Tag Archives: Glen Villa

Thinking Big

May 21st, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Recently I saw a photo of a giant yellow ducky floating in Hong Kong harbour. Called Spreading Joy Around the World, it's by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. And it is BIG: 54 ft, or 16.5 metres, tall. The artist said it was intended to make people feel happy. It worked. It made me smile. It also set me thinking about the impact of size in a landscape. At Glen Villa, the Big Chair always brings a smile. From a distance, it’s hard to appreciate the scale. But once someone

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An Artist’s Garden in Spring

May 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
An article about Glen Villa, entitled An Artist's Garden in Spring, appeared this week in the Montreal magazine Urban Expressions.  Written by Donna Nebenzahl, the article is lavishly illustrated with my photographs of spring flowers. I particularly liked the big spread that shows the linden tree, with muscari, or grape hycinth, blooming in the grass. Urban Expressions used a different photo. I like this one, too. The link takes you to the article but doesn't show the excellent layout. Too bad, because the balance between text and photos showed the photographs at

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The Darling Buds of May

May 14th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate;   Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date.                        --- William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 provided the title for H.E. Bates' novel. I never read The Darling Buds of May. Never saw the British tv show, either. But I've seen the buds themselves. Rough winds may be shaking them. but they are blooming gloriously

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Praise for Glen Villa: Site and Insight

May 12th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
A few weeks ago, rummaging around on the internet, I came across a blog written by Allan Becker, Garden Guru. Since he was a fellow Montrealer, I emailed him, suggesting that as neighbours of a sort, with common interests, we should get to know each other. Allan responded quickly, with some good advice. Thanks to him, I modified the layout of this blog to make my photos larger. A random photo, having nothing to do with the content of this post. Except that it's pretty. Can you identify the flower?

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Memorials, Memory Posts and Columns: Commemorating the Past at Glen Villa

May 7th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
What makes a good memorial? This question continues to occupy my mind, and not only because of the memorials I saw recently in Washington, D.C. and wrote about here.   For more than two years I’ve been thinking about a creating a memorial to my mother who died in 2010 at the age of 97, after a full and estimable life.   Already in the woods at Glen Villa now are memorials to other family members. I call these memorials memory posts, and for me they commemorate the lives of people who were

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A review of “What Are Gardens For: Experiencing, Making and Thinking About Gardens” by Rory Stuart

April 30th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
This book arrives at a good moment. In a few months, I'll be visiting gardens in England along with fifteen other women, and Rory Stuart's book offers some excellent pointers on what to pay attention to when visiting a garden and how to evaluate the experience. The subtitle, Experiencing, Making and Thinking Abut Gardens, explains what the book is about. It's not a 'how-to' book, and there isn't much in it about making gardens. Not to worry, the book offers much more. It's one of those books that helps to

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A river of snowdrops

April 26th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
Last year I dug up, divided and replanted about a dozen clumps of snowdrops. Amazing how a few bulbs will grow with time. According to my (less than perfect) planting records, originally I planted a few dozen snowdrops, ordinary ones that are readily available in most Canadian gardening catalogues.Thanks to an April 2012 blog post from Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening I decided to split the clumps. They were starting to look a bit overstuffed and I thought it would be worth the time and effort. Was I ever right!

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Spring arrives at Glen Villa! Finally.

April 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
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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Mud and Maple Syrup: Spring at Glen Villa

April 10th, 2013 | 11 Comments »
This is what's happening in my neck of the woods: making maple syrup. Part of the Sugar Bush at Glen Villa We tapped trees in late February and have only now stopped boiling the sap into syrup. Steam rises as the sap boils down into syrup. It takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup. And to do that, the fire has to be hot. Stoking the fire. This year we will use more than three cords of wood. Not a face cord, a real one, which measures

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In Transit / En Route: Part Three, the final installment

March 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
Several weeks ago I started a three-part series about an art installation at Glen Villa called In Transit / en Route. I posted the first two parts and intended to post the third in week three. But California and all I saw there captured my attention and my blogging time. So the third part of In Transit / en Route went to the bottom of the pile. Finally, though, it is back at the top. So here it is, the third and final installment. If you want to read (or re-read) the

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