Sights, sounds and smells of summer at the Halifax Public Gardens

Summer has arrived in all its glory and the Public Gardens continue to be a smorgasbord to our eyes, ears, nose and cameras (which unfortunately can only capture what your eye sees… sometimes).
Like all my creative endeavours there are times when no matter how hard I try nothing turns out like I planned and other times I can do no wrong.
Fortunately photographing the Gardens in the last two weeks has made me feel very talented indeed, though I can take no credit. The subject matter has been so appealing.
Unfortunately I couldn’t capture the heavenly scent that floated around the Gardens last Wednesday on a foggy morning. The Japanese tree lilacs were just finishing their show but the incredible scent hung in the air around you.
I’ve decided that fog is the more magical time to use your camera in the Gardens. Not only do the scents become more pronounced but the flowers ‘pop’ out at you… and not many people around.

The cupola from Horticultural Hall peaking out from the fog at the Halifax Public Gardens Arriving at the Gardens in the fog lent it a mysterious air and the familiar looked quite different.

Flora in the fog at the Halifax Public GardensThe colours however seemed to pop out at you creating a discordant visual… the fog closing in upon you making the place more intimate, but accentuating the flowers and highlighting those that were far away.

Annual bed at the Halifax Public Gardens containing: Cordyline fruticose (Hawaiian red Ti plant), Lantana standards, salvias, geraniums, marigolds, swiss chardIn contrast, this beautiful sunny day made the area expansive but the colours faded in the background.Roses at the Halifax Public GardensThe roses are absolutely striking right now. I don’t recall them ever looking this well.
I particularly like the deep red/ burgundy ones ‘Royal William’ by the Dahlia bed.
The orange/rose ones (no name unfortunately) blazed through the fog. I could see them through the fog from my car.
The pinks roses are called Queen Elizabeth while my old favourites (pale yellow) by the Tropical display bed are called Elina.
Perennial borders  at the Halifax Public Gardens. Clockwise: mixed border, Foxgloves (Digitalis), Peonies and Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and the 'white' bed by the Soldier's fountain.It is worth a visit to the various perennial beds around the Gardens. There are 3 around the Soldiers fountain (a blue, a white and a hot themed one), and two on either side of the bandstand (mixed flowers). There are also mixed borders scattered around the Gardens which contain perennials.

Flowering shrubs and trees at the Halifax Public Gardens. Cornus kousa (L), Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ (upper R), Kalmia (lower R).The flowering dogwood trees (Cornus florida) and kousa dogwoods (Cornus kousa) have been getting a lot of attention but some lesser known flowering shrubs deserve a visit.
The golden sweet mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’) across from the bandstand by the benches, has a lovely scent when in bloom.
The white mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) at the far end of the lower bridge has interesting flowers which grow in clusters. They look artificial. It’s a beautiful evergreen shrub which loves acidic soil and is poisonous.

Jazz fest comes to the Halifax Public GardensThe Public Gardens played host to four bands as part of the Halifax Jazz fest, last Saturday and Sunday. The event was a HUGE success and free.

Geometric beds at the Halifax Public GardensThe marks on the lawn left by the speakers at the Jazz fest concerts will soon be gone but the memories of a great time will linger for a long time.

Ducks on a morning jaunt at the Halifax Public GardensOut for a morning forage.

Vintage play at the Halifax Public GardensAnother happy sound… children laughing as they jump through the sprinkler. Cheap thrills!

Lower bridge at the Halifax Public GardensDead still.

Jim at Horticultural Hall at the Halifax Public GardensA great Friend and ambassador, Jim doing what he does best… chatting with people as he volunteers at The Friends of the PG desk inside Horticultural Hall.
Jim set up the desk a couple of years ago to answer people’s questions and make our presence known. It’s been a great success and is populated most days by a member/volunteer.

Enjoying the Halifax Public GardensDisfrutando¡ (taking pleasure in; basking; delighting)!

Lower streambed at the Halifax Public GardensT.R.A.N.Q.U.I.L.I.T.Y!

Is it really almost August? Feels like summer has just begun.

The Mayor and council annual Garden Party is coming up on August 1 and the Summer Concert series, story time and free tours continue on a weekly basis.
If a concert is rained out it will not be rescheduled.
You can see what’s coming up here.

A la prochaine!

All images (except one) copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2015. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.