The Halifax Public Gardens in Halifax

The Halifax Public Gardens in Halifax

Nursery Notes: Halifax offers excellent botanical gardens

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You may have noticed an absence of columns from me this past July and August. I apologize. I have had a lot of extra “schooling” to take in order to keep a few of my certifications up to date. I managed to complete everything on time and with the help of family and friends pull off one of the best cherry harvests we’ve had in at least five years — best, as in the rain didn’t split half the crop for me and everything that was picked was sold.

Needless to say, with the weather cooling off a little bit and the trees getting some fall colour I now have a chance to write some. Mid-week next week I’ll attend the horticulture convention in Vancouver to see what’s new and exciting up close. There is usually a variety of new plants and perhaps some new tools or machinery to look at.

At the end of the cherry harvest we always try to fit in a break before the kids go back to school. This year for something different we went to Halifax to see my younger sister and her family. In 15 years I’ve never met her husband (and only two of her little girls). My brother-in-law and I both work a lot. It was very nice to meet her whole family. We had a great time and visited all kinds of neat places in Nova Scotia — three botanical gardens, including the one in downtown Halifax, and another great one at Annapolis Royal.

In downtown Halifax there is a botanical garden, the Halifax Public Gardens, dating from the 1850s that is actually an amalgamation of two even older gardens. Surrounded by wrought iron fencing and dissected by two formal alleyways it is a pretty interesting place. There is an old gazebo structure similar to the one at Fort Steele. They were holding a dahlia festival with informative tours and outside classes. Due in part to the greenhouses nearby, they had all kinds of subtropical and tropical plants placed in their flowerbeds, which made for some really neat plant combinations. There are of course lots of walkways and some captivating water features, all on a really grand scale. The park takes up several city blocks and is completely manicured.

They had some hurricane damage a few years ago and the citizens have all come together to replace damaged plantings. I guess the effect of the hurricane was to take out a number of the original trees, which in turn opened up a lot more area to the eye. I like looking at the newly opened up areas and found the whole effect to be really spectacular. If you are ever in Halifax with some spare time I would highly recommend it.

I will try to write some more on the other gardens later.

Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.