Autobiography of a garden in Quebec: a fascinating story and a unique personal memoir

Patterson Webster is a visual artist, experienced gardener and popular speaker, lecturing on art history and garden design. In her new book ‘Autobiography of a Garden‘, she takes us on a 25-year journey as she transforms a conventional country property into a landscape that challenges what a garden is or can be.

Glen Villa Art Garden is a country property located on the traditional territory of the Abenaki, a lakeside treasure that weaves formal and wild gardens, ponds and cascades, tranquil walks, sculptures, Asian artifacts and art installations into a rich tapestry of experiences. Located in North Hatley, Quebec, this extraordinary 750-acre property was acquired by Patterson and Norman Webster in 1996.

In this memoir, Patterson Webster weaves her own life into the story of the landscape, offering an inside look at how designing the garden unleashed her own creativity. She details how she changed from being a neophyte gardener who copied the ideas of others into one who created a unique approach to the land. Using the history of this magnificent property as a framework, she explores the meaning of creating a garden and the meaning that a garden can create, linking ideas about aging and the passage of time to the reality of growth and death in the landscape.

Throughout the book, Webster considers the impact made by those who lived on the land before her: the Abenaki, the early settlers, the cottagers, the farmers, the US southerners who came to Quebec to avoid the summer heat, and the northerners who defeated them in the Civil War.
With engaging personal anecdotes, she describes the thinking behind each part of the garden and the examples that guided her, the mishaps, and successes she encountered, and her plans for the future. Beautifully photographed and full of inspirational ways of thinking about gardens and gardening, Autobiography of a Garden encourages readers and gardeners to make their own surroundings more beautiful and much more meaningful.



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