Hallowe’en in the woods

October 30th, 2014 | 3 Comments »
A technical note: It is no longer necessary to register in order to comment on a post. So please do! In the meantime, don't be scared, join me for a walk in the woods...  If you go down in the woods today,you're sure of a big surprise. I went down in the woods -- and was I surprised! There were no teddy bears and no signs of a picnic, but I did see some strange creatures. I saw a head, a dark face with twisted features. [caption id="attachment_1341" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] His ferny hair

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Colour in the Garden

October 26th, 2014 | 4 Comments »
It's been raining steadily for the last few days and most trees have lost their leaves. But not all. The linden tree  at the end of the lawn was radiant one day last week, just before the rain began to fall. [caption id="attachment_1318" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A stormy sky added drama to the scene.[/caption] Colour remains, but you have to look more closely to find it. The hydrangea bushes by the front door don't shout like the linden tree; instead they glow, softly pink. [caption id="attachment_1323" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The pink tones of

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The Inward Garden: A Retrospective Book Review

October 19th, 2014 | 9 Comments »
Not long ago I spent some time going through old gardening magazines. I was looking for photos to use for an art project but the articles and ads I came across proved more diverting than I expected. Magazines used to be ubiquitous. No longer. At least two of the magazines I was thumbing through have gone out of business and the ones that survive look very different now than they did ten or more years ago. (Yes, I have magazines dating back to the millennial year, and beyond. Or did. Recycling got

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Following my tree: October

October 14th, 2014 | 11 Comments »
Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, a holiday that usually coincides with the best colour of the fall season. This year, colours hit their peak a week or so ago, and are still going strong. They were, and are, spectacular! [caption id="attachment_1285" align="alignnone" width="1000"] I haven't enhanced the colours. This is really what the view over The Skating Pond looked like at the end of a beautiful day.[/caption] Not so the colours of my poor little corkscrew hazel. I'm starting to feel sorry for the tree: it is trying so hard and simply

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Launching Site and Insight: Reflecting on Art and Landscape

October 10th, 2014 | 9 Comments »
Et, voila! Welcome to the new Glen Villa Gardens website, Site and Insight: Reflecting on Art and Landscape. The new Site and Insight merges my old website and my weekly blog, and adds new features with more information about gardens, landscape and art. I'm delighted with the appearance and the ease with which readers can move through the various sections. At least, that's what I think. But when you are familiar with something, it seems straightforward, and that isn't always the case for a newcomer. So today's post is a short overview of what

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Pointing to the present

October 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Talk about à propos. Recently I came across the words below, written by the great British landscape architect and designer, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. They struck a chord -- a loud chord in a major key. The past is now pointing me to a soon-to-be present, with a new website and blog combined. For those of you who receive posts automatically through email, don't worry. The system will continue to work... or so I'm told. If you have difficulties, you can contact me (as of Friday Oct 12) at [email protected] At Glen

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Reflecting on Site and Insight

September 29th, 2014 | 4 Comments »
Site and Insight. I've used these words many times in talking about gardens, in thinking about landscapes, in writing about both. Recently I've added a third word to the list. Sight, Site and Insight. This is what art, landscape and design are based on: looking at what surrounds you, observing the lay of the land, the spirit of the place, the conditions that govern it, and then using those observations purposefully to create a space that engages the mind and the emotions. This is what I try to do at Glen Villa. This

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Pruning: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

September 22nd, 2014 | 3 Comments »
Pruning shrubs has always been one of my favourite garden occupations. It's satisfying to clear away the dead wood (literally) -- and when the work is done, you can see what is there. It's a practical activity as well an aesthetic one. My aim may be to shape a shrub so that it looks its very best, but in the process I am improving the health of the shrub, giving it room to breathe and light to live by. As an activity, pruning is more rewarding than weeding -- it's

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Going and Coming

September 14th, 2014 | 8 Comments »
Before and after photos are a great way of showing the effect of changes -- if you have them. Which, in this case, I don't.Last week the weather was wonderful, with warm days, bright blue skies and a touch of crispness in the air. This week, the sky is grey and the temperatures are hovering around 6C (in fahrenheit, that means cold!). A big storm with high winds accounts for the dramatic change, in the temperature and in the view from our house to the garage.Here is the only photo

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Following my tree, down a colourful garden path

September 7th, 2014 | 9 Comments »
It's that time of month again, time to write about the tree I started following in March this year. My corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic') is looking about as tired as the rest of the garden -- late August and early September are not prime times at Glen Villa.Something is eating the hazel leaves.Something likes the leaves of this corkscrew hazel.They are welcome to it.The leaves are looking decidedly weary. Not to mention spotty and full of holes.So instead of writing about this unattractive tree, I'm writing about some

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