Tag Archives: flowers

A Year in the Garden, Part 1

December 23rd, 2018 | 9 Comments »

On a surprisingly mild winter’s day — not at all typical for Quebec in December — I’m remembering the garden at Glen Villa as it looked earlier this year.

January brought lots of snow.

 

A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.
A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.

 

The Crabapple Allée marches across the open field.
The Crabapple Allée marches across the open field.

 

February brought snow and gloomy skies.

My sculpture Tree Rings honours the life of a maple tree that died in 2014.
My sculpture Tree Rings honours the life of a maple tree that died in 2014.

 

Tin leaves sway in a light wind at Orin's Sugarcamp, one part of the Timelines trail.
Tin leaves sway in a light wind at Orin’s Sugarcamp, an art installation that makes up one part of the Timelines trail.

 

In March, skies began to brighten.

Bridge Ascending, a sculpture by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito, incorporates twisted girders from an old covered bridge.
Bridge Ascending, a sculpture by Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito, incorporates twisted girders from an old covered bridge.

 

Abenaki Walking, one of my art installations, references the life story of the original inhabitants of this section of Quebec.
Abenaki Walking, one of my art installations, references the life story of the original inhabitants of this section of Quebec.

 

In the Upper Room, sun shines through the glass panels. Mary Martha Guy designed the dogwood tree that suggests Virginia and my mother, honoured and remembered in this part of the garden.
In the Upper Room, sun shines through the glass panels. Mary Martha Guy designed the dogwood tree whose outline suggests both Virginia and my mother who is honoured and remembered in this part of the garden.

 

April conformed to its usual trickster habits, offering the promise of spring before reneging.

 

Crocus and snow -- not the ideal spring combo.
Crocus and snow — not the ideal spring combo.

 

May is the month when the garden changes rapidly, day to day.

Finally, leaves begin to emerge and the garden comes back to life.
Finally, leaves begin to emerge and the garden comes back to life.

 

Ferns unroll their heads to the warm sun.
Ferns unroll their heads to the warm sun.

 

Daffodils crowd the hillside.
Daffodils cluster under the birch trees near the house.

 

More daffodils crowd the hill above the Skating Pond.
More daffodils crowd the hill above the Skating Pond.

 

Wild garlic carpets the woodland floor.
Wild garlic carpets the woodland floor.

 

Trout lilies are shy flowers, hanging their heads demurely.
Trout lilies are shy flowers, hanging their heads demurely.

 

Maple leaves begin to open.
Maple leaves begin to open.

 

Mayflowers flower.
Mayflowers flower.

 

In the more formally tended parts of the garden,  the changes that warmer weather brings were wonderful to behold.

Magnolia trees bloom in the Lower Garden.
Magnolia trees bloom in the Lower Garden.

 

Two magnolias bloom in the Lower Garden, Magnolia 'Susan' (darker pink, in rear) and Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel' (pale pink in foreground.)
There are two types of Magnolia in the Lower Garden, Magnolia ‘Susan’ (darker pink, in background) and Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ (pale pink in foreground.)

 

Jeffersonia diphylla, or twinleaf, takes centre stage for its brief moment of glory.
Jeffersonia diphylla, or twinleaf, takes centre stage for its brief moment of glory.

 

Bleeding heart adds a touch of poignant colour.
Bleeding heart adds a touch of poignant colour.

 

The spirea at the Cascade begins to open.
The spirea at the Cascade begins to open.

 

A crabapple tree in the Asian Meadow seems to be lit from within.
A crabapple tree in the Asian Meadow seems to be lit from within.

 

One of many epimediums I grow makes its quietly beautiful statement.
One of many epimediums I grow makes its quietly beautiful statement.

 

Columbine, or acquilegia canadensis, blooms prolifically wherever it self-seeds.
Columbine, or Aquilegia canadensis, blooms prolifically wherever it self-seeds.

 

Marsh marigolds brighten damp spots along the edges of streams.
Marsh marigolds brighten damp spots along the edges of streams.

 

Cinnamon ferns poke their heads up.
Cinnamon ferns poke up their cinnamon-colured heads.

 

The shrub border in the Upper Field is
The shrub border in the Upper Field focuses on colour contrasts at this time of year.

 

When I started writing this post, I planned to cover all of 2018, but there are simply too many photos. So come back next week for Park 2!

In the meantime, enjoy whatever the weather is in your part of the world, and whatever holiday you celebrate.

 

 

Ends and Beginnings

September 3rd, 2018 | 6 Comments »
Spirea japonica 'Crispa'
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

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Five Good Things and a Bad

June 25th, 2018 | 12 Comments »
Seeing the trees from a distance was like seeing a beacon of light, pulling you into a magic place.
As June shines its way towards July, I'm outside soaking it in and enjoying the garden at Glen Villa. There are too many happy-making things to show in a single post, so today I'm focusing on only four. First come the hawthorn trees. We planted them more than 15 years ago and they have proved a mixed blessing, blooming well in some years, not so well in others. This year they were spectacular.     [caption id="attachment_6453" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Seeing the trees from a distance was like seeing a cloud of light,

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My favourite plant: Jeffersonia diphylla

September 9th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
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Gardeners in temperate climes may wonder why I love Jeffersonia diphylla. For them it grows easily, spreads nicely and offers a touch of light in a shaded border. A nice plant, but nothing special. Jeffersonia doesn't grow easily for me. I have to coddle it, and it is one of the few plants at Glen Villa that gets this care.  As for spreading nicely, no such luck. My one plant grew for quite a few years before it produced a baby. Nonetheless, I love Jeffersonia. It is my favourite plant. Not

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Spring arrives at Glen Villa! Finally.

April 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
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Glory, hallelujah! Spring is finally here. Last Saturday the temperature rose to 24C (75 F). And suddenly, everything was bursting into bloom. Crocuses have been blooming for a few weeks now, and the suddenly warm day will shorten their life span. No matter. They remain a spot of light in the just-coming-to-life grass. No matter how many I plant, there are never enough. Crocuses shine, even in half-dead grass. Buds are forming on the Cornelian cherry (cornus mas), that most difficult of shrubs to photograph. The individual flowers are small and tucked

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History Made Visible

January 30th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
blog-2B05-2C08-2C11-3
             “Landscape is history made visible,” said J.B. Jackson, the American cultural geographer. I subscribe wholeheartedly to this idea.             Every piece of land has a history. Glen Villa has lots – in fact, you almost trip over it here. The waterfall, for instance, started life over a century ago, when a stream coming down through the woods was dammed to provide power for a sawmill. The waterfall at Glen Villa   Every gardener may not want to make history visible in their gardens, but

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Introducing Glen Villa

January 26th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
The Skating Pond
People say that a first blog post should start with a statement of principle, something that lets people know what the blog will be about. I’m not sure how this blog will evolve. I know I want to write about my garden, Glen Villa, and about how it got to be what it is. I want to write about art and the installations I’m building throughout the property. But more, I want to share my ideas about what a garden is, what it can be, and why it matters –

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