July 15, 2011

Perfectly Pruned Plot... Part 2, the Gardens of Parkwood Estate

This base to an old garden armillary (the armillary part missing) was dated 10 years before Parkwood gardens. Adorned with Mr. McLaughlin's monogram, one could only assume the family brought this with them from their previous house. I noticed it while strolling the grounds.

In the last post, I showed the interior spaces of Parkwood Estate and now ... Part 2.. the gardens one of the few remaining grand garden designs in tact by Harries & Hall, Dunington-Grubb and John Lyle.

I've seen the gardens of royal palaces, the lovely estates of Winterthur, Vanderbilt (Ashville) and ones at Cheekwood. All have a story, all have a personality. I have never seen a garden like the one at Parkwood... there's an art deco surprise at the end... so look through all the photos.

I'll post these photos with a bit of commentary... but photos speak a thousand words... don't you think?

To the right of the entry of the house was this arbor with a 1930s statue at the end.

Some of the more interesting trees along the walk...

This window led from the dining room out to the gardens. Most rooms on the lower level led to the outdoors.

This ancient plant was pruned to allow visitors up the stairs and onto the terrace.

A spectacular shot of one of the statues in the Venetian Garden, Sam McLaughlin's private garden which could only be accessed or seen from his personal office. Rarely would visitors or even his family be allowed in this sanctuary.

Another view of the Venetian Garden.

Strolling, I shot this view of the back of the house.

One of many rose gardens, this one was near what was the vegetable and herb garden and also the white garden.

Are these not amazing?

At the end of the official tour, I climbed up onto a support and took this photo looking into the Venetian garden through the guarded and enclosed lattice work, sticking the camera precariously almost dropping it. It was worth it.

Like hallways in a house, a garden has to have a vista or a destination. Placing this pavilion at the end of a path makes the pedestrian want to go forward. A painting or sculpture at the end of a long hallway has the same effect.

The Sunken Garden now used for parties and weddings.

This was the children's tea house. The children would go and, with the help of a servant, learn the proper way of drinking tea and outdoor entertaining. Behind and attached is a gardner's storage shed.

A drink and a book (or my iPad) please.

Amazing no matter where you are on the property.

We walked and then came upon a surprise. Designed and built by John Lyle (the same one who added at the same time, the Art Deco bedroom for Sam McLaughlin in the previous post)

A pair of these urns flanked the pool house where we had lunch. What a way to enjoy a nosh looking over the reflecting pond. So relaxing.

Although deco in design, Sam McLauglin wanted to celebrate Canada so art deco inspired Canadian Geese were integrated into the wall fountain at the far side of the reflecting pool where Poseidon himself is making sure the garden is nourished with water.