Category Archives: Glen Villa

Planting the North South Arrow

June 25th, 2020 | 4 Comments »
Last week I wrote about the genesis of the North South Arrow, the new area we are planting at Glen Villa, describing how the concept for the area changed over time. Today I'm writing about the plants I chose and how I decided to arrange them. Jacques had warned me that the soil on site was a mix of sand and gravel that would need to be modified substantially if I wanted anything planted there to thrive. His advice was to dig up the top six inches and replace the


The North South Arrow

June 15th, 2020 | 10 Comments »
Months ago, when we were rebuilding the foundation wall of Glen Villa Inn, the huge resort hotel that once stood on our property, I began thinking of a new planting area to complement the new wall. A photo taken shortly after the hotel burned down in 1909 showed plants arranged around the low stone wall in front of the hotel, where horse-drawn carriages circled to pick up and drop off hotel guests. The planting around that circular wall prompted me to consider a similar arrangement. [caption id="attachment_8368" align="alignleft" width="1600"] The


Flowers, Fields and Food

June 8th, 2020 | 1 Comment »
An assortment of photos shows the variety of what is happening now at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Flowers are blooming everywhere. One that I am particularly fond of is columbine. The native variety, Aquilegia canadensis, grows freely in many spots in the garden. In the photo below, it complements the colour palette of new growth on a spirea, Spirea 'Magic Carpet,' a shrub that the deer ignore. (Hooray!)     Years ago, I started various columbines from seed, including some seed I brought back from Australia. I


Cats, Deer, Grouse and Hogs

June 3rd, 2020 | 2 Comments »
Last week I sent out a single photo as a Wednesday vignette. It showed a groundhog and a cat standing close together, absolutely still.     Lots of people responded to that photo, remarking on how close together the two animals were. But photos can be deceiving. Take a look at the photo below, for instance. Does it show a real deer or a painted silhouette?     I did not manipulate the photo of the cat and groundhog and I've often spotted them together in that same part of the garden.


More Befores and Afters

May 30th, 2020 | 8 Comments »
A sudden burst of hot weather brought out shorts, t-shirts and leaves on the trees. It was only two weeks ago, on May 10, that the Cascade at Glen Villa was looking bare and boring.   [caption id="attachment_8771" align="alignleft" width="5184"] Will these bare branches ever bloom?[/caption]   Less than two weeks later, boring had become a bouquet of blooms. [caption id="attachment_8770" align="alignleft" width="3088"] Early evening light gives this scene a slight blue tint.[/caption]   Yet three days after that, the blossoms were beginning to fade, all thanks to extremely high temperatures.


Wednesday Vignette

May 27th, 2020 | 6 Comments »
I spotted this couple in the garden a few days ago. Do you think they had seen something ominous? Or was the cat stalking the groundhog?  


May 25th, 2020 | 6 Comments »
You know you are having a bad day when the tractor that is meant to pull you out of the brook runs into trouble en route to the scene. Something on the tractor's winch pulled loose but Jacques Gosselin, a man who can do almost everything, indoors and out, fixed it in a minute using a rock he found nearby.     We were on our way to pull a four wheeler called a Gator out of a stream that, mistakenly, I thought I could cross.   [caption id="attachment_8764" align="alignleft" width="3088"] An 'After' photo of


Before and After

May 18th, 2020 | 9 Comments »
Despite the lockdown, life at Glen Villa has been, and continues to be, very busy. There is always a lot to do in the garden in springtime but this year, there seems to be more than ever. In March we started seeds under grow lights in the basement...   [caption id="attachment_8743" align="alignleft" width="5184"] Before: seedlings sprouting.[/caption]   ... before moving them towards the beginning of April up to the greenhouse.   [caption id="attachment_8733" align="alignleft" width="5184"] After: tomato plants galore![/caption]   It's easy to show the 'Before' for these tomato plants but to show


Songs for Funny-Faced Ferns

May 10th, 2020 | 8 Comments »
The ferns are poking their heads up above ground, and I photographed several groups of them when I went out this morning for a walk.     Much to my surprise, when I looked closely at the photos, it seemed that conversations were going on.  Some ferns were lecturing, or at least giving instructions to others that were still growing up.     Some of those youngsters were looking puzzled, as if they didn't quite get the message.   [caption id="attachment_8713" align="alignleft" width="1968"] Huh? I don't get it.[/caption]   Still others were simply having


Daffodils and more

May 6th, 2020 | 12 Comments »
On the weekend, my heart was dancing with Wordsworthian glee. There weren't ten thousand daffodils in bloom but there were far more than I wanted to count.   [caption id="attachment_8687" align="alignleft" width="4587"] Daffodils make the berm above the Skating Pond a true delight in spring.[/caption]   For the last umpteen years, we've been planting daffodils on the berm above the Skating Pond. I've never ordered single varieties, always choosing instead to use the less expensive mixed varieties that are packaged in the hundreds. So I can't identify any of the particular varieties