The Open Garden Day at Glen Villa Art Garden on June 25 was a huge success. People from the area and from far afield admired the garden, the art and the experience.
A huge thank you goes out to the volunteers who worked at the registration desk, introducing the Massawippi Foundation, answering questions and explaining the best ways to explore the garden and Timelines. Special mention goes to Goff Elkas, Cher Farnham, Jennifer Garfat, Helene Hamel, Jane Meagher and Graham Moodie. Double thanks go to John Hay, Bob Farnham, Jacques Gosselin and Ken Kelso who worked both the morning and afternoon shifts.
I had the easy job: sitting on the covered terrace by the house, greeting the many visitors who stopped with questions about the garden, to share their reactions or simply to chat. Their admission fees help to support the work of the Massawippi Foundation. Do take a moment to check out the Foundation’s website to see all the wonderful work being done to support the community, preserve ecologically important land, provide outdoor programs for schoolchildren and so much more. This is an organization that has made a significant contribution to the well-being of the people of this area of Quebec — and will continue to do more, with your help.
Some visitors to the garden followed the route suggested on the map, others went their own way.
Comments were overwhelmingly positive. Many visitors mentioned the atmosphere of the garden, saying they felt a real sense of peace and tranquillity. They were impressed by how well organized the day was and how welcomed they were made to feel.
For me, their responses made every bit of preparation worthwhile. I was happy to welcome Radio Canada news for filming and interviews about the garden and the Foundation but I failed to mention my new book. (I have to become a better salesperson!)
So what’s next?
Several weeks ago, we stopped taking reservations for the July Open Day, but Saturday went so smoothly that we’ve decided we can handle more visitors for the open days still to come.
BIG NEWS: You can now reserve for either the morning or afternoon for the Open Garden Day on July 23 as well as for the Open Days on August 20 and October 1. The publicity has been so terrific that the word is spreading rapidly and the remaining spaces will soon be full, so don’t wait too long to reserve your spot.
MORE BIG NEWS: You can buy your copy of Autobiography of a Garden on one of the Open Garden Days OR through McGill-Queen’s University Press OR through fine bookstores everywhere. Reviews and comments are greatly appreciated.
There is lots to see and do around North Hatley and Lake Massawippi. You can hike Sentier Massawippi or the trails at Scowen Park, both built by Massawippi Foundation and open to the public at no charge year round. You can have a nice meal at one of the good restaurants in the area, go for a swim or simply relax in the park. And, of course, you can visit Glen Villa Art Garden on one of the Open Garden Days and see Webster’s Column, my tribute to my journalist husband, Norman Webster.
The garden is waiting to welcome you, and so am I!