Open Garden Day and Garden Talks

June 29th, 2018 | 5 Comments »

Many people have asked when we will be opening the garden to the public this year.

The sad news is, we won’t.  This summer we are working on various garden projects that need time to settle in. But I hope that in 2019 we will have one — or maybe two — open garden days.


If we open the garden next summer in mid-June, we might see this field of buttercups.
If you visit the garden next summer in mid-June, you may see this field of buttercups.


Many people have also asked about where and when I’ll be speaking. Coming up on July 27, I’ll be in Kingston, Ontario, as the keynote speaker for the Ontario Horticultural Society’s annual meeting. September sees me in England, where I’ll be touring gardens in East Anglia and the Cotswolds with a group of Canadian and American gardeners.


I'm looking forward to a return visit to Great Fosters, a garden I saw in 2013.
I’m looking forward to a return visit to Great Fosters, a garden I saw in 2013.


In January, I’ll be speaking in Ottawa, then in Boston and vicinity in February and April, and in the Eastern Townships in May.

Personally, I am very happy with my newest presentation, Learning to Look: the Art of Garden Observation. In this talk I look at some often neglected points about how to really see what works and what doesn’t in a garden, and how to apply the ideas at home.

Do get in touch if you want more information — or if you want to discuss booking a talk.


Five Good Things and a Bad

June 25th, 2018 | 12 Comments »
As June shines its way towards July, I'm outside soaking it in and enjoying the garden at Glen Villa. There are too many happy-making things to show in a single post, so today I'm focusing on only four. First come the hawthorn trees. We planted them more than 15 years ago and they have proved a mixed blessing, blooming well in some years, not so well in others. This year they were spectacular.     [caption id="attachment_6453" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Seeing the trees from a distance was like seeing a cloud of light,


A Victorian Garden

June 17th, 2018 | 15 Comments »
Yesterday I spoke at the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead, Quebec, home to the Stanstead Historical Society. The museum is a local treasure, housed in a classical revival-style villa built in 1859 called Carrollcroft.   [caption id="attachment_6429" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] The house, its gardens and adjacent stable and carriage house, tell the story of the Colby family, a prominent local family of American origin. The family donated the house and its contents to the Stanstead Historical Society in 1992. Exhibitions provide insight into the social and cultural history of the county which borders Vermont.[/caption]   The current


Crabapples in Bloom!

June 4th, 2018 | 20 Comments »
In just over a year, the Crabapple Allée, aka the Avenue, has gone from dream to dirt, to bloom and gone. We started with this, a dull bare field.   [caption id="attachment_6400" align="aligncenter" width="4272"] I took this photo on April 24, 2017, when I became serious about planting a long allée of trees,. The walk through the trees is part of a larger project I'm still working on.[/caption]   Four months later, The Avenue was beginning to take shape.   [caption id="attachment_6399" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] August 8, 2017[/caption]   By mid-November, the


What’s in a Name?

June 1st, 2018 | 4 Comments »
I saw this wildflower in the woods last week and was surprised to learn its botanical name, Cardamine diphylla.     I was surprised because only a week or so ago, I looked up the name of another plant, now growing in damp areas in the garden and in the fields at Glen Villa. Its botanical name is Cardamine pratensis.   [caption id="attachment_6380" align="aligncenter" width="3264"] Lady's smock or milkmaids is growing beside the Glen Villa pond. It has bloomed for several weeks.[/caption]   What is the relationship between the two Cardamines? Are