Tag Archives: autumn

Autumn Leaves

October 12th, 2020 | 11 Comments »

Walking through the woods recently, I passed this installation, called The Forms.


The Forms are one installation on Timelines, the trail at Glen Villa that explores ideas about history, memory and our relationship to the land.
The Forms represent the basic building blocks of the constructed world. They are one part of Timelines, the trail at Glen Villa that explores ideas about history, memory and our relationship to the land.


The colours of the plexiglass shapes stood out from the muted tones around them, attracting me like a magnet. Closer, I noticed leaves scattered on top of them, some haphazardly, some artfully arranged.


watermarked (4 of 4)


The contrast in colours atop the orange square was not as dramatic as that atop the blue cube but the arrangement itself was even more intriguing. To my eyes, the space created by torn leaves appeared to be an opening into a hidden world below, and I wanted more than anything to go beneath the surface and explore that other world .


watermarked (3 of 4)


A hole in one red leaf offered a flawed beauty …


watermarked (2 of 4)


… while crumbling brown leaves pointed to the decay that inevitably would follow.


watermarked (1 of 4)


Yet the sight that pleased me the most was what was happening inside the long yellow rectangle.


grass (1 of 1)


There I saw a striking contrast between the world all around that was closing up for winter and the vigorous growth inside that pointed in the opposite direction. The grasses growing in the built form made me think of weeds springing up in the cracks of stone walls and city sidewalks, of the determination of living things to grow and survive no matter where they are.

More to the point, it struck me as ironic, that the artificial box I’d made to suggest a contrast between the built and the natural world nonetheless sheltered and aided that natural world to find a way of its own.

Nature rules!

Ends and Beginnings

September 3rd, 2018 | 6 Comments »
I head to England today, where I'll be hosting my final garden tour. I'm sad about this ending, but at the same time, I'm happy to remember the people and places that have formed such a rewarding part of my life. And as I keep reminding myself, ends are also beginning. Before leaving for England, I took a walk around  the garden at Glen Villa to see what's in bloom and to assess what needs to be done when I return. Generally, things are looking pretty good.   [caption id="attachment_6668" align="aligncenter" width="4272"] The deer


Hooray! It’s Pumpkin Time

October 19th, 2015 | 14 Comments »
Montreal is blessed with several great outdoor markets. My local one is the Atwater Market, smaller than some, larger than others. It sells meats, fish, cheeses, breads, fruits, vegetables and almost every sort of food you can put a name to.  At this time of year, though, the Atwater Market is brimming over with pumpkins.   [caption id="attachment_2908" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Traditional pumpkins piled high, at the Atwater Market.[/caption]     It seems to me that pumpkins used to come only one way: big, round, and orange. No more. The variety


Home Again — and Happy To Be Here

September 21st, 2015 | 6 Comments »
  What a pleasure it is to return to Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec, after three weeks spent visiting gardens in Scotland and England. Seeing so many amazing places there,  I was worried that my own garden would be a disappointment. It wasn't. It isn't. Yes, I can see dozens of things, large and small, that need attention, but to return to a vegetable garden overflowing with produce and a landscape that never fails to delight makes me glad to be home.   [caption id="attachment_2791" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The shrub border