Archive for the 'Admin notes' Category

Thesis Finished!

It’s been a very long haul but I am finally finished my Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Guelph. I entered the landscape architecture field in large part through my love of history, and I hope I will be able to find a job that allows me to exercise my interests towards making a meaningful contribution to the cultural landscapes of Nova Scotia/the Atlantic Provinces (my heart is on the East Coast). At the very least, I hope to blog here a bit more frequently now that the weight of always having an unfinished thesis has been lifted off my shoulders. For reasons almost exclusively rooted in self-promotion (not something I do well, so I’ve decided to seize the moment while it lasts), here is the abstract for my recently completed thesis:

Meaning and Imagined Memories: Exploring Literary Landscape Theory Through the Aesthetics of Lucy Maud Montgomery

This thesis explores the theory of literary landscapes. The research is composed primarily of an interdisciplinary literature review that draws on landscape architectural theory, tourism studies, literary criticism, and landscape history and cultural geography, as well as archival research and site visits. It positions literary landscapes in relation to the landscape meaning discourse, and argues that they are an essentially experiential way of perceiving landscape through the use of “imagined memories” by the literary visitor. Using the example of L.M. Montgomery, the research explores how understanding an author’s landscape aesthetic can reveal past and present meaning in the landscape, and how this aesthetic—understood formally, thematically, and as embodied experience—allows us to understand the range of literary visitor motivations and expectations, as well as encouraging the exploration of how landscape architects might design, manage, and interpret literary landscapes based on an author’s aesthetic.

If you have an interest in reading my thesis, you can find it here.


Home sights and apps


This blog is inactive but not defunct, and I wanted to test out the WordPress Android app to see if it might help me create or post content. The first image is of Lawrencetown Beach from MacDonald Hill. The second is of the bottom of Porters Lake and Lawrencetown Hill, with the ocean just beyond. Two of my favourite ‘home sights.’


Revised Expectations

The tulips say "spring".

I guess it was rather (okay, extremely) optimistic of me to assume that a Masters of Landscape Architecture degree would provide absolutely any time for composing thoughtful blog posts on the Nova Scotia landscape during term. So here I am on a Saturday night at the end of term, a school year away from my most recent post. I finally have time to think about a topic that still occupies an inordinately prominent place in my thoughts (just ask my fellow students – I can’t shut up about Nova Scotia).

If this job search continues very long, I may just have time to get in a few posts this summer. And it will be more useful for the homesickness than before, as it is looking more and more likely that I will be spending my time here in Ontario. Is there a set of lyrics to “Farewell to Nova Scotia”  for Bluenosers who are landlocked?

Blogging on Nova Scotia’s landscape – from Guelph, Ontario

Well, I’m moved in and mostly unpacked at my apartment in Guelph.

I’ll be blogging about Nova Scotia from Ontario for the next two or three years at least. I hoped when I started this blog that it would serve as a way for me to stay connected to Nova Scotia while I bide my time doing this latest degree (which I am taking with hopes of being able to return to Nova Scotia as soon as possible with good career prospects). I hope this blog will help alleviate the homesickness and keep me tuned in to Nova Scotia’s landscape and environmental issues while I am 1,900 km away.

And of course, I am writing this post from Guelph because I finally finished, defended, and formally submitted my MA history thesis! It’s called The Road to Yesterday: Nova Scotia’s Tourism Landscape and the Automobile Age, 1920-1940. You can take a look at it in the Killam Library at Dalhousie University some time after October.

Snapshot – Canadian Coastguard, Woodside NS

Just as a sort of place-holder on this blog, to let you know I am still here (but generally editing my thesis or out digging in the garden), I thought I would share a photo that is slightly topical to my last post. The Canadian Coast Guard, which administers active lighthouses and still owns many of the deactivated ones (including the lighthouse in my blog header image), has a station in Woodside (for now – I believe they are eventually moving to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography docks).

This image, taken in late April, shows the yard full of buoys and concrete anchors – navigation lights lined up like torpedos and the groaners and clankers (my terms) that you are especially familiar with if you do any coastal sailing and use them for navigation, or any yacht racing as well. In fact, you may have had to fend yourself off with a boathook once or twice, or perhaps had a spinnaker try to wrap itself around one?

Dry Run

Consider this the dry run for this blog; I have just started my (tiny) publicity blitz to see if anyone finds this topic interesting. “Bluenose Garden” is a working title – if you have any suggestions, let me know! Don’t be surprised if the blog title changes periodically as I test them out, but the address will stay the same.



From MacDonald Hill

Well, here we are. To quote my own “About” section, “the purpose of this blog is to share the stories and landscape of Nova Scotia, to highlight topics and events pertinent to our communities and environment, and to have an open-ended discussion on what gives our province its sense of place.”

Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? Honestly, my own words scare me more than a little. But I haven’t been studying landscape history for four years just so I could shy away from discussing what “cultural landscape” means, and I’m not going into landscape architecture to recreate the Sonoran Desert in “Canada’s Ocean Playground.”

That last bit isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the cactus garden at the Public Gardens in Halifax. But that is totally different. I’ll tell you why some day.

So is there an audience out there for this blog? I can think of three people for sure, and only two of those are related to me. Sounds like we’re on the right path.