Tropical Foliage (and a little bit more)

February 12th, 2018 | 13 Comments »

It’s fascinating to see plants you think of as house plants growing outside. During a recent trip to Florida, I visited a friend and took a quick walk around her garden. The colours and textures were astonishing.


untitled (1 of 9)


I can’t name any of the plants, although they may be familiar to those of you who live in warmer climes.  Nameless or not, I loved what I saw, particularly the large-leafed beauties below.


untitled (3 of 9)


Who can resist a shape like this rounded indentation? And the colour contrast was delicious.


untitled (4 of 9)


I took these photos using my sister’s phone so the quality isn’t the best. But the brilliance of the colours shining out from the shade make up for it.


untitled (7 of 9)


Returning from Florida to cold Quebec was a shock, particularly after a big storm dumped 35 cms (15 inches or so) in a few short hours. But a snow-covered landscape offers its own beauty.


I wasn't home long enough to take any photos. But this view of the linden tree is typical.
I wasn’t home long enough to take any photos. But this view of the linden tree from a few years ago is typical.


Three days after returning to Quebec, I left again for Boston.  Over the next few days I’ll be speaking about Glen Villa (Creating a Personal Paradise: The Story of Glen Villa) in Duxbury, Hingham and Carlisle, Massachusetts. If you happen to be in the vicinity and are interested in attending, get in touch for the times and locations.

Or take a minute to check out my website. You’ll find info there about my new talk, “Learning to Look: The Art of Garden Observation,” as well as about the other talks I offer. I’m now booking engagements for the fall and would be delighted to visit your horticultural society, garden club or other organization. Do get in touch!


More Memorable Trees

January 28th, 2018 | 21 Comments »
The Angel Oak is named after a family,
I love trees. Not surprisingly, many of my favourites are in my own garden, Glen Villa, and I wrote about some of them here.  But in my travels, I've come across many other special trees, and they stand out in my memory for different reasons. One I remember because of its size. The Angel Oak, still growing on John's Island, South Carolina after some 400 years or more, is so large that I couldn't capture it in a single photo. I simply couldn't stand far enough away -- the longest branch stretches 187 feet


Special Trees

January 14th, 2018 | 10 Comments »
This maple tree was planted over 100 years ago, as part of the landscaping for the resort hotel, Glen Villa Inn. The hotel burned to the ground in 1909.
A piece about specimen trees in the on-line magazine Gardenista started me thinking about trees and how special they are to me. Having recently planted a long allée of crabapple trees at Glen Villa, (and having written about it here) where the impact stems from the sheer number of trees and the precision of their placement, my mind swung to the opposite end of the spectrum, to individual trees that make an impact on their own. The most important tree at Glen Villa, my garden in rural Quebec, is the basswood, or linden as I