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Ragged robin, lupins and buttercups edge the path that leads to the China Terrace, the re-creation of Glen Villa Inn.

Garden Paths

As the end of the year approaches, I’m thinking about transitions. In  the context of gardens, transitions are often linked to paths. Paths lead you somewhere, either literally or metaphorically. They take you through different landscapes — meadows, forests, open fields — whose settings evoke different moods. They come in all shapes and sizes — grassy and gravel, broad and narrow,…

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The shape of the crabapple tree becomes dramatic when outlined with snow.

Art in Winter

I woke yesterday to a fine dusting of snow, and during the day more snow fell. Today it outlines the branches of the big oak tree by our boathouse and the old crabapple trees by the drive, emphasizing the contrast between rough bark and soft fluffy white.     The forecast calls for more snow to come, and as confirmation, the sky…

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Vivid colours appear in the hot border. Contrasts are more subtle in the cool-toned border but are still dynamic and inventive.

Malverleys: A Garden of Contrasts

Winter is almost here in Quebec, which means that not much is going on in the garden at Glen Villa. So instead of moaning about that, I’m remembering one of the gardens I visited in England last May. Malverleys is a large private estate, rarely open to the public, so the small group of gardeners who were…

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Snow on November 10? Not a welcome sight.

Planting for Spring

Last week my computer went on the blink and for three whole days, my typing fingers had a rest. The days off-line gave me time to do other things, but instead of using the time wisely, I wandered around feeling bereft. So it was only yesterday, when all was once again well on the computer front, that I…

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This path was a convenient short cut across a flat farm field.

The Straight and (not very) Narrow

  When is a straight path not straight enough? When is it too narrow? Last March, I decided to transform an unused farm field into something spectacular by lining the path that ran through it  with crabapple trees. When the ground was barely thawed, I paced out the length to determine how many trees to order.     I…

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