Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Highlights from Our Weekend Tour


If I am being honest, last weekend's Pond Tour was a bit gruelling. Two days with twenty-three gardens widely spread out over the large area at the western end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. It was hot as he!!. And we got lost. Repeatedly!

Day 1. We decided to begin with the garden which was furthest distance away from home and work our way back. Bad Plan! The long drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake is approximately one and a half hours from our place. By noon of the first day, we had managed to cover exactly one garden. Then we got lost on our way to the next garden. By the end of the day, we went home disappointed to have only managed to visit 6 of the 23 gardens.

At least we learned from our mistakes. On Day 2 we planned our route with maps and driving directions between one property and the next. Touring ran much more smoothly, but even so, we still ended up getting lost more than a few times. We never did manage to make it to all the gardens on the tour.

All the aggravation of loosing our way was worth it though. We did see some beautiful gardens with impressive ponds and waterfalls. There was lots of inspiration for our own garden and the pond I hope  to build one day.

Here are just a few highlights from the tour.

Here is a closer look. That is Lavender in the background with Stonecrop blooming at its feet. 
The grass in the foreground is Japanese Blood Grass. 

Hidden behind this mounded planting, were two waterfalls which emptied into a large pond.


These homeowners had a ravine lot and were very proud to have done all the work on the garden and ponds themselves. A set of stone steps led down into the garden on one side of the property.

There was more to see on the tour than just ponds. Isn't this planting nice? That is pink Bee Balm in front of the arbor, Ligularia is the leafy plant in the middle foreground and Gooseneck Loosestrife is the white flower on the right.

Gooseneck Loosestrife is very invasive, so we will all be best admire it from this safe distance. (The homeowner has managed to just keep it in check by aggressively curtailing its spreading habit.)

Great whimsy!

What a pretty entrance to the back garden!

I found that having great plantings along the edge of the water made all the difference in how well a pond blended in with its surroundings.




Nature's collage.

Without exception, all the gardens we saw had a seating area just off the pond. 

And it is no wonder. The sound of water is so soothing ...

and watching the fish is darting around in the water is simply mesmerizing.

Today, I am going to link up to Blooming Tuesday.  On Thursday I am going to link to Cottage Flora ThursdayTo see other gardens in bloom, please click the links.

34 comments:

  1. Your photographs are spectacular...just beautiful. What a day you must have had.

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  2. Wow, your tour schedule was certainly daunting. These gardens are beautiful in a very structured, English garden way. (As I remember Niagara on the Lake, it has a tidy British look and feel!) What an odyssey you are on... so many great gardens to see!

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  3. Very beautiful gardens - all of them. Bravo, for the perfect shots !

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  4. 23 gardens in 2 days??? Are you kidding me? Wow! Gorgeous pictures. Just looking at them I know it has to be at least 30 degrees cooler there than my garden and I are having to endure right now. Garden tours are so enjoyable -- just to appreciate all of the beauty and hard work and also to find inspiration to take back to our own gardens. Thanks for sharing the tour with us!

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  5. Your touring adventures reminds me of an Ancaster tour that took us for miles through the countryside, we never did get to two of the 10 gardens on the tour. I had a feeling the artist of the society had created the map so that it looked nice, but bore no relation to where the gardens were located. Good to catch up with all your garden adventures. Heather's gardens makes me mourn for all the trees I've lost over the years.

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  6. I liked the pictures of the waterfall, they are particularly interesting.

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  7. So glad it all worked out and you were able to see the gardens; they are so pretty and inspiring! I'm thinking I'll have to pinch that red chair idea - love that! That first shot is awesome too ;)

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  8. Wow is all I can say about that garden, those homeowners did an awesome job and that pond is massive. :)

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  9. Jennifer,

    This is just lovely! I don't know how you did this, like a marathon. The front garden is wonderful just filled with interesting plants, and of course the ponds and water to die for.

    Eileen

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  10. What lovely gardens and photos! That does sound like a big undertaking going to that many gardens. Thanks for sharing you tour with us and welcome to Bloomin' Tuesday! Jean

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  11. What a treat to be able to visit so many beautiful gardens! Thank you for sharing with us.

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  12. How wonderful! I wasn't comfortable asking to take photos on my garden tour, and I'm really sorry I didn't. I would like to have shared as well.

    That old chair is the garden is the best!

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  13. What beautiful gardens, the arched gate is especially lovely. Hot & Lost, sounds like a fun time ;).

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  14. Beautiful gardens! Hard to believe this is a residence. What an inviting place to be.

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  15. Love the photos they are fantastic you would have had a great time going around those gardens my hubby would not like to do something like that but me I would love to............

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  16. I love touring gardens! Great pics. That entrance with the clematis is just lovely! And yes, ponds are great, aren't they?

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  17. All of the sudden I am suffering from small pond syndrome.

    I think the idea behind this tour is fantastic and I hope a good amount of money and awareness was raised for the hospice.

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  18. What a wonderful Pond tour of gardens.... many great ideas and plant combos, lovely water features that I would so love to have.I am a big fan of gooseneck loosestrife even tho invasive. Can't imagine seeing 23 gardens in 2 days I so would get lost too. Agree the weather in the area is hot as H. and so dry , who would think after all the snow and rain...

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  19. I'm really liking the lavendar and sedum combination. Great idea for a hot spot in the garden. I agree, those ponds look very inviting and sitting beside them must be very cooling on a hot day.

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  20. You have taken garden touring to new levels Jennifer!! I don't know if I would tackle that many in that short amount of time. It does sound grueling but thank you ~ very worth while especially for us looking at the photos. The arbor shot with pink monarda and gooseneck loosestrife is my favorite. I think that is just divine.
    Wait, the frog in the opening photo is fantastic too!! Hope you can rest up a bit now and enjoy your own gorgeous garden.

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  21. So many beautiful ponds and water features. Love that garden gate pic.

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  22. These gardens are truly spectacular but I'm pretty sure these gardeners have more space and a bigger budget than I'm working with!! However, it's my garden pipe dream to pull out a bunch of grass and put in a pond. I wish I could have been on that tour with you!

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  23. wow, what perfect gardens! I would have loved to be on this trip.

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  24. The gardens are lovely. I especially like the arbor. Everybody needs one!

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  25. First let me say your header looks like a beautiful painting! Gorgeous photos,love the frog, I will come to tour this post again!
    Thank you...
    glimpsesofglory-karen.blogspot.com/

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  26. You have captured a beautiful picture of the ever invasive gooseneck! And those purple flowers around the backyard arbor--just gorgeous. Looks like you have a lot of photo memories from a great trip. Great idea for the chair, too.

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  27. I love the pond with the woodland feel. I think I would like to have taken a week to visit all these gardens. Thanks for sharing your tour with us. The frog photo is great!

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  28. What a nice trip, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a lovely area. All the gardens are so beautiful! You took great photos-love the frog!
    -Lynn

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  29. You were a mere stones through form here. I love Niagara on the Lake. It is such a special town with so much character. I love your frog portrait, what a handsome fellow. They are many design ideas in these images today.

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  30. My goodness... this was a fantastic tour! I did a pond tour once and ended up driving a couple hundred miles, but I truly enjoyed it... your photos are wonderful! Larry

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  31. These gardens are what my dreams are made of. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous and such creative designs. Thank you so much for taking us along with you, Jennifer!

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  32. What a gorgeous pond...love everything in your garden. Thanks for sharing over here at Cottage Flora Thursday's! xoox, tracie

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  33. Sensory overload! So many stunning images! I really love the red chair!

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