Patterson Roop Webster is a writer, visual artist, garden designer and speaker who lectures across Canada and the United States. She is the author of Autobiography of a Garden, a memoir about the creation and development of Glen Villa Art Garden. Until recently she led sold-out garden tours to England, Scotland, Wales and Italy.
Patterson was born in Maryland, raised in Virginia and is now based in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. In her work, she explores the connections between landscape and history to reveal our collective impact on the land around us. “I believe that representing the history of a site and the people who inhabit it strengthens an emotional response and allows people to look deeper into the beauty that surrounds them. It opens their eyes and makes their hearts sing.” The primary site for her work in sculpture and site-responsive installations is Glen Villa Art Garden, her 750-acre private property, located on the traditional land of the Abenaki First Nation.
Patterson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a Master of Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. A founding member of Canadian Parents for French, she has been recognized by the governments of Canada and France for her promotion of bilingual education. She also holds honorary doctorates from Laurentian University and the University of Prince Edward Island for her advocacy on this issue. She is a founding member of Blue Metropolis, Montreal’s international literary festival, and is the former chair of the Board of Directors of La Fondation Massawippi Foundation, a conservation organization based in the Eastern Townships.
Patterson was married to journalist Norman Webster for 55 years. She has five children and eleven grandchildren. The family lived in China during the Cultural Revolution (1969–71) and in England during the Thatcher years (1978–81). She writes about her own work as well as the gardens she has toured throughout the world on her website, Glen Villa Art Garden, and in her garden memoir, Autobiography of a Garden. Her visual narratives reflect on the crossroads between art and landscape and explore how history and gardens colour our view of the world.