Progress reporting…

It’s mid-summer though you’d be forgiven for not knowing that.
After 11 days of rain and grey skies, summer finally made her reappearance and had the good grace to do so during the whole of the Natal Day weekend.
Looking back at the last years photos, you can see that our season is quite delayed.
However that’s the way gardens go. Always different year to year, perpetually changing.
We may note the changes, but future observers will view it as a static thing.

Model of the HMCS Sackville in the Halifax Public Gardens

So let me introduce to you… HMCS Sackville joined the Gardens last month. The model is a replica of Canada’s oldest fighting warship. Launched in 1941, she  made 30 trans- Atlantic crossings escorting the convoys often through brutal battles.
In 1952 she became a research vessel.
Today this National Historic Site is a museum ship at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Titanic model in Griffin's pond at the Halifax Public GardensHer pond neighbour arrived after her (at least this year she did). Titanic needed a huge amount of work, a task the Clary Peters must be getting tired of by now.
Currently the forecastle and masts are missing and the supports for the main deck have rotted away.
Each year the Titanic is removed from the pond and worked on, but after 21 years and a once thriving ant colony a new one was needed and is waiting to be completed.
Clary has the new hull ready which he hopes will include ballast tanks. He also plans to redo the superstructure.
The new model will one day be completely made of fibreglass.
Unfortunately Clary is having a hard time finding space to work in. The museum lacks space and no other suitable place has materialized, so if you (or someone you know) have an appropriate space that Clary can use to make her rise again… please let me know.

Gardeners Lodge under renovation beside the Halifax Public GardensIn 2013 scaffolding went up on the Gardeners Lodge to
begin repointing the brick work. It ended up being a much larger job.
The building was built in 1902 to serve as lodgings for the Gardens superintendents. Later it became an administrative building for HRM staff.
It’s future purpose is still a bit of a mystery.Newly restored Gardeners Lodge at the Halifax Public GardensAll that remained of the scaffolding this morning was a fence.
The use of copper to replace the metals parts (most of which could not be salvaged) will last much longer than its predecessors. Once the copper dulls to green it will look more like the original Queen Anne structure we were familiar with. This detailing is quite impressive.

Halifax Public Gardens Missing something?Pinus cembra (Swiss Stone Pine) at the Halifax Public Gardens People always asked me if this Pinus cembra (Swiss Stone Pine) leaned that way because of Hurricane Juan. Trees don’t usually lean into the wind so no I don’t think so, though whatever the reason, it was leaning dangerously and had to be taken down.

Senna didymobotrya (popcorn cassia) at the Halifax Public GardensNew this year to the Tropical fruit bed (my name for it) near Hort Hall, Senna didymobotrya (popcorn cassia) a legume native to Africa which has a strong scent reminiscent of burnt popcorn or peanut butter.
The flower raceme is composed of open flowers in the bottom and unopened buds at the top. Hardy to zone 10A it will surely spend the winter in the greenhouse.

Fence restoration begins at the Halifax Public GardensAnd with the completion of the Gardeners Lodge…. drumroll please… the next project in the never-ending maintenance list of a centuries old garden is the perimeter fence. It will soon be taken down, the old paint removed and it will be renewed. I’ll let you know the details once I know them.

Caring for an injured pigeon at the cafe at the Halifax Public GardensSarah takes care of injured birds as well as customers of the Uncommon Grounds cafe.  Above and beyond the call of duty.

Ducklings at the Halifax Public GardensMany theories have been bandied about as to the reason why there are no ducklings at the Public Gardens. My telephoto lens uncovered the reason why. Mama’s smart and keeps them in the middle of the pond among the reeds.Via Rail's dream garden contestPast winners of this contest have chosen the Halifax Public Gardens as their destination dream garden. Aren’t we lucky?
What garden would you choose?
You can find out more about the beautiful gardens across Canada that you could win a visit to here.

Hope you all enjoyed this beautiful long weekend.
I took my husband to the Uncommon Grounds cafe this morning for breakfast and a walk around the Gardens (a bit of a busman’s holiday). He was astounded at how beautiful the place was (he doesn’t do my tour often) and wondered why the cafe deck wasn’t packed. I had to remind him it was 8:15AM on a long weekend.
If you hadn’t had the pleasure… trust me, go down for a coffee or an ice cream and I guarantee you, you’ll leave refreshed.

Lot’s more going on a the Gardens this summer so check out our Calendar of Events to see what’s coming up.

A bientôt!

All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2013-2015. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.

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