Tag Archives: flowers

Favourite Things

June 27th, 2019 | 6 Comments »

Sometimes, pictures of pretty flowers are enough.

I took these photos in a garden in Knowlton, Quebec that I visited last week. It was a grey, rainy day but the gardens were glorious! The flowers in one garden were the stars of the day.


The many petals of this peony capture raindrops.
Raindrops on roses are nice. Raindrops on peonies are even better. I’m not sure how to rank whiskers on kittens.


Bright copper kettles are no competition for the WOW! of this poppy. Talk about gorgeous!


Orange is not the new black, it is a battle between exuberance and fragility.
The colour is exuberant and the petals are fragile. This contradiction is one reason why I love poppies.


I can’t promise that you’ll see either of these flowers if you visit Glen villa on July 20, when we open the garden to the public as a fundraiser for the Massawippi Foundation and Conservation Trust.  In fact, I can promise that you won’t, since poppies and peonies will no longer be in bloom. But I think you’ll find floral eye candy of some flavour or other.


When you were a child, did you hold a buttercup under your chin to see if you liked butter? I know I did.
When you were a child, did you hold a buttercup under your chin to see if you liked butter? I know I did.


Tickets are available through the Massawippi Foundation, at https://massawippi.org/event/open-garden-day-at-glen-villa/

I look forward to seeing you on the 20th.






A Year in the Garden, Part 1

December 23rd, 2018 | 9 Comments »
On a surprisingly mild winter's day -- not at all typical for Quebec in December -- I'm remembering the garden at Glen Villa as it looked earlier this year. January brought lots of snow.   [caption id="attachment_7035" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] A stream coming down the hill marks an S-curve at the entry to Glen Villa.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_7036" align="aligncenter" width="4836"] The Crabapple Allée marches across the open field.[/caption]   February brought snow and gloomy skies. [caption id="attachment_7037" align="aligncenter" width="3456"] My sculpture Tree Rings honours the life of a maple tree that died


Ends and Beginnings

September 3rd, 2018 | 6 Comments »
I head to England today, where I'll be hosting my final garden tour. I'm sad about this ending, but at the same time, I'm happy to remember the people and places that have formed such a rewarding part of my life. And as I keep reminding myself, ends are also beginning. Before leaving for England, I took a walk around  the garden at Glen Villa to see what's in bloom and to assess what needs to be done when I return. Generally, things are looking pretty good.   [caption id="attachment_6668" align="aligncenter" width="4272"] The deer


Five Good Things and a Bad

June 25th, 2018 | 12 Comments »
As June shines its way towards July, I'm outside soaking it in and enjoying the garden at Glen Villa. There are too many happy-making things to show in a single post, so today I'm focusing on only four. First come the hawthorn trees. We planted them more than 15 years ago and they have proved a mixed blessing, blooming well in some years, not so well in others. This year they were spectacular.     [caption id="attachment_6453" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Seeing the trees from a distance was like seeing a cloud of light,


My favourite plant: Jeffersonia diphylla

September 9th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Gardeners in temperate climes may wonder why I love Jeffersonia diphylla. For them it grows easily, spreads nicely and offers a touch of light in a shaded border. A nice plant, but nothing special. Jeffersonia doesn't grow easily for me. I have to coddle it, and it is one of the few plants at Glen Villa that gets this care.  As for spreading nicely, no such luck. My one plant grew for quite a few years before it produced a baby. Nonetheless, I love Jeffersonia. It is my favourite plant. Not


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


History Made Visible

January 30th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
             “Landscape is history made visible,” said J.B. Jackson, the American cultural geographer. I subscribe wholeheartedly to this idea.             Every piece of land has a history. Glen Villa has lots – in fact, you almost trip over it here. The waterfall, for instance, started life over a century ago, when a stream coming down through the woods was dammed to provide power for a sawmill. The waterfall at Glen Villa   Every gardener may not want to make history visible in their gardens, but


Introducing Glen Villa

January 26th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
People say that a first blog post should start with a statement of principle, something that lets people know what the blog will be about. I’m not sure how this blog will evolve. I know I want to write about my garden, Glen Villa, and about how it got to be what it is. I want to write about art and the installations I’m building throughout the property. But more, I want to share my ideas about what a garden is, what it can be, and why it matters –