Scratching the surface.

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.

A riot of colour at the Halifax Public Gardens

The hazy morning does nothing to hide the bounty of flowers.

Roses around the Soldier's fountain at the Halifax Public GardensThe roses around the Soldier’s fountain are beacons one can’t help but be drawn to.

Hibiscus at the Halifax Public GardensThe Hibiscus beds near the same area, are finally beginning to flower adding the de rigueur exotic touch to this Gardenesque inspired garden.

Equeverias in carpet bed at the Halifax Public GardensI 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.

Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle tree) at the Halifax Public GardensAnother 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.

Cool bed at the Halifax Public GardensThe 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.

Sexy bed at the Halifax Public GardensThe Sexy bed… again in a less travelled path. Ask one of the gardeners why it’s called that. It’s behind the Geese enclosure.

Lower Bridge at the Halifax Public GardensThe 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.

Planters come in all shapes at the Halifax Public GardensI would have missed this lovely planter if my fellow volunteer and board member Jim, hadn’t pointed it out. It’s so whimsical. I love it!

Bog at the Halifax Public GardensOne 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 .

Planters at the Uncommon Grounds cafe at the Halifax Public GardensAnother 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.

Hostas at the Halifax Public GardensSometimes beauty comes from understatement.

Just Peachy at the Halifax Public GardensIt’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.

* If you are a Friend of the Public Gardens and haven’t received an email with the link to this post, it’s because you haven’t yet SUBSCRIBED. Click on this link, and I’ll add you to the list.

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.