Now for a Rest!

July 31st, 2017 | 14 Comments »

The last few weeks have been busy. Preparing the garden for visiting groups and getting everything in place for Saturday’s Open Garden Day has been fun, but also a lot of work. And now that August is here, I’m ready to put my feet up — for a day or two, at least.

But first, I want to thank the 20 volunteers who worked at the Open Garden Day. They made the day a success, and I couldn’t have done it without them. The weather cooperated beautifully, and the day turned out to be exactly what I had hoped for, a Goldilocks day — not too hot, not too cold, just right.


The Skating Pond as photographed by one of the wonderful volunteers.
The Skating Pond as photographed by one of the wonderful volunteers.


I also want to thank the people who came, who seemed to love everything they saw. Many commented on the peaceful setting, and how calm they felt walking through the garden. I enjoyed spending the day on the Log Terrace, talking to people as they passed through. In fact, I was so busy talking that I forgot to take photos. So instead of a picture of the volunteers or the setting, here’s a photo of a group that visited the garden the day before!


This photo shows a group who visited the garden the day before the Open Day. They generously contributed to the cause -- so a big thank you goes to all of them.
That’s me, almost hidden behind the artemisia, and Larry Hodgson, the group leader with the hat, seen second from the right. When Larry mentioned that the Open Day was raising money for the Massawippi Foundation, the group opened their pockets and generously contributed. So a big thank you goes to all of them.


The Open Day went smoothly, thanks to a great organizing team. The registration desk was up and running well before the 10am opening, and a good thing, too — the first visitors arrived 45 minutes early!


Visitors check in at the registration desk.
When visitors checked in at the registration desk, they received a pamphlet in either French or English, with a map and information about each area of the garden. They also received information about the trails being built by the Foundation on land conserved in perpetuity.


Volunteers really are the key to the success of a day like this. Some helped park cars, others added to the information in the brochure or talked about the goals of the Massawippi Foundation. One of those goals is to support community projects in the area surrounding Lake Massawippi, and one of the biggest and most ambitious of these projects is the system of trails being constructed on conserved land.


As the day began, I snapped one photo of cars parked in the field. It was the last photo I took for the day.
As the day began, I snapped a photo of cars parked in the field. It was the last photo I took for the day.


The grand opening of a new 3 kilometre trail on Massawippi Mountain will take place on August 20th. It will include music, a blessing by an Abenaki Elder, a ribbon cutting and a chance to walk the trail and speak with guides about the flora and fauna that makes the land worth conserving. This will be followed by a wine and cheese reception at the Community Centre in Ste. Catherine de Hatley.  The event is free to all and the Foundation welcomes everyone of all ages to take a hike that day and attend the reception.  For more information, go to the Foundation’s website.

Raising money to support this valuable work is why we open the garden to the public once a year. So many, many thanks all of you for all your support.

And I hope to see you all at Open Garden Day 2018!

On the Open Day, several people asked me how I learned about gardens and gardening. My answer was the same as it always is: by reading, experimenting and reading again.

Books are great, and my shelves are drooping under their weight. But for quick, helpful, easy to assimilate information, magazines are hard to beat. I have files full of magazine articles — and I go back to them again and again, as reference and inspiration.

There are fewer garden magazines in North America than there used to be. In Canada, the only magazine that circulates widely is Garden Making. I subscribe and read it for its practical information, as relevant to my cold climate garden as it is to those who garden in much warmer zones. The magazine serves a wide audience, from beginning to expert gardeners — anyone, in fact, who really wants to know the what, when and how of gardening in Canada.

In the U.S., with its larger market, there are several gardening magazines. My favourite is Garden Design. It’s gorgeous, with interesting and wide-ranging articles and outstanding photography. Best of all, there are no ads. This makes the magazine more expensive, but for my money, it is worth the price.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to Garden Making or Garden Design — or both — consider subscribing today. Or surely you have a birthday coming up soon???


You are Invited!

July 23rd, 2017 | 6 Comments »
It's less than a week until our second annual Open Garden Day. I'm ready for it, bilingual volunteers are prepped, and the garden is looking fine. So I hope I'll see you here, next Saturday between 10 and 4. There's no need to reserve a spot, and all are welcome, with admission payable on site. (No dogs or picnics, please.) Here are the details.     And here's a preview of what you'll see. The Cascade by the house ...   [caption id="attachment_5399" align="aligncenter" width="1425"] The yellow Ligularia add a nice


What a Difference a Month Makes

July 17th, 2017 | 26 Comments »
Yesterday was Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. The 15th of the month is when garden bloggers from around the world post photos of what is blooming in their garden. (Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme.) I haven't been doing this, and I'm not sure I will in the future. But I can't resist showing off one particular bloom at Glen Villa, my garden in rural Quebec. The flower I'm showcasing is Nepeta recemosa 'Walker's Low.' It's a cliché to say that a plant is blooming its heart out,


Vancouver Gardens

July 10th, 2017 | 14 Comments »
I'm on my way back to Quebec now, after five days in Vancouver. It's been a terrific trip. The weather has been spectacular and the opening of my exhibition, Clichés to Live By, was a huge success -- lots of people of all ages and lots of positive feedback. Along with visits to the Winsor Gallery to see the show, I've been walking around Kitsilano, the area of Vancouver where I stayed. 'Kits' was named after a Squamish chief, August Jack Khatsahlano. Once it was a dense wildlife-filled forest; now Craftsman-style houses


Clichés to Live By

July 3rd, 2017 | 15 Comments »
I'm thrilled to announce that an exhibition of neon art I've created will open on July 8 at The Winsor Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Winsor Gallery features cutting edge contemporary art, and I'm honoured to be exhibiting there, where artists of the calibre of Alexander Calder, Attila Richard Lukacs, Patrick Hughes, Angela Grossman and Fiona Ackerman have been shown. This exhibition gives me special pleasure: the invitation to exhibit came as the result of two garden visits. The first visit happened several years ago when I went to Broadwoodside, a garden near