Weird summer this one. Slow to start, then hot, humid, windy and dry. My garden at home is dismal, and Tropical storm Arthur desiccated my perennials and put an end to any summer flower display. They’ll survive, but at this stage in my life I begrudge having to wait another summer before being able to enjoy my garden.
The Public Gardens were hardly touched by the storm… a few downed branches but the blooms breezed through it all and the floral display just gets lovelier by the day. This week the Dahlia beds have started to put in their ever popular display, and should be looking spectacular for the Dahlia Day festival on August 27.
There have been some new additions (or improvements) on the path less travelled of the Gardens. Particularly on the southwest quadrant of the Gardens were the bog around the Grotto has been cleaned up and planted with annuals, and a couple of beds have been planted with Begonias, grasses and Cana lilies.
The hazy morning does nothing to hide the bounty of flowers.
I love what the gardeners are doing with Echeverias all around the gardens.
While they are traditionally used as a background in carpet beds, some of the gardeners have been using them as focal points, suggesting floral rosettes by using different varieties with interesting and colourful leaves. The bonus is that they are drought resistant… something that has come in handy this summer.
Another exotica example that was all the rage in Victorian gardens. This monkey puzzle tree looked a little worst for wear in spring, but is now recuperating quite nicely. It’s worth seeing this odd-looking coniferous tree, though you’ll have to wander off the path. It’s kitty corner to the Gardener’s work shed by the Upper Bridge.
The cool bed by the Soldier’s fountain, has predominantly white flowers. This blue one seems to have migrated from the Blue bed (on the opposite side of the fountain), though it makes a nice contrast.
The road more travelled.
The most direct path into the Gardens from the Main gates, is over the Lower bridge. You immediately come across a carpet bed. After you stop to admire this year’s lovely composition, turn around and behold the path you’ve just come from.
One of Bev MacPhail’s wishes (our dearly missed, recently retired Chief Horticulturist) was to do something with the bog area, a less visited part of the Gardens. It looks lovely in the spring, with a lively and lovely combination of Rhodo’s, flags, Daffodils, unfurling ferns… it generally becomes unkempt looking in summer when the bog is dry.
The gardeners have recently cleaned it up and planted some bright annuals. This picture doesn’t do it justice :-(
There are two benches in the area… perfect for sitting down with a book and a beverage .
Another wonderful improvement… planters were added around the deck of the cafe. It turned a wonderful place to sit and admire the Gardens, into a fabulous place to sit period. The Coast readers should vote it best outdoor patio in Halifax.
It’s Just Peachy alright! The Dahlias begin their fabulous display.
Amy (gardener, NS Dahlia Society member, PG Dahlia curator) tells me that August is the best time to view the flowers as they get smaller and begin to lose they distinctive colouring or markings as the season progresses. I guess that’s why they hold the Dahlia Day Festival in August.
Along with the warm weather comes a season of activities at the Public Gardens. There are concerts every Sunday as well as Horticultural and Historical tours on Wednesday at 10AM.
There are also some special events planned during the month of August. Check out our Events Calendar.
All these activities are complimentary and open to all so come down and take advantage of everything this wonderful garden has to offer.
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All images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2014. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.