Welcome to the GVAG Blog

We started with a flat muddy mess.

Is a Clearing in the Woods a Garden?

“A natural clearing in a wood is a glade. But a perfectly round clearing the same size, in the same wood, becomes a garden.”                                             … Juan Grimm, Chilean landscape architect   Ten years ago,…

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The shrub border seen from across the Upper Field is beginning to look autumnal.

Home Again — and Happy To Be Here

  What a pleasure it is to return to Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec, after three weeks spent visiting gardens in Scotland and England. Seeing so many amazing places there,  I was worried that my own garden would be a disappointment. It wasn’t. It isn’t. Yes, I can see dozens of things, large and small,…

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Ueda Landform uses the idea of chaotic attractors. Two sections are named after scientists who worked on the theory.

Shaping the Earth

Over the last week, as part of a tour I’ve been leading through gardens in Scotland and the north of England, I’ve been fortunate enough to see four earth works created by Charles Jencks. Jencks is an American architectural theorist, writer and landscape architect who has lived in Scotland for many years and now divides his…

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Railway tracks run in the moat that used to protect the castle. The castle hill was a volcano 350 million years ago.

Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens

The Princes Street Gardens sit in the centre of Edinburgh, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. They were created in the late 1700s and early 1800s after a loch, originally part of the castle’s defences, was drained.       The gardens are divided in two sections, East and West, that together cover some 37.5…

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These maple trees have offered shade for over 100 years. They line the bank above the lake. An old asphalt path runs alongside them; it was built for guests at Glen Villa Inn.

Trees at Glen Villa

Trees play a major role at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. They provide shade in summer, colourful foliage in autumn and the promise that comes with spring green buds. In winter bare branches of deciduous trees offer a stark colour contrast outlined against the snow, and evergreens provide structure and a touch of colour…

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