Tag Archives: Open Garden Day

Now for a Rest!

July 31st, 2017 | 14 Comments »

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 turned out to be exactly what I had hoped for, a Goldilocks day — not too hot, not too cold, just right.


The Skating Pond as photographed by one of the wonderful volunteers.
The Skating Pond as photographed by one of the wonderful volunteers.


I also want to thank the people who came, who seemed to love everything they saw. Many commented on the peaceful setting, and how calm they felt walking through the garden. I enjoyed spending the day on the Log Terrace, talking to people as they passed through. In fact, I was so busy talking that I forgot to take photos. So instead of a picture of the volunteers or the setting, here’s a photo of a group that visited the garden the day before!


This photo shows a group who visited the garden the day before the Open Day. They generously contributed to the cause -- so a big thank you goes to all of them.
That’s me, almost hidden behind the artemisia, and Larry Hodgson, the group leader with the hat, seen second from the right. When Larry mentioned that the Open Day was raising money for the Massawippi Foundation, the group opened their pockets and generously contributed. So a big thank you goes to all of them.


The Open Day went smoothly, thanks to a great organizing team. The registration desk was up and running well before the 10am opening, and a good thing, too — the first visitors arrived 45 minutes early!


Visitors check in at the registration desk.
When visitors checked in at the registration desk, they received a pamphlet in either French or English, with a map and information about each area of the garden. They also received information about the trails being built by the Foundation on land conserved in perpetuity.


Volunteers really are the key to the success of a day like this. Some helped park cars, others added to the information in the brochure or talked about the goals of the Massawippi Foundation. One of those goals is to support community projects in the area surrounding Lake Massawippi, and one of the biggest and most ambitious of these projects is the system of trails being constructed on conserved land.


As the day began, I snapped one photo of cars parked in the field. It was the last photo I took for the day.
As the day began, I snapped a photo of cars parked in the field. It was the last photo I took for the day.


The grand opening of a new 3 kilometre trail on Massawippi Mountain will take place on August 20th. It will include music, a blessing by an Abenaki Elder, a ribbon cutting and a chance to walk the trail and speak with guides about the flora and fauna that makes the land worth conserving. This will be followed by a wine and cheese reception at the Community Centre in Ste. Catherine de Hatley.  The event is free to all and the Foundation welcomes everyone of all ages to take a hike that day and attend the reception.  For more information, go to the Foundation’s website.

Raising money to support this valuable work is why we open the garden to the public once a year. So many, many thanks all of you for all your support.

And I hope to see you all at Open Garden Day 2018!

On the Open Day, several people asked me how I learned about gardens and gardening. My answer was the same as it always is: by reading, experimenting and reading again.

Books are great, and my shelves are drooping under their weight. But for quick, helpful, easy to assimilate information, magazines are hard to beat. I have files full of magazine articles — and I go back to them again and again, as reference and inspiration.

There are fewer garden magazines in North America than there used to be. In Canada, the only magazine that circulates widely is Garden Making. I subscribe and read it for its practical information, as relevant to my cold climate garden as it is to those who garden in much warmer zones. The magazine serves a wide audience, from beginning to expert gardeners — anyone, in fact, who really wants to know the what, when and how of gardening in Canada.

In the U.S., with its larger market, there are several gardening magazines. My favourite is Garden Design. It’s gorgeous, with interesting and wide-ranging articles and outstanding photography. Best of all, there are no ads. This makes the magazine more expensive, but for my money, it is worth the price.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to Garden Making or Garden Design — or both — consider subscribing today. Or surely you have a birthday coming up soon???


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.     And here's a preview of what you'll see. The Cascade by the house ...   [caption id="attachment_5399" align="aligncenter" width="1425"] The yellow Ligularia add a nice


Open Garden Day 2017

May 14th, 2017 | 3 Comments »
Glen Villa Open House 2017 eng 1200x800
I'm happy to announce that once again this year, we are opening the garden at Glen Villa as a fundraiser for the Massawippi Foundation. Here are the details.     As you can see, the admission goes directly to our local community foundation, Fondation Massawippi Foundation. The Foundation supports community projects -- school playgrounds, a community health centre, meals to shut-ins and seniors and much more. It also supports land conservation through the Massawippi Conservation Trust. In the few short years since the Trust was established, almost 800 acres of


Opening Day

August 5th, 2016 | 10 Comments »
The Massawippi Foundation supports community projects in five muncipalities around Lake Massawippi.
Yesterday's Open Garden Day was a fabulously exhausting experience. Some 325 people attended, and the feed-back was incredibly positive. Best of all, we raised over $6000  for the Massawippi Foundation -- which means we can keep building trails through the land we've conserved, opening to the public a beautiful area previously inaccessible and helping more and  more people appreciate the richness that surrounds us. There were only a few wrinkles, and thankfully not one was serious. We learned some things that will make next year's Open Day even better -- that is,


My Favourite Place in the Garden

July 29th, 2016 | 14 Comments »
We've had very little rain in the last month or more, so water is only trickling through the elevated channel. Even so, there is enough to give the sound of water that prompted us to build this feature.
For the last few weeks, everything and everyone at Glen Villa has been focused on preparing for the first (annual?) Open Garden Day on August 4. Twenty volunteers are primed and ready to go, each assigned to a three hour time slot and to a specific area in the garden. When one of the volunteers asked me which area of the garden was my favourite, I was at a loss. How can I pick one place when I love them all? The history associated with the China Terrace fascinates me.  


The Lower Garden

July 19th, 2016 | 6 Comments »
untitled (5 of 11)
It's garden visit time at Glen Villa. Last week a group from Quebec City visited the garden; this week it's a group from Ontario and the following week it's another group from Quebec. Then, on August 4, comes the big Open Garden Day when we could realistically have 500 people or more. I think all gardeners would agree -- it's satisfying when your garden looks good, or at least when it looks good enough to bring you that frisson of pleasure that tells you your work has paid off.  But when visitors


Getting Ready for Garden Visits: It’s time to panic!

July 7th, 2016 | 13 Comments »
  A week from today, this year's first group of garden visitors arrives to tour Glen Villa. The following week, two more groups arrive. And not long after that, I have the first ever Open Garden Day.   [caption id="attachment_4167" align="aligncenter" width="962"] A $20 admission fee will go to the Massawippi Foundation to support public trails that are now being built. About 10 kms of trails will open to the public in 2017. This wonderful initiative is our community foundation's way of celebrating Canada's 150th birthday.[/caption]   I am about


Open Garden Days, New Talks and Garden Tours

May 17th, 2016 | 4 Comments »
Screenshot 2016-05-15 14.07.48
  For a year or more I've been thinking about opening the garden to the public. Last week I bit the bullet and announced  that on August 4, I'll be holding an Open Garden Day. The Open Garden Day is a fundraiser for Fondation Massawippi Foundation, a community organization that supports land conservation and special projects in the communities that border Lake Massawippi. Visitors will be asked either to join the Foundation or to make a voluntary contribution. Will there be hundreds of people or only a handful? I have no idea. But I hope there will be