The Upper Room is as glorious in winter as it is in spring, summer and fall. The highlight in every season is the beautiful screen outlining the bare branches of a dogwood tree.
Drawn by the Montreal artist Mary Martha Guy, the tree branches become more starkly striking with the late afternoon sun shining through.
A close-up of four of the glass panels fabricated by the Montreal glass artists at Vitrerie VM Montreal make the bare thorn-like branches appear to stab the air.
What I love most about the screen in this season is the interplay of light and shadow. The space between the panels becomes a line on the snow. Sun shining through the clear glass that forms the branches twists them in a dance, shortening some and lengthening others.
The dogwood blossoms are less distinct under these conditions, but they are there, visible to anyone who looks with open eyes.
Bare branches on the screen are wonderful. Bare branches on the yews, planted to suggest columns supporting a ceiling for the Upper Room, are not. Hungry deer flattened themselves to pancakes and slid under the fence. Now every bit of green on the yews is gone.
Once the ground is workable, we’ll transplant the yews to our fenced-in vegetable garden, hoping that with time they will recover. I’ll search for something else to plant in their place. Or possibly I’ll replant yews — they are perfect for what I want in the space — and create some kind of cage to fence them in.
For now, though, I’ll ignore the damage and enjoy the Upper Room for what it is, a place of peace and quiet, where memories live on.
Has it started to smell like spring yet?
Not yet. But the light is beginning to change so not too much longer. I hope.
It looks beautiful!
My husband and I are hoping to be in the Bas St. Laurent region this summer, having become enamoured of a renovated schoolhouse, surrounded by an extensive garden near Parc National du Bic, which we love.
But we’ve definitely been intimidated looking at the winter weather, even though the house is a year-round one — it’s a LOT colder than the Southeastern US mountains, where we live. We’re planning to be in Quebec in the summer!
Winter here is coming to an end, but the last few days have been wonderful… not cold, bright blue sky and a feeling of spring in the light.
I love the area aroud Bic — amazing scenery. I hope you take advantage of the location to visit the Reford Gardens in Métis. Well worth the hour’s drive from Bic.
The glass panels are very striking in winter with the frosted glass and the snow playing off each other beautifully. Well done! I’d leave the yews and see how much they bud out in May. Give them a couple of good boosts of liquid fertilizer in April. They may surprise you.
I hope you are right!
The panels really do catch something special about bare branches in winter.
This was an unexpected bonus. I wanted the clear glass to suggest absence and never considered how they would actually reflect reality in wintertime.
They are beautiful.
Thanks, Layanee. (Your name is beautiful, too!)
I love those panels and the way the silhouettes echo the landscape.
As do I. That echo was an unexpected bonus.
Wow beautiful and amazing.
I do love those glass panels, and it’s interesting to see how the frosted glass picks up the spirit of the garden in winter. So sorry about your yews. I have had more deer damage than usual this winter, but nothing on this scale.
Ever the optimist, I’m hoping the yews will recover.