I deliberately made the questions difficult to read in order to slow people down.

Words on the Land

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the old saying goes. But sometimes a word says all that needs to be said. Or perhaps, more than a thousand pictures can convey.

Words label each section of Timelines, the 2.9 km trail that we are opening to the public for the first time on July 20, as a fund-raiser for the Massawippi Foundation. (You can buy your tickets by clicking here.)

Words begin the journey at In Transit/En Route, where signs ask questions

 

I deliberately made the questions difficult to read in order to slow people down.
I deliberately made the questions difficult to read in order to slow people down.

 

 

The trail leads to a clearing in the woods where a walker can sit and contemplate the passage of time.

 

At the Sundail, the shadow of a dead pine tree marks the hours on painted posts.
At the Sundial, the shadow of a dead pine tree marks the hours on painted posts.

 

 

A short distance beyond the Sundial, Timelines enter The Clearing of the Land, a section remembering the impact of the early settlers who came to Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

 

The date 1803 is when the first land grant in this area was awarded to Henry Cull and Ebenezer Hovey.
The date 1803, barely visible here, is when the first land grant in this area was awarded to Henry Cull and Ebenezer Hovey.

 

 

Passing through The Clearing of the Land, Timelines takes a turn at Two Roads.

 

A forked tree in the foreground mirrors the forked sign in the rear.
A forked tree in the foreground mirrors the forks on the painted tree in the rear.

 

 

One path leads farther back into Quebec’s history, towards the entrance to La Seigneurie.

 

This wrought-iron sign was made by the blacksmith Justine Southam. I think she did a great job.
This wrought-iron sign was made by the blacksmith Justine Southam. I think she did a great job.

 

 

The formality of French garden design and the historic importance of the road that leads to old Quebec City are celebrated along La Grande Allée.

 

My friend John Hay hand-painted the street sign. The cast-iron post was a lucky find.
My friend John Hay hand-painted the street sign. The cast-iron post was a lucky find.

 

 

At the end of La Grande Allée, Perspective calls attention to where we are and to where we are going.

 

We all need a bit of this.
We all need a bit of this.

 

 

With a reminder that The Past Looms Large, Timelines now leads us father back, to the roots of western history and culture.

 

A column of corrugated tin suggests the fluting on Greek columns.
A column of corrugated tin suggests the fluting on Greek columns.

 

 

Another classical reference introduces the basic shapes that make up the built universe.

 

Did I mention that my undergraduate degree was in philosophy?
My undergraduate degree was in philosophy. Plato was one of my favourites.

 

 

A sign suspended over the trail announces Orin’s Sugarcamp, where maple syrup once was made.

 

Orin Gardner made maple syrup on this site in the 1950s and 1960s.
Orin Gardner made maple syrup on this site in the 1950s and 1960s.

 

 

Finally, we return to the present, at the Grandchildren Trees.

 

Henry's tree is one of eleven trees planted in honour of our eleven grandchildren.
Henry’s tree is one of eleven trees planted in honour of our eleven grandchildren.

 

 

The words I’ve used along the trail tell only part of the story of Timelines. The land speaks its own version, not through words but through sound and scent, taste, touch and sight. Walking the trail is a total experience and pictures convey only a tiny part of it.

  • Lisa Wagner

    I’ll definitely look forward to seeing this! I’m so glad that I can come over for your open garden benefit and explore a bit in the region, too.

    • siteandinsight

      I’m so glad you are coming, Lisa. I’ll be close to the house all that day so please stop for a chat.

  • With a couple of weeks to go it looks all good!

    • siteandinsight

      A bit frantic as we get closer to the day, but generally things are under control.

  • annewareham

    Words make a garden…

    • siteandinsight

      I agree!

  • Tammy Winters-Schmitt

    You’ve created a thinkers garden! I like it!

    • siteandinsight

      Thanks, Tammy. Good to hear from you — and hope all is well.