Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Fence with a Story

August 15th, 2019 | No Comments »

After reading my most recent post about fences, a friend sent me a photo of the fence around the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri.


You don't often see turtles on fences. Or at least not in my part of the world.
You don’t often see turtles on fences. Or at least not in my part of the world.


I wondered if Missouri was the turtle state, and if not, what was the story behind the design?

This information from a brochure about the Old Courthouse tells the tale:

‘A turtle design on the reproduction courtyard gates commemorates a turtle that once lived in the courthouse fountain.  Legend claims that custodian James Quigley brought the turtle to the courthouse where it had the distinction of being called “the only thing connected with the building that did not require an appropriation of the taxpayers’ money”.’

Thanks, Sarah! Whether true of not, the story is a good one.

Does anyone else have a good fence story to share? Or a story about a turtle?

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


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

March 2nd, 2016 | 4 Comments »
  I don't normally post more than once a week but the wildlife here on Kiawah Island keeps giving me pictures to share. Yesterday I spotted this Great Blue Heron fishing... and enjoying the catch.   [caption id="attachment_3651" align="aligncenter" width="828"] Yum yum![/caption]  

Following My Tree: July

July 10th, 2015 | 9 Comments »
The linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn on June 2015.
A fully-grown tree doesn't change that much in a short time, or so you may think. But compare two photos of the linden, or basswood, tree (Tilia americana) that stands in my Quebec garden, Glen Villa. I took the first photo on June 13. [caption id="attachment_2454" align="aligncenter" width="1224"] The linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn looked quite perky on June 13, 2015.[/caption]   I took the second one two days ago, on July 8. [caption id="attachment_2455" align="aligncenter" width="1127"] The linden tree on July 8, 2015 has a sadder air.[/caption]  


The China Terrace: A Conceptual Garden

December 24th, 2014 | 7 Comments »
The entry to the China Terrace uses old pillars I found in a local antique store.
A few weeks ago I told the story of how Glen Villa got its name, from the old resort hotel that once was here. The hotel did more than provide a name, however. It -- or rather, the traces it left behind -- transformed my way of thinking about gardens and landscape. From an approach based on traditional horticultural aesthetics, I moved to one based on concepts and ideas. The shift took place gradually, but without question it began with my discovery of the marks that Glen Villa Inn left on