Saturday saw a great opportunity to go “behind the scenes” at the Open House held by HRM at the greenhouses beside the Public Gardens. From tropicals in the display house, vegetables in cold frames, greenhouses chock full of bedding plants, nursery stock and the less esthetic part of gardening (turning garbage into gold),all aspects of gardening were covered.The gardeners and HRM staff where engaging visitors everywhere, willingly sharing their vast knowledge.
It’s Bike Week in Halifax so I managed to indulge both my passions , cycling and the Public Gardens. I rode my trusted steed Bici to the Gardens (a 30K ride). It was a much shorter distance than the 1200 K we travelled together across France last summer.
The Rhododendrons were beautiful inside the main gates. There was a monochromatic theme as they were paired with deep pink Azaleas and the last of the pink tulips.
It was a beautiful day and everyone was out enjoying the great outdoors. On the deck, outside of the Uncommon Grounds Cafe, children and their families were enjoying story time alongside the patrons sipping their coffees. What a spring this has been!
The Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ (Weeping European beech) cascades beside the Boer war memorial fountain. It suggested the flowing water which is lacking from all the fountains due to the restoration of the Victoria Jubilee fountain. All the pumping systems have been shut off for the time being.
Floral displays abound. This gorgeous flowering cherry tree (Prunus ‘Pink Perfection), was at its peak. Everyone loves the flowers of flowering Oriental cherry trees, but the shiny brown bark with tan horizontal lenticels (pores), is also very showy.
This Viburnum caught my attention last week as the flower buds were a cluster of pink balls. This week they captured all my senses… the scent was absolutely heavenly! The Gardens are filled with the lovely scents of Azaleas, Daphnes, and Lilacs ,to name a few.
Ready for the show! The Display House was the entry point for the Open House. There was great interest in some of the tropical plants on display. The Sedum morganianum (Burro tail plant) received the most attention.
Helen, one of the gardeners at the Public Gardens, planted this beautiful window box for the Open House. The Fuchsia standard at the top took Helen a couple of years to train, so don’t expect to copy this window box without some advance planning.
A couple of the gardeners from the Halifax Public Gardens ‘planted’ themselves amongst their plethora of bedding plants for a photo op. The people we spoke to who had taken the tour of the greenhouses were thrilled to chat with the gardeners and pick their brains. Their knowledge is immense and they were happy to share.
Some of the displays were prettier than others, but these guys where teaching people how to turn garbage into garden ‘gold’. Composting (they insisted) is not rocket science and can be easily done by all. Your soil is the foundation your gardens are built on, and the compost you add to your soil not only produces beautiful and bountiful crops, but also feed the micro organisms that keep the ecology in your garden strong and healthy.
Board members of the Friends of the Public Gardens were also on hand to educate the public about our role in the Public Gardens. We also raised some money through the sale of Halifax Public Gardens books and Victoria Jubilee chocolate bars, to put toward restoration projects in the Gardens. Our tour of the Gardens was free and will be repeated every Wednesday at 2PM starting June 13.
The flowers on this Davidia involucrata (handkerchief tree) resemble white doves fluttering their wings, when there is a breeze. Thanks Sheldon (one of the gardeners) for pointing out this tree to me.