A path of exploration
Unveiling the beauty and meaning behind art and gardens


Open Garden Day Tickets on Sale!

May 20th, 2019 | No Comments »

Saturday, July 20 is the day and you are invited!


Come and explore the wonders of the garden and landscape when Glen Villa opens to the public as a fundraiser for the Massawippi Foundation and Conservation Trust.

All proceeds from your admission fee go to support land conservation, community projects and a network of trails that lead through pristine woodlands, preserved in perpetuity by the Conservation Trust.

Buy your tickets now for a morning or afternoon visit!





Buy Now is Coming…

May 9th, 2019 | No Comments »
You may have received a blog post earlier today with a BUY NOW button. This post should not have gone out... there are a number of bugs in the purchase option that I haven't worked out. SO: my apologies.  I hope to have the tickets sales up and running within a week.

Speaking of gardens…

May 7th, 2019 | 3 Comments »
frogs (1 of 1)
I'm speaking twice this month to groups in and around Montreal. Both events are open to the general public, so do come if you can. Learning to Look: the Art of Garden Observation On Saturday, May 11 at 2:30, I'm speaking in Georgeville, Quebec at the Murray Community Hall.  This talk about how to get the most of visiting gardens has proved very popular with audiences in the U.S. and Canada, and I'm delighted to be presenting in Georgeville. While the talk does not feature frogs,  this photo I took on the


You are Invited! July 20, 2019

April 14th, 2019 | 5 Comments »
skating pond (1 of 1)
On Saturday, July 20, you are invited to visit Glen Villa -- to explore the gardens, fields and forests and to help support an important community cause. Visit the China Terrace, where an old resort hotel has been delightfully re-imagined.     Enjoy the rich assortment of wild life that lives at the Skating Pond.     Walk alongside the Aqueduct and take in the fragrance of flowers that bloom in abundance.     Admire the sculptures and art installations that enrich the landscape.   [caption id="attachment_368" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Bridge Ascending, 2011, by Doucet-Saito[/caption]  


Plus ça change…

April 9th, 2019 | 11 Comments »
April 1, 2016 (1 of 1)
This winter feels interminable. Surely in earlier years daffodils have been blooming by now, snowdrops long gone. Well, no. It's true that in some years snowdrops have appeared by this date.   [caption id="attachment_7384" align="aligncenter" width="1353"] These snowdrops were shivering in the cold on April 1, 2016.[/caption]   Crocus have bloomed.   [caption id="attachment_7387" align="aligncenter" width="3648"] These crocus were lighting up the hillside on April 4, 2010.[/caption]   Pulmonaria have added their touch of colour.   [caption id="attachment_7394" align="aligncenter" width="2384"] This pulmonaria or lungwort was blooming on April 4, 2010.[/caption]


Jeffersonia Diphylla: My Favourite Plant

March 31st, 2019 | 14 Comments »
Jeffersonia diphylla grows in shady woodland conditions.
March is not leaving like a lamb. Lake Massawippi is still frozen solid, snow still covers the ground and today the wind is blowing fiercely. These unusually late winter conditions are discouraging, to say the least. But on the up side, they are giving me time to review some of the blogs I've written since I posted for the first time in January 2013. Over six years, in hundreds of blogs, I've reviewed books and gardens, considered issues in garden design, looked at how art is used in gardens and chronicled the development


This is spring?

March 25th, 2019 | 11 Comments »
A narrow road runs between these evergreens but you wouldn't know it from this photo.
According to the official calendar, spring arrived four days ago. Yet two days ago we received the largest dump of snow we've had all year -- 40 centimeters, or almost 16 inches. A late winter snowstorm is not unusual in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, where my garden Glen Villa is located. Snow tires are required in Quebec during winter; this year they could be removed legally after March 15. Pity anyone who did that -- the big dump came a full week later. Driving during the storm was perilous, even for a population that


Oh, Deer!

March 17th, 2019 | 12 Comments »
Here's looking at you!
Long winters like the one we are experiencing this year in Quebec's Eastern Townships make life difficult for animals.  Deep snow that persists for months makes it hard for deer to find food in the woods and as time passes they come closer and closer to barns and houses. Yesterday I glanced out a window, disrupting two deer who were not far away, searching for something to eat.   [caption id="attachment_7324" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Here's looking at you![/caption]   As I went to get my camera, another deer appeared.  Then another, and another, and another.


Fishing in Winter

February 24th, 2019 | 7 Comments »
This photo from 2008 shows the yurt on the ice.
Yesterday the temperature in Quebec's Eastern Townships was hovering just above freezing. The sky was brilliant blue and the sun glinting off clean, fresh snow brought out dozens of people, walking and talking -- and fishing through the ice. We live next door to Manoir Hovey, an outstanding resort hotel and a member of the prestigious international group, Relais et Chateaux.  I didn't have my camera with me yesterday to photograph the fun, but luckily I have photos that I took at Manoir Hovey in 2008 that show a similar scene.


Listening to Winter

January 30th, 2019 | 8 Comments »
The Abenaki were the original inhabitants of the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This part of my installation, Abenaki Walking, shows the period after the arrival of Europeans, when barbed wire impeded the movement of Abenaki across the land.
On a winter day when temperatures throughout Mid and Eastern North America are plummetting, it is difficult not to project human emotions onto the landscape.  How can winter be so cruel and miserable? A poem by the American poet Wallace Stevens suggests we should think more objectively about what we see outside our door. The Snow Man One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice,