Category Archives: Plants

The Job is Done!

December 2nd, 2019 | 8 Comments »
The foundation wall of the old Glen Villa Inn is once again standing tall. Rebuilding the wall has been quite a process. In its prime the wall was the base of a grand structure.   [caption id="attachment_1503" align="alignleft" width="1000"] An old hand-coloured postcard shows Glen Villa Inn in all its magnificence.[/caption]   Unfortunately, like so many summer resort hotels built of wood, it didn't last.   [caption id="attachment_8331" align="alignleft" width="1600"] The fire that destroyed the hotel left an impressively long wall and two chimneys. The planting beds in the foreground hint at a

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Pining Away

October 27th, 2019 | 8 Comments »
I'm not pining away, but the pine tree is. Or was. This week we tackled a big job that I've been wanting to do for a few years, which was to remove an enormous old pine tree near the bank of Lake Massawippi. The photo below from 2014 shows the beginning of the end of this tree... needles on the upper branches are much thinner than they should be. It also shows how the tree towered above the ones around it.   [caption id="attachment_8228" align="alignleft" width="1600"] The boathouse may have been

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Autumn Splendour

October 13th, 2019 | 8 Comments »
This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and today I'm giving thanks for the splendours of autumn.  All week the colours have been spectacular!     This  view along the driveway at Glen Villa gives some idea of how brilliant the colour is.   [caption id="attachment_8143" align="alignleft" width="1600"] The red leaves are a sugar maple on fire. The white posts in the distance mark the entry to the China Terrace.[/caption]   On the stone wall of the house, Engelman ivy is a symphony of scarlet, red and maroon.   [caption id="attachment_8145" align="alignleft" width="1600"]

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The China Terrace in Autumn

October 6th, 2019 | 9 Comments »
The China Terrace is my interpretation of history ... a room in the garden at Glen Villa where I have recreated parts of Glen Villa Inn, the old resort hotel that once stood on our property. Towards the end of summer I wrote about the new 'walls' that we installed to mark the division between the different rooms in the hotel: a reception area, bedroom and dining room.  (You can read that post here.) The 'walls' are now covered with autumn leaves, and the grass we seeded over a month

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Wildflowers Rule!

September 9th, 2019 | 6 Comments »
Labour Day has come and gone, which must mean that summer is over. But the wildflowers blooming so exuberantly in the fields around Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec's Eastern Townships, say that isn't so.   [caption id="attachment_7991" align="alignleft" width="5184"] Joe Pye weed has taken over an unused field... and every year I thank it for doing moving in.[/caption]   Ok, perhaps that's wishful thinking. The Joe Pye weed that was so gorgeous a few weeks ago is faded now, and while that has its own style of beautiful, it

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Containers That Match Your Mood

September 2nd, 2019 | 8 Comments »
Recently a friend asked if I'd written about container gardening. Her question started me thinking about how the plants on the decks around our house have changed over the years. I pulled out old photos to see if my memory was accurate. Yes, the choices I made had changed. And while that wasn't really surprising, what I noticed most was that the differences year to year reflected changes not only in my experience but also in my emotions and moods. Decks surround Glen Villa, our house and garden in Quebec, offering lots of space

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Try and Try Again

August 18th, 2019 | 15 Comments »
The old saying is a good one: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. There's a meme in the gardening world started by Bonney Lassie at call Tell the Truth Tuesday. Despite my fair share of failures, I've never joined in. But La Seigneurie, one of the newest parts of my Quebec garden, fits the meme all too well. So even if it isn't Tuesday, here's the truth. In early June this year, we seeded a farm field as part of Timelines, the 3 km trail I've developed that explores questions

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Wildflowers and Wild Life

July 14th, 2019 | 16 Comments »
Some wildflowers are called weeds... but often those 'weeds' have pretty flowers. Consider crown vetch, for instance. Its purple flowers are lovely from a distance and it is useful as a temporary ground cover to prevent erosion. But it's also a menace, in some cases covering and shading out native plants.  Chickweed, on the other hand, isn't a problem, although people who yearn for perfect lawns may disagree.   [caption id="attachment_7731" align="alignleft" width="2773"] It's called chickweed because chickens love to eat it. People can too, and its flowers are quite

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Favourite Things

June 27th, 2019 | 6 Comments »
Sometimes, pictures of pretty flowers are enough. I took these photos in a garden in Knowlton, Quebec that I visited last week. It was a grey, rainy day but the gardens were glorious! The flowers in one garden were the stars of the day.   [caption id="attachment_7653" align="alignleft" width="5184"] Raindrops on roses are nice. Raindrops on peonies are even better. I'm not sure how to rank whiskers on kittens.[/caption]   Bright copper kettles are no competition for the WOW! of this poppy. Talk about gorgeous!   [caption id="attachment_7652" align="alignleft" width="3765"] The

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La Seigneurie

June 16th, 2019 | 12 Comments »
In the 1600s, when Quebec was known as La Nouvelle France, land was divided into seigneuries, properties under the control of a seigneur, or lord of the manor. Fields farmed by habitants were arranged in long narrow strips fronting onto the St. Lawrence River, making it easy to transport goods by water at a time when roads were few. [caption id="attachment_7576" align="alignleft" width="500"] This drawing from Wikipedia shows the layout of a typical seigneurie. Established in 1627, the seigneurial system was officially abolished in 1854.[/caption]              

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