Tag Archives: garden design

Crabapples in Bloom!

June 4th, 2018 | 20 Comments »

In just over a year, the Crabapple Allée, aka the Avenue, has gone from dream to dirt, to bloom and gone.

We started with this, a dull bare field.


I took this photo on April 24, 2017, when I became serious about planting The Avenue.
I took this photo on April 24, 2017, when I became serious about planting a long allée of trees,. The walk through the trees is part of a larger project I’m still working on.


Four months later, The Avenue was beginning to take shape.


August 8, 2017
August 8, 2017


By mid-November, the site was a mess of wet earth and newly planted trees.


November 9, 2017
November 9, 2017


While the trees rested, I kept my fingers crossed. How would they survive the freeze and thaw of a difficult winter?


January 25. 2017
January 25. 2017


By early May, we were beginning to find out. Some trees were leafing out, obviously fine. Others were looking doubtful. Possibly they were slower growing, possibly they were dead or dying.


May 8, 2018
May 8, 2018. By this time we’d seeded the bare ground and were waiting for the seeds to turn it from tan to green.


Two weeks later, the excitement was building. Some trees were in bloom, others were about to start.


May 22, 2018
May 22, 2018


Warm weather began to open more blossoms but the full impact was not yet there.


May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018


On May 26, only two days after I took the photo above, the trees were in full bloom. The sky was grey, though, so I decided to wait until the following day to photograph the trees at their best.

That night it rained. Hard. The next morning, all the blossoms were gone.

I’m disappointed not to have a photo of the trees fully in bloom, but the image is there in my mind. Considering that this was their first year, the trees bloomed magnificently. Next year they will be better. And the year after, better still.


June 3, 2018
June 3, 2018


The best news is that every tree made it through the winter. Hooray!


Terracing the China Terrace

May 29th, 2018 | 15 Comments »
terraces (1 of 1)
One of the first projects I undertook at Glen Villa was the China Terrace, a contemporary folly that honours an old resort hotel that once stood on the property. I first wrote about it as a conceptual garden. Following that, I wrote about it sporadically, focusing on the changes I made --  the bed that shook off its annuals in favour of a moss quilt,   [caption id="attachment_1565" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Moss forms a quilt on an old iron frame bed.[/caption]   and the staircase leading to the imaginary second and third story that changed, from


The Grandchildren Trees

October 24th, 2017 | 12 Comments »
One grandchild stands next to her tree along with her father.
The year after our first grandchild was born, we planted a maple tree in her honour. A few years later when our second grandchild was born, we did the same. We continued to do this. After each birth, another tree was planted. We planted the trees in a straight row, on the slope of an old farm field where the growing conditions were right -- plenty of sunshine and soil that wasn't too wet or too dry.  When the fifth grandchild was born, there wasn't enough room in the row, so we


Now for a Rest!

July 31st, 2017 | 14 Comments »
As the day began, I snapped one photo of cars parked in the field. It was the last photo I took for the day.
The last few weeks have been busy. Preparing the garden for visiting groups and getting everything in place for Saturday's Open Garden Day has been fun, but also a lot of work. And now that August is here, I'm ready to put my feet up -- for a day or two, at least. But first, I want to thank the 20 volunteers who worked at the Open Garden Day. They made the day a success, and I couldn't have done it without them. The weather cooperated beautifully, and the day


Defeating the Deer

August 12th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
How hard can it be to build a fence around some shrubs in a field? Not very, you'd think. You'd be wrong. Or you would be if you did it the way I have. Which definitely isn't the way to go. In 2008, I planted a few flowering shrubs along the fence that separates the road from what I call the upper field (because it is higher in elevation than the lower field. Duh.) I wanted to add colour and vitality to an area that offered little visual interest. I


Circles in the garden

August 5th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Does nature abhor a straight line?  Writing about triangles at Througham Court made me think about shapes and the effects that different shapes create. Looking through my photos, I noticed lots of rectangles. Squares appeared, but less often, and usually in formal settings. And then there were circles. They were used frequently in some gardens, not in all in others. I started to wonder why. The circular mound at Througham Court Traditionally, the circle is a symbol of unity and perfection. Since all points of a circle are equidistant from


The Aqueduct, Part 2: Building It

July 8th, 2013 | No Comments »
In my last blog post, I wrote about why we decided to build The Aqueduct (The Aqueduct, Part I: Why We Built It). I explained that we wanted to see and hear the stream that ran down the hill near the house, to replace some dangerous steps, and to create a water feature that harmoniously linked disparate elements in the house and landscape around it. I started planning this project in April 2011, but for various reasons the shovel didn't go into the ground until September 2012, almost a year


The Aqueduct, Part 1: Why We Built It

July 2nd, 2013 | 2 Comments »
When my husband and I bought Glen Villa in 1996, we moved from a little lakefront cottage into the house next door. We acquired a property that had been loved and looked after beautifully. We counted ourselves lucky indeed. We often sat on the deck looking out towards the magnificent linden tree at the end of the big lawn. We ate breakfast and lunch there, entertained friends, enjoyed the view. Sometimes, in the background, we could hear water trickling over rocks, but we couldn't see the water. And most of


Petworth: A ‘Capability’ Brown landscape

June 10th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
I'm in England for the next few weeks, visiting a friend before setting out on a tour of English gardens. On the weekend I spent a glorious afternoon walking through a landscape designed and constructed in the 18th century by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Brown created an estimated 170 landscapes in England, many of which remain. Petworth in Sussex, is one of these, and it shows all of Brown's characteristic trademarks. First of these is the broad lawn that sweeps from the house down to an artificially created lake. This simple


Evaluating Canada Blooms 2013

March 27th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
Flowers do not a garden make. Nor a garden show. Nonetheless, for me flower arrangements were the highlight of this year’s Canada Blooms. And I am not a flower arranger. Not any good at it, and not interested in becoming any better. But I do like art, and to see amazingly artful compositions made with plant material was a nice treat. Can you imagine the time and effort it took to create this gold ribbon winner? Nancy Wilson's gold ribbon winning painting reflects an amaryllis tucked into the arch behind.