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Border art

Much Ado about Nothing

My friend, the film-maker Tony Girardin, sent me a photo he took a few days ago when crossing the border between Vancouver and Seattle. He thought I might like it. And I do. A lot. At first I couldn’t figure it out. Was it a drawing? A painting? No, a sculpture, Tony said. A quick…

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Cornelian cherries are not very photogenic. Getting a photo even this good wasn

Cornus Mas: A Shrub with a Golden Glow

Not much is blooming in my garden now. The snowdrops are almost gone, the grape hyacinths are just beginning to open and the pulmonaria by the front door are slowly showing their spots. There is a star in the garden, though, although that star isn’t a show-off. My bashful star is Cornus mas, a shrub…

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Group photos are few and far between but I did manage to lasso them for a photo at Villa Lante in Italy.

Visiting Gardens: Nine Do’s and a Don’t

Visiting gardens is one the joys of my life. For the last four years, I’ve been hosting small group tours to gardens in Britain and Italy, working alongside an outstanding professional travel agent based in Vancouver. Julia Guest at Travel Concepts does the detailed planning that is essential to ensure a good garden tour. Without her…

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The snake in the Garden of Eden is an obvious Biblical allusion. The way the snake is winding its way up the tree also suggests paintings by Lucas Cranach and others. Using reflectors for the snake

Allusions in the Garden

The most recent post on the excellent British website ThinkinGardens is about the use of allusions in gardens. Noel Kingsbury, one of three people taking part in the conversation, suggested that allusions were all well and good in gardens from other times and places but that in today’s gardens, they are outmoded. “Allusion in the West which…

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Ice covers this stream in the woods.

Can spring be far behind?

Percy Bysshe Shelley knew a thing or two about spring. His Ode to the West Wind ends with a hopeful phrase: Be through my lips to unawakened Earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? At Glen Villa, the answer seems to be yes, it can be.…

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