is quite heavy clay so is quite firm - as long as it is not too wet! Only the 'wet corner' area is a problem in the spring. Over time the concrete sand has migrated to the bottom and combined with the clay to make a nice base. The pine mulch - quite fine stuff, not big nuggets - breaks down reasonably fast so it needs topping up every 4-5 years. When we first laid out the paths, we put the mulch/sand mix down and then went over it with one of those water filled roller things to pack it down. Next spring we need to do another layer of the mulch/sand mix on all the paths here. The pine bark keeps the paths looking natural in the woodland areas while the concrete sand gives firmness. In the front garden the paths have been topped up with just the pine mulch so often now that the paths can be a bit too loose in texture. But the clay soil underneath is heavy enough that the path is still quite firm. On the whole, I think the firm base under the surface material is probably the important thing as long as the surface material isn't so thick and loose that the base gets 'lost'.

When we put the path material down it was probably no more than 1-1 1/2" thick once it was packed down - maybe less... A couple of years ago the Sweet Woodruff under the pines was starting to spread across the path. I was able to just run the blade of one of those J-shaped crack weeder tools along between the Sweet Woodruff roots and the path surface and peel the SW up and roll it back like a carpet! The path was perfectly smooth and intact underneath - the roots hadn't penetrated beyond the loose surface layer of decomposing pine needles.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Thanks for "splainin' that" to me, Woody. I've mentioned this before but the "interstate system" here was a godsend for Mum as she became more fragile; I honestly think the easy walking and things to look at were very helpful in encouraging her to get out and move and help recover from the stroke.

Your use of concrete sand sounds very much like the stone dust we've used here. It packs down firmly (we used a tamper),drains quickly and fully, and will support the weight of a small tractor without buckling. It's a commonly used substrate for patios and more formal brick or blue stone paths in this area.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 5:40AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yes, thanks for the explanation on the walking, You have it much harder than I. Mine is mostly clumsiness, and a loss of some equilibrium. I am prone to do a lot of staggering...:-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 8:31AM
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Woody, I know exactly what you are talking about re:peeling up the Sweet Woodruff like a carpet. I am removing most of mine and once you get it started it's pretty easy to lift.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 12:01AM
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