Pat Webster presents lively talks about gardens, landscape design and art, based on close observation and personal experience. Using her photographs from gardens around the world, she encourages audiences to reflect more creatively on their own gardens and how to shape them to best advantage. Pat speaks across Canada and the United States to garden clubs and horticultural societies, art lovers, and all those interested in the relationship between history, landscape and culture.
Creating a Personal Paradise: The Story of Glen Villa
We all want our gardens to be beautiful. But how can we make them distinctly our own?
In this inspirational program, Pat Webster shares the story of how she transformed an attractive garden into one that tells a personal story. Packed with ideas that you can use, Creating a Personal Paradise: The Story of Glen Villa takes you on a tour of Pat’s 750-acre property, showing some of the garden rooms that make this garden unique.
Via photographs taken over the last twenty years, you visit the China Terrace where Pat combined romantic plantings with remnants of a 19th century resort hotel that stood on the site. You see how a neglected stream became the Aqueduct, a water feature that frames a lawn in the process of morphing into a natural meadow. You see how a section of woods became a celebration of the past, how a mistake became a favorite destination, how touches of humor enliven the view. Throughout, you gain ideas of how to tell your garden’s story, in your own personal way.
Learning to Look: The Art of Garden Observation
Henry David Thoreau said it best: “It is not what you look at that matters but what you see.” Using her photos from gardens in Europe and North America, Pat Webster helps us see our gardens – what works and what doesn’t. She examines the details that can make a difference and the importance of considering the garden in its context. Discussing helpful tools, she shows how photographs can help or hinder us to analyze what we are looking at. Finally, she highlights how we can apply these ideas to make our own gardens even better.
Design Ideas from British Gardens
Gardens in Britain are often called the best in the world. But why? Pat Webster shares her insights in Design Ideas from British Gardens, one of her most popular talks. Based on years of visiting gardens in England, Scotland and Wales – and with outstanding photographs to illustrate her points – she identifies some key lessons that we can apply in our own gardens, regardless of size.
Art in the Garden: What, Where, Why
Does art enhance a garden or detract from it? Does it reveal something about the site and enrich the experience of being there? And if not, why use it?
Using photographs from private gardens in Canada, the United States and Europe, Pat Webster looks at important issues about using art outdoors. She starts by considering what constitutes art in a garden – the ‘what’ of her title – and goes on to examine practical questions. How do shape, size and color relate to the choice of location? What is the impact of different types of material? How do these choices influence our emotional responses to the surroundings? Focusing on high and low art, permanent and ephemeral, she considers how the choices we make express our personal taste and what they reveal about the way we relate to the world around us.
A sculpture and visual artist herself make this talk one of Pat’s favorites.
Italian Gardens: Touring a Tour de Force
Italian gardens shaped European garden design for centuries, and their influence continues today. Join Pat Webster as she leads us through some spectacular Italian gardens that date from Renaissance times to the present day. Using photographs from grand estates and smaller gardens, from finished works of art to those still in progress, she points out the essential elements that make these gardens such impressive masterworks and narrates some of the history behind them. Finally, she suggests how we can incorporate these elements in our own gardens, to create our own brilliant tours de force.
Discovering the Genius of a Place
Pat Webster looks at a range of gardens, large and small, to discover how each speaks to the ‘genius loci’ – the spirit of the place. She helps us to understand what we are seeing, situating each garden within its time and context. By explaining what motivated its creation, she enhances our appreciation and helps us to understand how we can bring out the special spirit of our own garden sites.
In Seeing Double, Pat Webster looks at both practical and conceptual ideas about using reflective surfaces in the garden. She examines and ‘reflects’ on how we can use them both to mirror the surroundings and to make a viewer part of scene. Focusing on water, mirrors, glass and metal, she investigates ways in which these different materials enlarge a space – or make it feel smaller. She examines the qualities that each brings to the garden, the advantages and disadvantages of each and how we can use them in new and interesting ways.