Opening your garden to the public takes courage. What will people think? Will they like what they see or notice only the shortcomings?
Last year, after we had opened Glen Villa Art Garden to the public, I was relieved. People praised the sense of peace and tranquillity they felt in the garden. They appreciated the chairs and benches scattered strategically, where they could stop for a chat with friends or enjoy the view onto the smooth waters of Lake Massawippi.
Many stopped by the house for a visit — I sat outside all day and was happy to identify plants or talk about gardens and gardening. Some asked questions about the art installations along the Timelines trail, and these questions prompted some great discussions about what a garden is, or can be.
Many told me they inspired by the visit, and some even shared later how they adapted something they saw to make it their own.
As you can imagine, these reactions made me feel very pleased — and very happy to open the garden again.
This year’s Open Garden Days are
If you were one of the 2000 visitors we welcomed last year, I hope you will come again. I am confident you will see something new — because even in the last year I’ve made changes and additions. (As every gardener knows, gardens never stop changing!)
New too this year are several guided Walks and Talks, or ‘Balades decouvertes‘.
Does one of the topics below spark your interest? More than one? Then come multiple times! On each visit, you’ll see something different, depending on the day and the season.
Here’s an overview.
*** Garden design, led by landscape architect Myke Hodgins (Bilingual)
You and Myke will walk through part of the garden, drawing on what you see to investigate the relationship between art and garden design. How do they work together to evoke an emotional response, to create mystery and surprise? How does design enhance the experience of being in the garden and on the land?
*** Nature photography, led by photographer Karl Ehrlich (Bilingual)
Photography helps us to see the beauty of nature, from grand views to tiny details. Focusing on emotions, spirituality and the mysterious, you and Karl will consider different ways to capture moods and emotions instead of simple images, whether you use an iPhone and DLSR camera.
*** Trees in the forest, led by arborist Alain Carignan (French)
Alain will help you identify the native trees we sometimes take for granted. Together, you’ll evaluate their condition in relation to their environment.
*** Trees in the garden and woods, led by arborist Justin Manasc (Bilingual)
Justin will focus on identifying tree species and understanding their relationships to the forest communities and ecosystems of which they are a part.
*** Bird Identification, led by Jean-Paul Morin and Camille Dufresne(Bilingual)
Discover the birds that inhabit Glen Villa Art Garden! You will walk through mature forests, flowery meadows, fields and woodlands, listening carefully in order to surprise the species that are busy establishing their nests and their territories.
*** Wild and edible plants, led by Patrick Garcia (French)
Patrick will help you to identify plants in their natural environment. You’ll consider issues related to collecting in a responsible and sustainable way.
*** Medicinal plants, led by herbalist Marie-Josée Vivier (Bilingual)
Come and discover medicinal plants in nature and their therapeutic virtues in the company of a herbalist.
Each of these special guided walks is offered to a small group of visitors. The walks begin an hour before regular opening hours. Most are offered in June, July and August, either in the morning or afternoon or both.
The special guided walk are offered in conjunction with a general admission, so after the guided portion of the visit, you’ll have plenty of time to see other parts of the garden and to walk Timelines, the trail that moves beyond the garden, into the fields and forests that surround Glen Villa Art Garden.
General admission tickets are $25, for either a morning or afternoon visit, and the Walks and Talks are an additional $40. Children under 10 are admitted free of charge and do not require a ticket.
All proceeds go to the Fondation Massawippi Foundation, the community-based organization that conserves land, builds public trails and provides funding for projects that benefit the communities around Lake Massawippi.
Space is limited and tickets are selling fast. So don’t delay! Book your visit today.