Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ohio/Michigan Trip, Pt 3

We were on a tight time schedule for this vacation and were, as always, flying by the seat of our pants, since this was not the original trip we'd 'sort of' planned.  This trip was an afterthought, thrown together less than 24 hours before we left home.  The Friday night before we left, I was Googling what there was to see in Ohio and Michigan and printing out maps and sites of interest at 3AM, so, no, planning is not our strong suit.  We have been accused of being wishy-washy, scatterbrained, and downright weird by people who are Planners and Organizers and I have to admit, hey, the titles fit.  Carl and I have always been this way, spur of the moment works for us.  Everybody has their quirks, and since our sons grew up with Quirks, they're used to it.  

One of the drawbacks of searching for things online late at night when you're trying not to fall asleep is I printed out the wrong map for Lakeview Cemetery.  When we got there, I just couldn't figure out why I couldn't find Lucille Ball's gravesite and several other famous people listed, or even the roads the map told us to take 'past the Elk Statue and turn right'.  There was no Elk Statue.  I even asked the very nice guide at the Wade Chapel where it was, only to have him say as far as he knew, there wasn't an elk and Lucille Ball  wasn't buried there.  So, Ann took a closer look at my map and found out it was for Lakeview Cemetery, all right, in New York.  Ooops.  Oh, well!  Maybe we'll take a trip to New York someday...you never know.

Oh, and did I mention we didn't worry overly much about accommodations because we were towing a 6' pop up tent camper graciously loaned to us by Ann's niece?  We camped out for the three nights we were on the road which was a first for me and it was really a lot of fun.  We just drove until we were near something we wanted to see and took a chance on finding a campground.  Since it is off-season for tourists, it wasn't a problem finding one with vacancies.

Before we left, Joel had also gone to town late Friday night and purchased a GPS thingie, which helped enormously, with 'Ethel' or whatever her name was, patiently repeating requests for us to stay in this lane and at the corner, turn left, turn left on the corner........RECALCULATING, RECALCULATING----poor Ethel, she must have thought she was in the company of wingnuts, too!  I kept waiting for the GPS unit to start smoking and spontaneously combust.

The first night at a campground, though, left a bit to be desired, and for my future reference,  I know I will always request the most remote site they have available, definitely not one right across from the restrooms!  There was an auction going on that night in the pavilion attached to the restrooms.  We thought it would be over soon, so we went to bed, but it really dragged out.

"Next up is some upholstery fabric, ok, what am I bid?  Let's start with a dollar.  I have a dollar.  Anybody?  It's nice fabric.  Ok, a dollar going once, a dollar going twice, OK! I have a dollar and a quarter, a dollar and a quarter, anyone? Anyone make it a buck and a half?   Ok, I have a buck fifty, now let's try for one seventy-five....I've got a buck fifty, looking for one seventy-five....ok, going once for a buck fifty, twice, SOLD for one dollar, fifty cents.  Our next item up for bids is a jean jacket.  This is a Ladies, size medium.  Let's open the bid on this at one dollar........" and wow, did they have a TON of items up for bids! 

Joel had driven since 7 AM and it was now twelve hours later, and we all could use some sleep, but there were kids jazzed up on sugary treats running rampant, screaming at the tops of their lungs and the auction didn't get over with until 11PM and the 'After Auction Party' didn't break up until the early hours in the morning, so no, we didn't sleep too well.   But I can truthfully say it was an experience!  (And no, I didn't buy the jean jacket, I'm a size XL!) 

Ok, back in the car everyone, we are headed just a few miles down Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio to the Cleveland Art Museum.  The tour guide at the Wade Chapel recommended we go to the art museum because they had a nice display of Tiffany items.  There were several lamps and other articles of Tiffany Studios:

We have the form and pattern for the 'Peacock' shade pictured above, now I just have to find the time to recreate it.

 And a gorgeous landscape window:

Closeup shows the use of layering in the glass for depth and color nuance.
This window had originally installed in a home.

 The guide also said we should take in several of the large churches in the area, too, that have Tiffany windows installed, and we should have, but we didn't know which churches to go to and how to go about asking for permission for photography, so we decided against it.  Another reason preplanning would have been good, right?  But, oh well.

Right across the street, Joel noticed the beautiful Cleveland Botanical Garden, so of course, we had to stop there, too!

Joel, taking a break......he did ALL the driving for this trip!  LOTS of miles.

After the botanical garden, we were off to Akron, Ohio, to the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.  Originally owned by F.A. Seiberling, the founder of Goodyear Tire Company, it is the sixth largest historical home in the United States.

'Stan Hywet' is Old English for, are you ready??  Stone Quarry!  Now can you see why I wanted to tour this place? 
Above, Carl and I standing along the edge of the former stone quarry.  What can be better than all those rocks?

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the mansion itself (though no photos were allowed indoors) but took advantage of photographing the gardens to our heart's content.
Mrs. Seiberling's formal, walled English garden.

Yours truly in the English Garden

Ann in the Japanese Garden
Carl and I strolling the Japanese Garden
Grape Arbor
There I am in the entrance to the Cutting Garden
Ann had time for a bit of Lawn Chess
And of course, no estate is complete without a greenhouse!
This was our last stop for Sunday, we then made a beeline for Michigan and ended up in a lovely little campground near Lansing, this time, way back in the woods (see, I'm a quick learner!) all alone, with no noise at all, except for the very fast-moving thunderstorm that popped up sometime around 2AM.  Thank goodness all it did was rain (and hard!) for a little while, we didn't blow away!  We woke up early and headed on to our next destination:

Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Michigan.

Hidden Lake is home to:

This is a gorgeous hosta garden; even late in the season all of the plants looked so healthy!
We love our hostas, truly we do, but the real treat waited right around the corner on the winding six miles of roads through the gardens to:

This part of the gardens was a dream come true for me (I think we probably bored poor Ann, but she was such a good sport about it!) since we have been interested in dwarf conifers for years.  This part of the garden was also an eye-opener for all of us, because even we weren't prepared for the eventual size of some of these 'dwarf' conifers!

Ann and I, strolling through the Harper Collection

 The tree behind Carl and I in the above picture is 'Vanderwolf's Pyramid' limber pine---oh, MY!  We have three of these trees planted here at home......uh.......I didn't know they got this big!  However, I have been pruning our trees for years, and according to Adrian Bloom's excellent book, 'Conifers For Your Garden', pruning can help maintain a tree's size for years if done regularly.  However, I will say, it is a lot of work. 

Joel took a picture of each tree in the collection, along with a picture of each tree's name tag, which also listed the year the tree was planted.  This will be such a good reference for us to refer to when adding additional trees to the gardens here.

Here I am, awed by the size of this tree which is:
See how handy those name tags will be?  And to think it was only planted in 1981!
Weeping Alaskan cedar.....we have one in our yard here.....hmmmmmmmm...hope I left enough room for it to grow!
And yes, that's a thuja occidentalis 'Sunkist' arborvitae, planted in 1980......wow, we have a 'few' of these planted in the gardens here, too.
 Thuja occidentalis 'Hetz Wintergreen' about 30 years old, now that's a big cedar!
Here I am admiring pinus strobus 'Bennett's Dragon Eye'   We don't own this one, but I wish we did!
Oh, boy, this is a Weeping Norway Spruce, picea abies 'Pendula' planted in 1981.....we have two of these that we've been keeping staked, but something tells me unless we have a silo handy for this tree to grow on, we won't be able to keep up with it's growth habit!

This one won me over right away, this is pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' planted in 1996.  I sent away for this conifer earlier this spring and mine is now only about 6" tall......this one is gorgeous, and I hope ours does the same!
There is also a bonsai display at Hidden Lake Gardens:

We have toured many other arboretums over the years, but none have been as beautiful as Hidden Lake Gardens.  
I realize once again I have posted an impossibly long story and I'm sorry for being so long-winded, but there was so much beauty to be seen in these gardens. 

I'd better stop here and wait to show you the last part of the trip for next time.  Hope you'll forgive me and check it out! 


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, what a great trip, I feel like I have been on it with you guys. Of course, I love the house and gardenso but the Tiffany glass is so special. Thanks for sharing.


Karen said...

Hi Eileen, yes, there is something magical about Tiffany's stained glass, we are always awestruck when we see an original lamp in person!

Dan@retrooregon said...

It looks like we are interested in the same things, glass and gardening. I'm going to be looking for some of the dwarf conifers in this area now. Thanks for sharing the glass you have seen.

Diana LaMarre said...

Sounds like it was both a fun and educational trip for you--what a great way to spend a few days.

Karen said...

Hello Dan, I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. I bet there are some interesting conifer nurseries in Oregon!

Hello Zoey, yes, it was a good trip after all, even if it wasn't Yellowstone; maybe next year we will make that trip!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

My dad does stained glass and I have a few of his original pieces. Just gorgeous!!!