A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.

A Year in the Garden, Part 1

On a surprisingly mild winter’s day — not at all typical for Quebec in December — I’m remembering the garden at Glen Villa as it looked earlier this year.

January brought lots of snow.

 

A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.
A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.

 

The Crabapple Allée marches across the open field.
The Crabapple Allée marches across the open field.

 

February brought snow and gloomy skies.

My sculpture Tree Rings honours the life of a maple tree that died in 2014.
My sculpture Tree Rings honours the life of a maple tree that died in 2014.

 

Tin leaves sway in a light wind at Orin's Sugarcamp, one part of the Timelines trail.
Tin leaves sway in a light wind at Orin’s Sugarcamp, an art installation that makes up one part of the Timelines trail.

 

In March, skies began to brighten.

Bridge Ascending, a sculpture by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito, incorporates twisted girders from an old covered bridge.
Bridge Ascending, a sculpture by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito, incorporates twisted girders from an old covered bridge.

 

Abenaki Walking, one of my art installations, references the life story of the original inhabitants of this section of Quebec.
Abenaki Walking, one of my art installations, references the life story of the original inhabitants of this section of Quebec.

 

In the Upper Room, sun shines through the glass panels. Mary Martha Guy designed the dogwood tree that suggests Virginia and my mother, honoured and remembered in this part of the garden.
In the Upper Room, sun shines through the glass panels. Mary Martha Guy designed the dogwood tree whose outline suggests both Virginia and my mother who is honoured and remembered in this part of the garden.

 

April conformed to its usual trickster habits, offering the promise of spring before reneging.

 

Crocus and snow -- not the ideal spring combo.
Crocus and snow — not the ideal spring combo.

 

May is the month when the garden changes rapidly, day to day.

Finally, leaves begin to emerge and the garden comes back to life.
Finally, leaves begin to emerge and the garden comes back to life.

 

Ferns unroll their heads to the warm sun.
Ferns unroll their heads to the warm sun.

 

Daffodils crowd the hillside.
Daffodils cluster under the birch trees near the house.

 

More daffodils crowd the hill above the Skating Pond.
More daffodils crowd the hill above the Skating Pond.

 

Wild garlic carpets the woodland floor.
Wild garlic carpets the woodland floor.

 

Trout lilies are shy flowers, hanging their heads demurely.
Trout lilies are shy flowers, hanging their heads demurely.

 

Maple leaves begin to open.
Maple leaves begin to open.

 

Mayflowers flower.
Mayflowers flower.

 

In the more formally tended parts of the garden,  the changes that warmer weather brings were wonderful to behold.

Magnolia trees bloom in the Lower Garden.
Magnolia trees bloom in the Lower Garden.

 

Two magnolias bloom in the Lower Garden, Magnolia 'Susan' (darker pink, in rear) and Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel' (pale pink in foreground.)
There are two types of Magnolia in the Lower Garden, Magnolia ‘Susan’ (darker pink, in background) and Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ (pale pink in foreground.)

 

Jeffersonia diphylla, or twinleaf, takes centre stage for its brief moment of glory.
Jeffersonia diphylla, or twinleaf, takes centre stage for its brief moment of glory.

 

Bleeding heart adds a touch of poignant colour.
Bleeding heart adds a touch of poignant colour.

 

The spirea at the Cascade begins to open.
The spirea at the Cascade begins to open.

 

A crabapple tree in the Asian Meadow seems to be lit from within.
A crabapple tree in the Asian Meadow seems to be lit from within.

 

One of many epimediums I grow makes its quietly beautiful statement.
One of many epimediums I grow makes its quietly beautiful statement.

 

Columbine, or acquilegia canadensis, blooms prolifically wherever it self-seeds.
Columbine, or Aquilegia canadensis, blooms prolifically wherever it self-seeds.

 

Marsh marigolds brighten damp spots along the edges of streams.
Marsh marigolds brighten damp spots along the edges of streams.

 

Cinnamon ferns poke their heads up.
Cinnamon ferns poke up their cinnamon-colured heads.

 

The shrub border in the Upper Field is
The shrub border in the Upper Field focuses on colour contrasts at this time of year.

 

When I started writing this post, I planned to cover all of 2018, but there are simply too many photos. So come back next week for Park 2!

In the meantime, enjoy whatever the weather is in your part of the world, and whatever holiday you celebrate.

 

 

  • dorothy levine

    Dear Pat,
    I am baking with Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto and the day is darkening.
    I opened your email and the sun came out, so to speak.
    What wonderful photos.
    What a gentle yet joyful reminder that under all that snow is such anticipation and joy.
    And loving good wishes for your health and happiness and this too for all those you love.
    Dorothy

    • siteandinsight

      I admire your baking skills, Dorothy. I used to make cookies galore but that job went to a daughter a few years ago. Her children came down the hill to borrow cookie tins, promising the tins would come back full, not empty!

      Happiest of holidays to you, and (repeating your words) “loving good wishes for health and happiness” for you and all you love.

      See you in 2019!

  • Nicholas Hoare

    Dear Pat,

    Even under snow, your sculptured garden develops apace, as indeed does your blog. May both continue to blossom and flourish in 2019: I enjoy it all immensely.

  • I have a couple of in house azalea in competition here which I am enjoying for the festive season. It is the first time that both have bloomed at Christmas! Enjoy, my to all and hopefully Will is better!

    • siteandinsight

      Will is still in hospital but is slowly improving.

      Warm good wishes for 2019, Robert. My your azaleas bloom abundantly!

  • Best wishes for the happiest of holidays and a wonderful gardening year!

    • siteandinsight

      The same to you, Kathy!

  • Glen Villa is breathtaking in every season! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Pat!

    • siteandinsight

      Thanks, Jason. I love Judy’s stockings — so personal and meaningful. Best wishes to all your family for 2019.