A garden walk by the Lake

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)August 17, 2013

Not too far from here there is a path running along the lake with townhouses backing onto it at the begining. All the townhouses have nice - but small of course - gardens that can be seen from the path. Increasingly there is also a strip af garden running along the breakwater - presumably created and maintained by the people who live in the townhouses. That garden is not continuous and some parts have obviously fallen into neglect, presumably as the people who created it move on. There has long been hollyhocks growing wild along the lake side - we collected seed from them and grew them in the garden here for awhile but they never did as well as they do along the lake! It was a nice afternoon for a walk and I thought you might enjoy these pictures....

The path - the townhouses on the right are the ones with the gardens:

Part of the 'guerilla' (?) lakeside garden strip:

A selection of hollyhocks (I think the second one could be a lavatera....):

This post was edited by woodyoak on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 20:57

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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

What a treat. Can I ask which lake it is? Must be one of the Great Lakes, I assume. I would take a walk there every day, If I could. Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:52AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I've never seen the Great Lakes, they are really big! It almost looks like an ocean. That would make me take a walk more often. What is the 'guerilla strip' about?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:12AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

How is it those hollyhocks have remained upright? If this garden is by a lake, surely there has been wind and probably strong wind. Whenever I grow something tall, no matter how strong the tall flower stems are suppose to be, strong winds come alone and I can be guaranteed they will be on the ground unless I stake.

And here these guys stand, without stakes and still upright. Life is unfair.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The lake is Lake Ontario. It certainly does give the feel of an ocean at times. The lake acts as a heat sink so fall and winter tends to be relatively warm. The lake never freezes and that keeps the surrounding air temperatures higher in fall and winter than they are even a short way further inland. 'Cooler by the lake' in spring and summer is the flip side to that - while the lake doesn't freeze in winter it does get very cold. The lake is also very deep so it takes a long time to warm up in spring and summer. There are usually nice cool breezes off the lake so it's pleasant to walk down there in summer. There are lots of paths along the lake around here and some nice parks too so it's easy to go for nice walks. I like the path in the pictures because of the gardens you can see from it. The path ends up at a local marina and park. Our property is not lakefront but is close enough to the lake to be within the zone of 'lake effect' conditions.

The strip of garden along the lake edge of that path area is, I assume, a 'guerilla garden' - i.e. an unauthorized one planted by people in the neighbourhood who like to garden. I assume the land belongs to the Town (the Town has a policy of requiring developers of lake-front land to give the strip along the lake to the Town for a public path in order to make the lake accessible.) I doubt that the Town planted or maintains that little strip of garden, hence my label of 'guerilla garden' for it.... :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Kevin :-) I know, I didn't think of that, but it is so true, about how you can't grow one that stands up to the slightest breeze without staking it and here they stand straight as a stick. It has to be windy there.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Indeed it can be windy there. I suspect that, since they were exposed to the wind from the time they were small seedlings, they were forced to develop strong stems. The ones I grew from seeds harvested from the lakeside plants were not any stronger in the garden than ordinary ones.....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:57AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, I love those little gardens! Those townhouses have a magnificent view, don't they? Lucky folks. Thanks for the pictures, Woody.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That's interesting about Lake Ontario. It does sound like it acts like the ocean with the effect on temperature.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:39PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

We should do an experiment and grow some Hollyhocks from seed, but have big fans blowing on the seedlings as they grow. I wonder if it would be adequate if the fans were just blowing during the second year of growth when the flower stalk is being produced. Hopefully, they would be strong enough to stand up to "normal" and even slightly stronger amounts of wind. I have some Hollyhocks planted up by the road where the traffic rushes by pretty quickly. Maybe that amount of wind will have a similar effect. I guess I'll find out next year when they bloom.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That is a funny image, Martha. (g) I heard the other day that Mosquitoes can't fly on a windy day, and I thought maybe I should get a fan blowing on the patio on a still night to keep them away. The seedlings could be near the patio and sturdy hollyhocks and fewer mosquitoes with one fan. It is funny, but definitely a very good idea. As a matter of fact, I heard it said to blow a fan on your tomato seedlings for the same purpose when you were starting them from seeds under lights and I did have a fan on them and the seedlings were sturdier.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:48PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Yes, I've heard the same thing about fans and seedlings. In fact when I grew a ton of seedlings indoors I did try the fan thing. I agree, I think they were sturdier.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 6:57PM
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