PARKWOOD: A Place of Astonishing Beauty

Ever visited a garden which made your jaw drop — repeatedly?

Parkwood does that to me… every time I visit. A national historic site, Parkwood is gorgeous.

Blog Photo - Parkwood house from west

You’ve likely seen Parkwood in the movies – many movies and television shows have been shot here, from X-Men to Hannibal.

Located only about 35 minutes from Toronto, Parkwood is the kind of place where you can lose yourself, meandering from one space to another. Time moves slowly and pleasantly on the 12-acre grounds.

Surprisingly, Parkwood is right downtown in the city of Oshawa.

Blog Photo - Parkwood Fountains and teahouse

It’s one of the few places I know that has a white garden — but then again, Parkwood has so many garden rooms, it could dedicate one to each colour and still have space left over.

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Built for auto baron Robert Samuel McLaughlin (“Sam”), his wife Adelaide Louise and their five daughters in 1917,  the house is a mansion by any definition.

Blog Photo - Parkwood Drawing room

Blog Photo - Parkwood Dining room

Many features were rare at that time: indoor heated swimming pool, morning room for breakfast, large conservatory and an indoor bowling alley and games room.

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As for life’s ‘little’ luxuries: Parkwood had an in-house telephone system, an elevator, a central vacuum system, remote-controlled outdoor lighting system, air conditioning, climate-controls for the art gallery, a walk-in refrigerator, and much more.

Blog Photo - Parkwood - RSM and Family

The family could well afford it. McLaughlin was president of his family business Canadian Motor Car Company which became General Motors of Canada.

The house is Classic Revival in style, with some Georgian features.

Blog Photo - Parkwood back of mansion.

I’m impressed by the grand house and its history — it’s a Canadian jewel.

But I’m completely bowled over by the gardens.

Blog Photo - Parkwood teahouse-restaurant

Inspired by the great gardens of Europe, they were created by the finest landscape designers available.

Blog Photo - Parkwood Garden layout

Blog Photo - B&W shot of garden and pavilion

And though Adelaide and Sam loved gardening, the expansive grounds and eleven greenhouses required a staff of 24 to look after them.

Blog Photo - Parkwood Garden and Pavillion

Today, people visit from all over Canada and the world. They tour the house or gardens or both, and some come for lunch or tea at the restaurant. I highly recommend the tea house-restaurant and tours. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon in a place of outstanding beauty.

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To visit Parkwood or donate to the upkeep of this national treasure:

Tel: (905) 433-4311
Email: info@parkwoodestate.com

All photos courtesy of Parkwood Estate

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Filed under A Good Home, Canada's National Historic Sites, Canadian Gardens, Canadian Homes, Canadian life, Famous Places, Gardens, Heritage Homes, Home

A White Garden

White flowers against green: the picture of serenity.

Blog Photo - White garden Bridal Wreath and Arbour

I used to dream of having a garden bed in just those colours.

Never happened.

Blog Photo - White peony

But between June and July, you’ll find several patches in our garden.

Green and white Hosta in several places…

Blog Photo - White garden Hosta around tree trunk

Hollyhocks….

Blog Photo - White garden Hollyhock single

Daisies ….

Blog Photo - White garden Daisies

Blog Photo - White garden Daisy CU

A flock of Goatsbeard….

Blog Photo - White garden Goatsbeard

Blog Photo - White garden Hosta blooms

White Hosta blooms (above) and Solomon’s seal below….

Blog Photo - White garden Solomons seal

Blog Photo - White garden Queen Annes Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (above) — a weed to my husband, a flower to me…

And Hydrangea everywhere….

Blog Photo - White garden Hydrangea several

Blog Photo - White garden Hydrangea CU

Blog Photo - White garden Hydrangea at night

Now, to get them all together in one place at one time and I’d have … well, not exactly Sissinghurst … but for me, the perfect white and green garden!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.

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Filed under A Good Home, White flowers, White gardens