Tag Archives: visiting gardens

Open Garden Days, New Talks and Garden Tours

May 17th, 2016 | 4 Comments »


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 lots, and that everyone who comes will find something to admire and enjoy.


Screenshot 2016-05-15 14.07.48


On the website this week I also announced  a new talk I’ve developed, titled Design Lessons from British Gardens. For the last few years I’ve been taking groups through gardens in Italy and the UK, and I’ve learned a lot — good and bad — about how to take full advantage of the experience of visiting a garden. (I shared some ideas about this in a blog post a few weeks ago.) Gardens have taught me many things about design and about how to make the most of a site. (Not surprisingly, some lessons were good and others not.) Sharing what I’ve learned is something I enjoy, and since many of the groups I speak to keep asking me back, I must be doing something right!


Nepeta makes a strong design statement at Great Fosters, a garden near London.


Finally, in a few more days, I’ll be leaving to spend several weeks in England. After visiting a friend and spending a day at the Chelsea Flower Show to get a look at the latest trends, I’ll be taking a small group of knowledgeable gardeners to see an extraordinary collection of gardens. I hope the weather in England will be warmer than it is here, but not so hot that visiting gardens becomes unpleasant. (That shouldn’t be hard, considering that yesterday morning the Big Lawn at Glen Villa was white with snow.) I hope the English skies will be partly cloudy whenever I want to take a garden photo — and I can predict that if I’m in a garden, I’ll want to photograph it — since bright sunshine makes for bad photos.  I hope that rain will fall only at convenient hours and that every garden I visit will bring inspiration and joy.

Am I hoping for too much? Who knows? I’ll have to wait and see.

To enquire about

Open Garden Day on August 4

a presentation to your group on Design Lessons from British Gardens or another topic. See talks for more details.

 future garden tours

Contact me at [email protected]siteandinsight.com


Visiting Gardens

June 22nd, 2014 | 4 Comments »
A group of serious gardeners will be visiting Glen Villa on July 2 and I've been busy getting the garden in shape. This takes time and effort, as every gardener knows, and the results never seem good enough. Particularly in large gardens, there is always too much to do and not enough time to do it. This year that is truer than usual: the late and very wet spring, not to mention extra clean-up from the January ice storm, have put me way behind schedule.Adding to the pressure to have the