Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hedgehog Cottage

I'm in North Carolina this week, enjoying highs in the mid-70's and lows in the mid-50's.  Yes, I can hear the chorus of "shut-ups," but get over it and enjoy it vicariously!

We went to a Tour of Homes here in Blowing Rock yesterday and saw 5 gorgeous homes.  Two were older mountain summer cottages - one was built in 1899!  The other 3 were either built or renovated more recently, say in the last 10-15 years.  Of course, you don't get asked to put your house on the tour unless it's special, but oh my.  One of the houses was called "Hedgehog Cottage," because the owner has traveled extensively in England and fell in love with the little creatures.  I'm sorry to say that we could not take photographs inside (what's up with that?) but here's a little guy who was right outside the front door.

Speaking of outside, here's the front garden.

Now before you want to give up gardening, I want you to bear in mind that these folks have a full-time gardener AND the weather here is like it is in northwest Washington State.  Especially this year, there has been ample rainfall.  Look closely at the photo and you can see the fog; I took this picture at about 9:30 in the morning.  As a side note, it rained most of the night and is misty and cool as I write this.

Hedgehog Cottage has a wonderful main house and three separate guest cottages.  Each cottage has a bed-sitting room, a bathroom, and a little beverage center with a small refrigerator, sink, coffeemaker, etc.  Here's a view up a driveway to one of the guesthouses, on the top floor of the old carriage house.  The path on the left leads to a lovely patio and you can see one of the other guesthouses in the background.

Every bedroom has a working fireplace!  It's very English, with diamond-paned windows, chintz, beautiful antiques, and the owners' whimsical hedgehog collection.  You know how sometimes a "theme" can be overdone?  Well, not here.

The terraced front of the house

More of the front terrace
Here is the old cottage.

It is currently owned by the sixth generation of the same family.  They are scattered around the country, but come to Blowing Rock every summer as their schedules allow.  This house has no insulation or heating system, so it is strictly a summer cottage.  And the family is very intentional in leaving it as close to original as they can.  Every bedroom has a sink, and I mean a sink, with exposed plumbing like a lot of us had growing up, just right out in the bedroom.  There is one bathroom with a sink and toilet and one bathroom with a sink, toilet, and tub.  There is no TV.  The kitchen was updated sometime in the 60's and they do have a dishwasher, thank goodness.  There are books and games galore and about 5 acres of woodlands with paths and "rooms."  If a child's imagination can't catch fire here...

We had a wonderful time and got lots of ideas to ponder for the renovation I'm about to start in Memphis.  (More on that later, my friends, as the renovation includes a complete redo of the garden that I want to share with you - a real "Garden in Progress!")

Here's just a few more photos from yesterday:

Hostas and daylilies massed together

Gorgeous lilies

Stone walls abound here!
My own yard here is so lush!  As soon as the rain lets up, I'll get out and take some pictures to share with you.  In the meantime, stay cool!

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