The nature of change.

I heard a rumor that a couple of businesses I frequent regularly  are moving out of the neighborhood  and I’ve been discombobulated ever since.
Few of us welcome a change, especially when it affects something that’s familiar to us.
Think back to Hurricane Juan and the devastation it wrecked in the Gardens. The citizens of Halifax were distraught and worried about how the lost of so many mature trees would destroy its specialness and would take a generation to replace.
Fast forward to today… The Halifax Public Gardens is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Compared to that pre Juan era, it has far more visitors: local and tourists. The reconstruction which occurred in part as a result of the hurricane has improved it in many ways, the washrooms are better, the cafe is better, think of upper bridge and how beautiful it looks now. The absence of trees rather than detract has actually enhanced the Gardens. There is more light, more room to actually stand back and see the individual trees. The phoenix rose from the ashes of that catastrophe.
Given time, we (like nature) find equilibrium, and what was once uncertain becomes the norm.

Floating geometric beds at the Halifax Public Gardens

Remember the old red roof? The restoration of the bandstand last year was beautifully executed and has returned it to its former splendor. If you were sad to see the old roof go, you must admit that it’s been an improvement.

Flora and Diana at the Halifax Public Gardens

Getting to know each other over a drink. Flora’s new best friend Diana has firmly cemented her NBF status. After the sad demise of Finegan (Flora’s mate), Flora attached herself to a new companion at the wildlife preserve. He followed her to the Gardens in early spring but the domestic arrangements didn’t work. Enter Diana. When I visited, they were following each other around. Flora was even trying to teach Diana to beg… I thought only dogs knew that trick.

Waterfowl house at the Halifax Public Gardens

The waterfowl house once served the community of birds that was kept at the Gardens. Today (and thanks to Juan) it resembles a little cottage by the lake, and houses the pumping station for the circulating water system. The community of birds are still around… but they come and go as they please.

Miniature house by the upper bridge at the Halifax Public Gardens

Post Juan, this has become one of the most  visited sites at he Public Gardens. When the Elms that stood at the corners of the bridge toppled, it opened up the opportunity to turn a shady neglected area, into a  beautiful photo-op by widening the stream and planting a mixed border along it.

Rododendrons and Aliums at the Halifax Public Gardens

Has anyone else noticed that the Rhododendron all over the city are spectacular this year?
In fact most of the flowering plants in my garden seem to be on steroids this year. Must have been the mild winter. The massive purple Rhododendrons are just hitting their peak at the Gardens. Next week they should be a sight!

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud tree) at the Halifax Public Gardens

OK I lied! Not all plants have been floriferous. This Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) put on a pathetic floral display though the red heart-shaped leaves still make it an interesting tree. You notice a lot of these trees in Ontario (particularly when in bloom), but not here. Maybe our climate isn’t hot of dry enough for them.

Fagus sylvatica pendula 'Purpurea' and Flora at the Halifax Public Gardens

Flora the goddess of flowers and springtime, has done an excellent  job this year. Thank you.

Azaleas and contorted trunk at the Halifax Public Gardens

The contorted trunk behind the Azaleas looked like a prehistoric creature taking off.

Aliums and Dicentra spectabilis alba (white Bleeding Hearts) at the Halifax Public Gardens

The all white perennial border by the Boer War fountain in coming in to its own. It had matured into a nice border last year and will just keep getting better as the perennials grow to their full  size.

I feel better now! Change was a theme that kept repeating itself this week and I needed to sort it out.
Now for continuum…. Things are warming up as ‘the season’ kicks off at the Gardens. The Sunday Band Concert Series begin next Sunday, my free weekly tours begin on Wednesday and The Friends of the Public Gardens will be holding their AGM and electing a new board next Saturday. Hope to see/meet you at one of these events.

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