The changing seasons of our lives.

Each of our lives are made up of a series of events, or milestones. Our first job, our first house, marriage, parenthood…
They all follow the same pattern. Things begin slowly, tentatively, then gain force and with time and experience, they become all encompassing. Eventually  you settle in and the wonder fades a little becoming something you take for granted though are loath to part with. Ultimately all things come to pass.
Some people refer to this as chapters in the book of life, I’ve always thought of my milestones as seasons of my life.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned not to mourn the passing of these seasons, but instead I acknowledge their existence and turn toward what comes next.

5 years ago, I began my alliance with the Public Gardens. My baby steps eventually led me to combine my love of horticulture, photography and history into a blog, doing tours, posting on social media, and being a member of the board.
Of all my rolls with the Gardens, this blog became my favourite. Every week brought a new revelation and a deeper understanding of this wondrous place.
I seldom planned what I would write, relying instead on the pictures that emerged from my camera to decide what my topic would be.
It’s been an incredibly creative process and one that has been extremely rewarding.

As serendipity would have it, the seasons of my life are changing yet again and the role I’ve played at the Gardens and with The Friends is slowly diminishing.
Time for fresh blood and fresh eyes to continue to tell the story of this wonderful green space in the heart of our city.

But before I pass on the reigns I’d like to share some of my favourite photos or memories of the past 5 years. A last kick at the can so to speak, and a chance to say goodbye.

Magnolia stellata overlooks the lighthouse on the small island in Griffin's pond.

Magnolia stellata overlooks the lighthouse on the small island in Griffin’s pond in May.

Rhododendrons at the Halifax Public Gardens

The Rhododendron walk as seen from the blue perennial bed. Mid to late June is amongst the prettiest time to visit the Gardens… certainly the most floriferous.

Main gates at the Halifax Public Gardens

A collection of pink Rhododendrons welcomes the public, as they enter the Gardens through the main gates in mid June.

Laburnum at the Halifax Public Gardens

The beautiful and poisonous Laburnum tree (Golden Chain tree) in the lower pond beside the lower bridge in mid June.

A foggy morning at the Halifax Public Gardens

One of my favourite images which includes one of my favourite trees (the Golden Elm tree on the right) and these spectacular scarlet roses (Royal William), enhanced by a  very Maritime occurrence… fog.

Griffin's pond at the Halifax Public Gardens

On golden Griffin’s pond.

Upper bridge at the Halifax Public Gardens

I love how zoom lenses make the depth of field shallow, enabling a beautiful composition using the perennial bed in the forefront and the upper bridge in the rear.

Blue heron at the Halifax Public Gardens

A frequent visitor to the Gardens in late summer and fall, I luckily managed to catch this blue heron in the act of securing her meal.

Birds of Paradise at the Halifax Public Gardens

A bird of a different feather…  This bird of paradise in a container on the deck of the cafe, lives up to it’s moniker.

The Grande Allée at the Halifax Public Gardens

After 140 odd years in existence, the Grande Allée just keeps getting grander in spite of the odd hurricane or two.

Powers memorial baths at the Halifax Public Gardens

The Power memorial baths shine the light on a very talented and influential family. The Gardens wouldn’t be the same without Power’s 75 years at the helm.

Swan fountain at the Halifax Public Gardens

The Swan fountain by Horticultural Hall Plaza got decorated ahead of the pigeon party, courtesy of a gardener with a poetic heart and a love of recycling. No sense in wasting those Dahlias after they’ve been removed from the beds.

Dahlias at the Halifax Public Gardens

One of the two award winning Dahlia beds at the Gardens.

Carpet beds at the Halifax Public Gardens 2012

My favourite mosaiculture. One of the carpet beds celebrated HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee in 2012.

Katsura tree at the Halifax Public Gardens

The magnificent Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree) does it’s thing turning a beautiful golden/coral colour while scenting the air with the perfume of cotton candy.

Fall colours at the Halifax Public Gardens

This is what happens when it’s drizzling and cold and you really don’t feel like going into the Gardens to take photographs. Kind of like when you go to a party you really don’t feel like going to and have the best time of your life.

Soldier's fountain at the Halifax Public Gardens

Another one of those cold photographing days. The flowing water had frozen on the pendulous branches of the Fagus sylvatica pendula (Weeping European beech).

Inauguration of the Victoria Jubilee fountain at the Halifax Public Gardens

The inauguration of the Victoria Jubilee fountain on the night of Nocturne 2012 was a magical experience. Not only was the Gardens open at night, but the fountain was lit up with a changing palette of colours while Handel’s water music played in the background. To watch the video click on the photo.

Winter at the Halifax Public Gardens

A picture taken through the Gardens fence. Horticultural Hall, home of great ice cream (brrrr), and a special holiday celebration which always gets me in the spirit of the season.

Thank you for coming with me alongthegardenspath for the last 5 years. Your comments and emails kept me going when I though there was nothing left to photograph.
Hopefully I’ll be allowed to contribute occasionally from beyond the Gardens path, and share other gardens with you.

In the meantime, I’ll still be leading my tours in the summers and I’d love to have you join me. Hasta pronto, see you soon, a bientôt and até logo.

All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2011- 2016. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.






22 thoughts on “The changing seasons of our lives.

  1. The Gardens are an important part of my life. Thank you for these gorgeous pictures.
    Jane Palmer

  2. We have so enjoyed the photo tours of the gardens. Very special to see them each time. Thank you very much for your wonderful contribution to documenting the Halifax Public Gardens. We will miss your “visit” on our screen.

  3. Hi Serena,

    I am really sorry to hear that you moving on from your role in the HPG.. I understand that things evolve and change in life but when there is one person that makes a huge difference in the ever flowing life of the Halifax Public Gardens it seems we are losing the most beautiful flower.

    You have brought to us the most amazing content and photographs over the years and this will be sorely missed. I wish you the very best in your future endeavours and may you enjoy your passion of gardening.

    Rodger LeDrew

  4. Having had the pleasure of working with you for the past few years I can say this from the heart one has put in more time and energy and shown their appreciation for our gardens more than you with such great results …along the gardens path has meant so much to so many people I know, and your love of the gardens was evident in every blog ..many thanks from myself and I am sure all my friends at 5770..

    • Thank you Jim. This is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. We were a good team! Now we get to sit in the Gardens, enjoy the surroundings and chat with the gardeners and anyone else who will give us a moment.

  5. As usual you have a way of helping others see the beauty in in our surroundings. Because of you I have gotten to know and appreciate the hidden gem we have in our city. Your blog will be missed. Glad you are still doing the tours.

  6. This final stroll through the gardens path was just what I needed this cold, rainy, windy night, though I will miss them! Your photos always inspire and challenge me, especially when you would take an “artistic angle” , I would always have to figure out where the shot was taken from! Those lovely mornings when we get to look up from gardening and see you’re bright smiling face with a swath of people on tour behind you, are some of my favorite! Thank you for your time you have so artistically volunteered, it has added so much to our special treasure, the Halifax Public Gardens! Look forward to the fresh green of spring when we get to see again. Cheers!

    • My camera captured the beauty you and all the gardeners created. Thank you for including me in “family” and making me feel a part of your special world. You are a talented group and I’m proud to know you.

  7. Beautiful pictures. I spent a great deal of my adult life in the gardens and since the Hurricane in 2003 and restoration as a result find the gardens better than ever. Nice to see the changing seasons …..

  8. I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful photos and inspiring write ups that came for the past number of years. I looked forward to each one like opening a precious gift. Your wit and wisdom gave us a very special look into the wonders of the Gardens like seeing it from angles we would otherwise never experience. Thank you for your dedication and wishing you all the best as you pursue other endeavors.

  9. Hi Serena,
    I will miss your beautiful photographs so much. Walking through the gardens I am able to appreciate their beauty—but focused and seen through your lens they take your breath away. They are stunning. Thank you so much.

  10. Serena, you wildly exceeded my expectations of posting a weekly photo blog on “what’s in flower at the Halifax Public Gardens.” Your combination of horticulture and photography skills with your artistic flare created a magical journey into the Halifax Public Gardens. The way you frame your photographs forced me to see the Gardens in a new wonderful way. Serena I wish you the best in your new season. Bev MacPhail

    • Thank you Bev. Especially for the opportunity you gave me in allowing me to conduct tours, then start a blog to show off what was in bloom. I got carried away 🙄 Without you none of this would have come to pass. THANK YOU!!!

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