Glen Villa Art Garden is open for tours by prior arrangement from June through October. In 2022, availability may be limited due to Covid-19 restrictions.
For information on booking, please contact us.
Glen Villa Art Garden is open to university students and their professors by prior arrangement from May to October. Seminars offer an opportunity for students and their professors to go beyond the classroom and online instruction, exploring concepts that expand their curriculum. “Reading the landscape” is the theme of this unique experience, which explores the artist’s approach to history, memory and our relationship to the land.
While specifics for each program will be worked out with the course leader, a typical visit will include:
- Arrival and welcome to Glen Villa
- 1½–2 hr walk through Glen Villa Art Garden and Timelines Trail, guided by Patterson or by professor
- Questions and discussion on site, led by professor or by Patterson
- The program is suitable for students studying relevant topics in art history, fine arts, philosophy, classics, architecture, landscape architecture, literature, and Quebec, local and indigenous history.
There is no cost for this program. Visits must be booked in advance. Glen Villa Art Garden is situated on the shore of Lake Massawippi, a short distance from North Hatley, Quebec. The property is hilly and is not wheelchair-accessible.
To book a visit or for more information, please contact us.
Open Garden Days
Glen Villa Art Garden is open to the general public only on Open Garden Days. Dates vary from year to year and are posted annually in the spring.
The cost for admission in 2022 is $25/person, payable in advance. All proceeds go to the Massawippi Foundation, which works to conserve land, build public trails and provide funding for projects that benefit the communities around Lake Massawippi.
Check back here soon for more ticket information.
Original topics to help you create a memorable garden
Patterson Webster presents lively talks about gardens, landscape design and art, all based on close observation and personal experience. Using her photographs from gardens around the world as well as from her own acclaimed Glen Villa Art Gardens, she encourages audiences to reflect more creatively on their own gardens and shape them to best advantage.
Patterson speaks across Canada and the United States to garden clubs, art lovers, horticultural societies 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, Patterson Webster shares the story of how she transformed an attractive garden into one that uses history and horticulture to tell 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 Patterson’s 750-acre property, showing some of the installations that make this garden unique.
Through photographs taken over the last twenty years, you witness the creation of the China Terrace, a re-imagining of the remains of a 19th-century resort hotel that once stood on the site. You see how a neglected stream became the Aqueduct, a water feature that frames a lawn now morphing into a natural meadow. You see how a fern wood became a celebration of loved ones, how an environmental disaster became a favourite destination, how touches of humour enliven the view. Throughout, you gain ideas that help you to tell your own garden’s story, in your own personal way.
This program is geared for gardeners at all levels of experience and interest.
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 photographs of gardens in Europe and North America, Patterson Webster shows how visiting other gardens helps us to see our own gardens with fresh eyes, pinpointing what works and what doesn’t. She considers the role of photography and other tools, explaining how these aids can both help and hinder our analysis. She examines several gardens in depth to illustrate how details of planting and design contribute to a garden’s success. Urging us to “listen” to the site, she highlights how we can discover hidden opportunities, recognize mistakes and craft solutions to make our garden even better.
This popular presentation is of particular appeal to those who want to take their gardens to the next level.
Design Ideas from British Gardens
Why are gardens in Britain so often called the best in the world? Patterson Webster shares her insights in one of her most popular talks, Design Ideas from British Gardens. Drawing on experience gained from years of visiting gardens and leading garden tours to England, Scotland and Wales, she identifies and analyzes key elements that make English gardens successful, whether they are large or small, public or private, historic or contemporary, and shows how she has implemented some of the ideas at her own garden. Her stunning photographs highlight design ideas that we can apply in our own gardens, regardless of size.
Packed with inspirational ideas and practical suggestions, this program appeals to gardeners at all levels of experience who want to enrich their knowledge of garden design.
Art in the Garden: What, Where, Why
Does art enhance a garden or detract from it? Does art reveal something about a site and enrich the experience of being there? Or does art take attention away from the beauty of the plants?
Using photographs from private gardens in Canada, the United States and Europe, Patterson Webster looks at some of the major issues related to using art outdoors. She starts by considering what constitutes art in a garden before examining some of the practical questions. How do shape, size and colour relate to the choice of location? What are the impacts of different types of material? How do these choices influence our emotional responses to the surroundings? Focusing on art both high and low, 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.
This talk is a favourite for Patterson, who is herself a sculptor and visual artist.
Italian Gardens: Touring a Tour de Force
Italian gardens shaped European garden design for centuries, and that influence remains significant today. Join Patterson Webster as she leads us through spectacular Italian gardens dating from Renaissance times to the present day. Using photographs from grand estates and smaller gardens, from finished works of art and pieces still in progress, she points out the essential elements that make these gardens such impressive masterworks and reveals some of the history behind them. Finally, she suggests how we can incorporate these elements into our own gardens, to create our own brilliant tours de force.
This program is particularly suitable for those interested in learning more about the history of European gardens and how they influence garden design today.
History Made Visible: the Story of Glen Villa Art Garden
In this lively presentation, Patterson Webster describes her 25-year journey as she transformed a beautiful but conventional country property into Glen Villa Art Garden, a 750-acre landscape garden that explores ideas about what a garden is, or can be.
Using the history of the property as a framework and her own outstanding photography as illustration, she shows how the use of words can deepen and enrich the experience of a landscape. Through engaging stories and personal anecdotes, she describes what prompted her to create a garden based on ideas rather than aesthetics. She explains why she felt compelled to go beyond the garden into fields and forests by creating Timelines, a train that interrogates assumptions and accepted ideas about history, memory and our relationship to the land.
This program is particularly suitable for those interested in expanding the boundaries – literal and metaphoric – of garden design.