Peel Mansion Gardens

This should be the last post from our autumn trip to Arkansas.  The Peel Mansion was built in 1875 by Colonel Samuel West Peel.  His wife used the garden areas for food crops to feed their nine children and staff.

Colonel Peel,  a pioneer businessman and US congressman, traveled on business and to Washington often.  So his wife ran the homestead and farm, which included a 180 acre apple orchard.

houseArk1We did tour the house, but I didn’t take pictures inside.  The house is in the left side of this picture.  It was definitely a grand house, even for today.  It lay in disrepair for many years after their deaths but has renovated with the original woods cleaned up and shining.

The Maidenhair Tree or ‘Ginkgo biloba’ is the oldest known species of trees on earth.  I’ve always loved the leaves on this tree and wish they would grow here in our clay and hot climate.  Just have to enjoy them when I have the chance to see them.

houseArkdThis was my kind of garden that meanders around with all different kinds of trees, shrubs, and flowers growing.  There seemed to be a surprise around every turn.

I love the tall Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana).  Some internet sources state that it survives in zones 8 – 10, while another sources says all zones, and even other sources say a tender annual.  So it’s a mystery.

houseArk2The beds were filled with all sorts of flowers.  I love the red leaves that are scattered through the garden.  The source of them will be seen shortly.houseArk3

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houseArk7Black and Blue Sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’) is hardy in zones 8 – 10.  I bought one at a garden club meeting in Waco, so they must have it in the ground there.  But, I plan to grow it in a pot.

houseArk6This looks like a Dahlia to me.  They don’t survive in our Texas Fire Breathing Dragon sun.

houseArkjjThis is the tree responsible for those brilliant red leaves – a gorgeous Sugar Maple.

houseArk8From another angle, the bright red tree can be seen from many parts of the garden.

houseArkllI drool over this tree.

houseArk9This looks like it’s in the Coxcomb or the Gomphera family.

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houseArkgLove the color of these zinnas.

houseArkhChinese Lantern Plant or Strawberry Ground Cherry (Physalis alkekengi) has a unique look.

houseArkhhI recognize the Castor Bean plant (Ricinus communis) from my childhood in West Texas.  So I’m sure it would grow here.  This plant is the source of castor oil: that dreaded remedy for colds we were given as kids.  Yuck.  That dates me, for sure.

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houseArkmGuess it’s because spiky plants are common here, but the twisted branches of this little tree appealed to me.

If you know the names of any of the plants I did not try to identify, I’d love to hear what they are.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I enjoy hearing from you.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.”  Cicero

Compton Gardens

compton gardens9Our autumn trip last year included a visit to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Yes, the home of Walmart.  It’s actually a very pretty town with a small town feeling and lots of nice, older homes surrounding downtown.  Just a block or so from the center square is Compton Gardens and Conference Center.  It was originally the home of Dr. Neil Compton, a prominent physician who is credited with saving the Buffalo River, which had been threatened with destruction when the US Army Corps of Engineers renewed plans to build dams on the Buffalo River at Gilbert and Lone Rock.  Eventually, it became part of the National Park Service.

After serving in WWII, Dr. Compton returned to his hometown and opened a gynecology and obstetrics practice.

compton gardensaAfter his death, the house was renovated into a conference center.  The six and one half acres surrounding it are a refuge for the local citizens.

compton gardens8Being there in the fall, the trees were the most prominent feature.

compton gardensBut there were a few plants still blooming.

compton gardens1This American Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana) still had berries but no leaves.  It’s a lovely bush that requires shade and non rocky soil.

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compton gardens3There was no sign providing information about this statue.

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compton gardens7A very serene and calm place to stroll around.

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compton gardenscMost of the trees were unknown to me.

compton gardensdPretty little flower, but I don’t know what it is.

This was very peaceful place to enjoy nature.

“No one has ever injured his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things.”  unknown