Tag Archives: Glen Villa

You are Invited!

July 23rd, 2017 | 6 Comments »

It’s less than a week until our second annual Open Garden Day. I’m ready for it, bilingual volunteers are prepped, and the garden is looking fine.

So I hope I’ll see you here, next Saturday between 10 and 4. There’s no need to reserve a spot, and all are welcome, with admission payable on site. (No dogs or picnics, please.)

Here are the details.

 

Glen-Villa-Open-House-2017-eng-1200x800

 

And here’s a preview of what you’ll see.

The Cascade by the house …

 

The ligularia add a nice vertical element to the horizontal planting at the Cascade.
The yellow Ligularia add a nice vertical element to the horizontal planting at the Cascade.

 

The astilbe and hostas by the front door …

The sculpture is by Quebec artists Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito.
The sculpture is by Quebec artists Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito.

 

And a swing to pretend you are still a child. (It works for real children, too.)

A swing makes for an idyllic summer day.
A swing makes for an idyllic summer day.

 

In the Lower Garden, you’ll see flowers and shrubs, and a sculpture by Doucet-Saito.

 

Late afternoon sunlight makes the Aralia 'Sun King' gleam.
Late afternoon sunlight makes the Aralia ‘Sun King’ gleam.

 

You’ll see more flowers twining up tree trunks …

 

Clematis Violacea Venosa matches well with Achemilla mollis, or Lady's Mantle.
Clematis Violacea Venosa matches well with Achemilla mollis, or Lady’s Mantle.

 

… shouting out sunshine …

 

The yellow flower is Inula. I started it from seed over a dozen years ago.
The yellow flower is Inula magnifica ‘Goliath’. I started it from seed over a dozen years ago.

 

… and offering the perfect landing spot for bees.

 

Echinacea now comes in a variety of colours and shapes. I still like the old coneflower the best.
Echinacea now comes in a variety of colours and shapes. I still like the old coneflower the best.

 

You may see deer — including two baby fawns who still have their spots — a fat lazy groundhog, turtles and frogs.

 

A frog in the hand is worth two in the pond.
A frog in the hand is worth two in the pond.

 

You can explore, woodland trails, ponds and meadows.

 

Snapping turtles like to laze on the rocks at the Skating Pond.
Snapping turtles like to laze on the rocks at the Skating Pond.

 

Or take a look back in time, at the China Terrace …

 

The dining room table is made of cement tinted red to suggest a velvet tablecloth.
The dining room table is made of cement tinted red to suggest a velvet tablecloth.

 

or the Sundial Clearing.

 

This is the Sundial Clearing. The shadow of a dead pine tree marks the hours of the day.
A trail through the woods leads to the Sundial Clearing. The shadow of a dead pine tree marks the hours of the day.

 

For a fun-filled day, rain or shine, Glen Villa offers a lot. Bilingual volunteers will be stationed around the garden and bilingual brochures make a self-guided tour easy. And remember, your admission fee of $25 helps to conserve pristine lands around Lake Massawippi — and to build ecologically sensitive trails that make that land accessible to all.

I’ll be around all day, happy to answer questions or just to sit and chat.

See you on the 29th!

What a Difference a Month Makes

July 17th, 2017 | 24 Comments »
Looking beyond the nepeta you can see how the Big Meadow is coming along.
Yesterday was Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. The 15th of the month is when garden bloggers from around the world post photos of what is blooming in their garden. (Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme.) I haven't been doing this, and I'm not sure I will in the future. But I can't resist showing off one particular bloom at Glen Villa, my garden in rural Quebec. The flower I'm showcasing is Nepeta recemosa 'Walker's Low.' It's a cliché to say that a plant is blooming its heart out,

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Garden Visitors

June 27th, 2017 | 12 Comments »
I want to add a tall spiky plant that pops up through the Nepeta at occasional spots and tones in with the barberry and rusty steel.  I'm trying several possibilities this year, including early summer blooming Eremurus 'Cleopatra.' I've ordered the bulbs for fall planting.
This week the first group of gardeners will be coming to tour Glen Villa. Forty plus members of the Ottawa Garden Club will spend the morning  here, on what I'm hoping will be a sunny day. They are coming at a good time -- the garden is looking fabulous. I rarely write a blog post that's only about flowers, but this week the blooms are so spectacular that it's worth showcasing their beauty. The Aqueduct, where last year I added Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Ruby Carousel barberry and Porteranthus (formerly Gillenia trifoliata) to existing boxwood balls,

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Garden Envy

June 20th, 2017 | 19 Comments »
The Upper Field at Glen Villa is a what dieticians argue against, butter spread thick on the ground.
Coming home from a tour of English gardens I felt a short, sharp shock. Everything in my garden looked inadequate, not up to the standard I had come to expect. I moped. I complained. Why can't I grow the hundreds of plants I saw and admired?  Some of them must surely suit my climate. So why don't the garden centres around Glen Villa stock them? Then I faced the facts. My garden will never match the perfection of an English estate that employs six or seven full time gardeners.  The garden centres will

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The Spirit of Stone: A Book Review

April 10th, 2017 | 10 Comments »
The book is a useful primer on how to use stone in the garden.
I share something with Jan Johnsen, author of The Spirit of Stone -- a respect for stones and the qualities they bring to a landscape. At Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec, I've used stones in paths, steps and walls. I've used them more unusually in the gabion walls of The Aqueduct and in the parking area in front of the house. [caption id="attachment_5034" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Gabion walls can be practical and aesthetically pleasing. A low pool can be attractive to a tiny granddaughter.[/caption]   Two stunning moss-covered rocks in the woods

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Garden Plans: I’m Dreaming Again

March 27th, 2017 | 27 Comments »
You can see a bit of the trail on the left side of this photo, taken in 2009. We cleared brush from this area last fall. Some of the wildflowers have disappeared but the site still feels the same. Is this an example of unity persisting despite change?
Now that winter has dumped several feet of snow on a garden that was almost snow-free, I'm back by the fire, metaphorically at least, dreaming of the seasons ahead.   [caption id="attachment_5009" align="aligncenter" width="600"] I took this photo about ten days ago after a fresh snowfall. Today is grey. And maybe more snow will fall. I hope not.[/caption]   I'm dreaming about a trail that will lead around the property. I'm considering the route it will follow and what I will call it. I know the purpose of the trail -- it will connect art

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Garden Goals for 2017

January 9th, 2017 | 10 Comments »
The tin maple leaves hung in November 2016 are now coated with snow, making the scene even more evocative.
Setting annual goals for the garden keeps me on track and helps me avoid jumping from one thing to another, something I'm all too prone to do. Last year I set 10 goals for myself and discovered, looking back in last week's post, that ten was too many. So in 2017 I'm cutting my ambitions in half and setting five goals for the year ahead. 1. Finish The Upper Room The bare bones of The Upper Room, the new area in the garden that honours my mother and her beliefs, have

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Looking Back and Forth

December 31st, 2016 | 10 Comments »
Since I didn't do anything about new pots, I shouldn't have a photo to illustrate this goal. But I did use Mandeville vines on the living room deck. I've had these same plants for ten years or so, and they continue to provide abundant blooms and colour.
Last December I took the risky step of setting goals for 2016. So as that year ends and 2017 begins, it's time to assess. How much of what I wanted to do did I actually accomplish? 1. The Cascade: As intended, I modified the plantings around The Cascade. I reduced the number of different types of plants, improved the drainage and the soil in the beds themselves. As a result, the plants flourished and I was content. But of course there are always reservations. The Weigela 'Wine and Roses' needs another year

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A Recklessly Record-less Year

December 19th, 2016 | 14 Comments »
This album will be arranged by project, not chronologically.
For the last sixteen years I've kept a record of what happens each year in the garden. I've conscientiously photographed each project I've undertaken, each border as it changed from season to season, each modification I made or was thinking about making. I've stuck these photographs into albums and written comments --  about my intentions for a project, or the weather, what I was wanting to do next -- in effect, about anything that seemed relevant at the time. These albums are immensely helpful. They are a record of how the garden has developed. They both show and tell

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A Doorstep for Orin’s Sugarcamp

December 12th, 2016 | 15 Comments »
Jacques and Ken are skilled workers who can operate almost any piece of equipment, even under difficult conditions.
On the weekend we installed the granite slab that marks the 'front door' of Orin's Sugarcamp, my latest art installation at Glen Villa. (You can read about the project here.) Doing this was tricky. It involved transporting an 800-pound slab of rock across a snowy field and a partially frozen stream on the back of an open wagon. That takes skill, particularly since the snow is very slippery right now. But Jacques Gosselin and Ken Kelso, the talented men who work for me at Glen Villa, managed the job with ease.   [caption id="attachment_4767" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]

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