Welcome to the GVAG Blog

What I liked about Italian Renaissance Gardens

I returned recently from nine days in Italy where I visited gardens between Florence and Rome. Historically, they ranged from the 1st century (Villa Adriana, or Hadrian’s Villa) to the 21st century (Bosco della Ragnaia). Weeks later, my head is still spinning with all I saw — and with all I learned about history, art…

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Following my Tree: May

After a month away, it feels good to be home again in North Hatley. I was travelling for four weeks, first in southern Africa and then in Italy where I co-led a group of women through gardens that ranged from the first century A.D. to a contemporary art installation garden that is still very much…

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Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

A botanical garden is a special type of place. It’s a garden but it exists for scientific purposes and not for beauty. Yet I think that most people visiting a botanical garden expect to see a beautiful place, a landscaped garden where plants are displayed with artistry. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden achieves both of these…

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The Fynbos, a unique community of plants

South Africa’s national flower is the protea. Most of us are familiar with the king protea — it’s available in florist’s shops around the world. But finding it in the wild is a totally different experience. Wild king protea growing in the fynbos, east of Cape Town. The area around Cape Town, South Africa, is…

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A Breakfast of African Trees

For a week I’ve been out of the loop — no internet, no email, no phone. (It’s been frustratingly wonderful.) Instead of posting blogs, I’ve been touring game parks in southern Africa, seeing amazing animals and even more amazing trees and shrubs. Here’s a sample of some of the vegetation — a tasty buffet, as…

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