A Good Home, Building a Water Feature, Canadian Homes, Canadian Village Life, Carol and Wayne Shaw's Gardens Summer 2018

What’s Wayne Up to Now?

Glad you asked!

We’ve been following him and Carol as they expanded their small house and garden into what our family now calls “The Shaw Estate”. 

Blog Photo - Carol garden at front with plants and house front

And I promised you that I’d revisit them when the Coach House interior is complete. (He plans to do this in cooler weather.)

Blog Photo - Carol Garden coach house beautiful exterior

But our family has known Wayne and Carol for many years and I should have known that Wayne is always up to something. 

Blog Photo - Wayne at work on a new building

“I came up with the idea about 3 months ago,” he says.

A neighbour bought the property next door, and made changes that affected Wayne and Carol’s use of the back of their property.  Wayne decided they needed a water-feature there.

Blog Photo - Wayne's fountain and first pond at night

“I started looking around for the ideal rock fountain and finally found it in nearby Campbellford. I took Carol up to see it, and we decided on it that day. While there, I made an appointment with the gentleman (Jim Spencer) who builds and installs all their water features. We came up with a final layout (in our heads).”  

 Q: Did you make a sketch, Wayne?

A:  “I did not. It was a vision/plan in my head, and when we met, he and I understood each other within minutes. No plans were drawn!”

Blog Photo - Wayne's Fountain Rock Arrives 2

 Jim, whose property is fully landscaped, has been doing this work for 40 years. He and colleague Wayne (yes, another Wayne) arrived weeks later with backhoe and fountain boulder.

“As you can see, the 6,000 pound fountain boulder was a little too much for the small backhoe to manage! They had to bring in a heavy duty boom truck.” 

Blog Photo - Wayne and Heavy Duty Boom Truck

Blog Photo - Wayne's Fountain Men Placing Fountain Boulder

This wasn’t just a fountain, however. They built a patio, a stream and three ponds and planted a cedar hedge as a backdrop.

Blog Photo - Wayne's fountain and stream and two ponds

Q: How did Carol react when she saw the finished product, Wayne?

 A:  “She was elated, as are all of those who have come around to see what we are up to out back!”

Blog Photo - Wayne's Fountain with stream and ponds and garden bed

Blog Photo - wayne's Foutain closer of pond and cedars and rocks

Jim allowed Wayne to operate the backhoe one day, but mostly, Wayne designed and supervised the project.

Blog Photo - Wayne's fountain and Patio at night

Blog Photo - Wayne's Foutain finished Product with patio and steps

Q: So are you and Carol lounging about, having drinks and admiring the new water feature?

A: “No. But we do go out at least once a day and admire the work the boys did!”

That’s because Carol is busy working in the garden and Wayne is now building an office inside the main house.

Blog Photo - Wayne's Fountain shows back of house and coach house and rocks

Meanwhile, Jim Spencer, pleased with the collaboration, asked Wayne to assist with a future project, and he agreed.

Blog Photo - Wayne's Fountian front view of garden and coachhouse with water feature in BG

And double-meanwhile:

“As soon as I’ve finished the office, I hope it will be cool enough to go back and complete the interior of the COACH HOUSE!!!” 

Yes, and we’ll have pictures!

~~

Photos by Wayne Shaw.

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A Good Home, Canadian Village Life, Villages

Two Days in Creemore

I’m a country girl. Born in the country, raised in the country, I love country villages and rural areas.

So I was glad to visit the village of Creemore, northwest of Toronto, last weekend. My husband, younger daughter, son-in-law, pet chug Julius and I stayed in a small farmhouse owned by friends of our older daughter.

Blog Photo - Creemore Luaren at the farm

Blog Photo - Creemore Julius at the farm

Blog Photo - Creemore Dan and Julius inside farmhouse kitchen

We were surrounded by farmers’ fields, woods, birdsong, flowers, crickets and spectacular views.

It was also the weekend of the vintage festival and the village was dressed up for the event.

Blog Photo - Creemore bicycle with flowers

Blog Photo - Creemore signs

Blog Photo - Creemore vintage fashion show

Blog Photo - Creemore singers and radio booth

Blog Photo - Creemore church st lukes

Blog Photo - Creemore father and son on street

Blog Photo - Creemore woman takes photo on street

We walked along Creemore’s main street, stopping to make small purchases in the stalls and stores or to eat and drink. Creemore’s beer is deservedly famous.

Blog Photo - Creemore four

Blog Photo - Creemore springs Brewery copper vat

At Chez Michel restaurant, the food was excellent and the staff attentive and friendly. 

Blog Photo - Creemore Group Photo at Chez Michel

 In fact, everyone we met was friendly. We chatted with many people and — as you can see, above, we were happily photo-bombed by some!

Blog Photo - Bakery and Cafe

Blog Photo - Creemore brakery sign about unattended children

Creemore has that homey feeling that I associate with my favourite villages and small towns. (And yes, that’s really a cup-and-saucer chandelier below.)

Blog Photo - Creemore bakery chandelier with cups

Blog Photo - Creemore friends meet in bakery

Blog Photo - Creemore sign in bakery - WIFI

But like most rural villages, Creemore needs outside support to thrive. Events like the vintage festival attract visitors and locals alike.

Blog Photo - Creemore Vintage Festival sign

Outsiders who have fallen in love with Creemore also help by building/buying houses there and spreading the word among their networks. 

Blog Photo - Creemore sign things to do

Well-known interior designer Sarah Richardson and her husband are among the influencers who are big Creemore supporters.  Sarah, one of HGTV’s stars, renovated a home in the village for her TV series, and she and her husband recently built and moved into an “off the grid” house in Creemore — also televised.

Blog Photo - Creemore girl on fountain statue

When it comes to helping our villages survive and thrive, every bit helps.

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Thanks to Hamlin Grange and Dan Leca for the beautiful photos.