Choreographed Canadian Landscape Paintings


(posted on 13 Sep 2022)

How often have you been surprised by the turns and twists in the path of your life? In general, life has exceeded all of my expectations but I did have a lifelong 'dream' of having a place in the country. About 20 years ago, I even had an actual dream in which a  little house was situated on a hill. In this dream, I went out the front door and walked down the substantial grassy slope. At the bottom of the hill, I followed a path that meandered off to the left through a meadow surrounded by forest. It seems that my subconscious knew that I wanted a hill and some land.

In 2008, I  began to seriously study art and to paint. Peter and I had often taken the very Canadian fall artist studio tours in the past. However, when we toured some of the studios in the Hills of the Headwaters region of Ontario, Peter began to understand what it was that I was on about. The artists’ studios on this tour were all located in these brightly fall-coloured rolling hills.

We began to tour properties for sale but the houses were always the selling feature. The lands attached to these places were not at all interesting to me.  I finally let go of the dream.  Unbeknownst to me, Peter had kept looking at properties online. (Isn’t he a peach?!) Late in 2009, he came up with a listing worth investigating and the rest is history.

We have over 11 acres in an area designated as a groundwater discharge zone. This means that the hill which runs the length of our property is leaky. Water pops up in various places on the hill, runs down a ways, then goes back underground again making its way to the river in our neighbours place. We have wet areas and very dry areas, meadow, cedar forest and wet lowland deciduous forest. This all makes  for a biologically interesting property. Did I mention that I graduated from Uni with a degree in biology?

It seemed that I now had enough room to grow whatever I wanted! My practical side told me that I wasn’t getting any younger and that I should pursue a low maintenance project. During my research I came across another woman who had cultivated a native meadow as well as many formal gardens on a more commercial property. She told me that the garden she enjoyed the most was the native garden.  This led me to study native plants.*

Vintage Cultivation for a Native Meadow


We bought a 1963 Ford Supa Dexter tractor in robin's egg blue and suddenly all things became possible! Remember the path to the left in my dream? Down that path which indeed headed to the left, we plowed, cultivated and seeded two large patches of ground with native seeds from  The plants, 22 different species, now 10 years old, are mature and the meadow is alive with life.

Hi Ho! Hi Ho!

I am pleased to be able to invite you to click this link in order to read the article about our meadow. It was written by Naturalist Don Scallen for the In The Hills magazine nature column. Don had been scheduled to give a presentation on native plants during my solo exhibition. The exhibition was cancelled in the early weeks of Covid. Don was quite excited after visiting our meadow this summer  saying it was the largest project like this on private property that he had seen. He said that he wished his editor hadn't restricted him to 300 words!


My dream has become my happy place. Never give up on your dream.

*Native plants are plants that would have grown here in Ontario before European settlement. Our pollinators thrive on these plants. We in turn thrive on the food produced in this crucial chain.