We’ve only just begun…

Mother nature has finally decided to be kind and bring a little warmth our way. The plentiful rain, and advanced season finally prompted the leaves to ‘pop’ once we had three consecutive days of sun and warmth.
What a difference it has made to the Gardens (and our spirits).

Good balance at the Halifax Public GardensThe weather was driving us all crazy!!! We had to grab our pleasure where we could.

Recast urns at the Halifax Public GardensThe recast urns are back… still empty , but in place and ready to go for another 125 years.
This was the final stage of the Victoria Jubilee Campaign which raised funds for the restoration of the bandstand (2011), the Victoria Jubilee fountain (2012), and the six Young urns (2014).

Bandstand at the Halifax Public GardensOak tree (Quercus) leaves are amongst the last to leaf out…

Lower stream at the Halifax Public GardensAfter the warm weekend we had last week, the scenario has changed completely. It looks like full summer (if you ignore the spring perennials), but with that fresh luminescence to the leaves and no slug holes yet.
Surprisingly the Gardens don’t suffer from slugs much… I haven’t figured out why yet.

Matching (Prunus) Cherry and Rhododendrons at the Halifax Public GardensIt was a sea of pink flowers everywhere you looked. The Cherry trees (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) were in their glory (there are two of them) and the Rhododendrons were just beginning to open.
This weekend (and for the next couple of weeks) the display will be quite stunning. Just in time for Helen’s Rhodo walking tours and Kathleen’s historical tour, on Sunday.

Ceres at the Halifax Public GardensNo she isn’t overcome by seeing the tree Prince Charles planted, she wants a high-five! You can just see the bare branches of the small Quercus (Oak tree) to the right of the statue of Ceres.
That little oak tree is going to be a very big oak tree… it’s going to get very crowded in that area with two giant oaks (the one King George VI planted is not very far) competing for space and light.

Grotto at the Halifax Public GardensThere is a lovely boggy area with a couple of benches near the Grotto, that few people frequent. The plantings around there are very floriferous in spring. Unfortunately it doesn’t do anything to make the Grotto appear more comely.

Storytime at the Halifax Public GardensStory time! Every Tuesday and Thursday morning the Uncommon Grounds cafe and Woozles bookstore put on story time for the kids. No kindles in sight thank goodness… just plain old fashion books.

IMG_4378Our beautiful Public Gardens is loosing its most valuable asset. Chief Horticulturist Bev MacPhail is retiring.
In the old days she would have been called Superintendent of the Gardens (though there was never a female at the helm in the old days).
Bev has the rare ability of bringing out the best in people.  She is like a conductor who directs other people into creating something beautiful together.
Understated, grounded, hard-working, someone we would refer to as ‘Salt of the earth’, Bev has steered the Gardens for the past 8 years, into its present day glory.
She won the HRM Award of Excellence in 2010.
Bev was the person who encouraged and supported me into writing and conducting tours for the Gardens. That began my volunteerism at the Gardens, which has enriched my life immeasurably.
She has also been a wonderful partner to the Friends of  the Public Gardens, making herself available to us, facilitating our various projects and generally being very supportive and fostering an atmosphere of co-operation.
Thank you Bev. Enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation, and time with your family.
Their gain is our loss.

Saturday, June 21 10-12PM
Nova Scotia Archives
The Friends of the Public Gardens Annual General Meeting

Please join us and help us elect our new board of directors.
Bev MacPhail will be giving a ‘state of the garden’ address and refreshments and social time will follow. We promise to keep the formalities short.

All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2014. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.


1 thought on “We’ve only just begun…

  1. Serena

    Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate the support received from the Friends of the Public Gardens. My work at the Public Gardens has been rewarding, challenging and given me a sense of purpose. Serena you have provided a great service to the Public Gardens visitors with the weekly guided tours and this blog. Your photographs are amazing and words thoughtful. I will follow the blog after I retire.

    Bev MacPhail
    Horticulture Supervisor-Public Gardens and Greenhouses

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