Shining the light on a great year.

This is it! The end of a very busy season at the Gardens.
It was a year filled with celebrations, restorations, entertainment and fabulous weather.

We celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the Titanic Centenary, and Nocturne: Art at Night.
Repairs and restorations took place all season long. Every fountain was worked on, the Gardeners lodge  underwent reparations… even the Titanic got a make over. The jewel in the crown however, was the restoration and unveiling of the Victoria Jubilee fountain on the night of Nocturne, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was a thrilling sight (and sound) and it will be a hard act to follow.

On the festival front, the Open House kicked off the season in May and welcomed the public into the greenhouses to meet the Gardens staff and pick their brains.
The Dahlia festival was a great success, welcoming back the very entertaining and talented Neville who had the bounty of the Gardens to choose from for materials for his arrangements. Lucky man.

The concert series entertained the public from the bandstand as it traditionally has for over a century,  with special performances mid-week during the Tattoo.
Children’s imaginations were stirred by the  weekly story time at Horticultural Hall courtesy of The Uncommon Grounds and Woozle’s bookstore.

It was a year of many firsts…. donation boxes were installed to help visitors show their appreciation (and support) of the Halifax Public Gardens, Switch (the first Sunday closing of a street for public enjoyment) ended its route at the main gates, and this winter the Gardens will trial an ‘Open Gate’ policy  during the week (conditions permitting).

And last but certainly not least… the Gardens were stunning, thanks to the planning and hard work of the staff of the Gardens, and a generous Mother Nature.

Frozen Griffins pond on a cold November morning.

Morning is my favorite time of day so I braved rush hour and arrive at the Gardens as the gates open.
There was a kind of hush inside the gates as though the city hadn’t fully awoken, and the sun rose to shine a light on the mundane and make it beautiful.

Fagus sylvatica ( European Beech tree) at the Halifax Public GardensMy favorite tree (Fagus sylvatica- European beech tree, on the path to the Soldier’s fountain) was the only thing tall enough to see the light of day.

Squirel at the Halifax Public GardensIt was breakfast time for some….

Pidgeon party at the Halifax Public GardensAnd bath time for others…

Morning on the upper bridge of the Halifax Public Gardens

And some of us found the inspiration we were looking for.

Ceres in the morning light.A hardy fellow. This Quercus robur (English oak tree) tenaciously holds onto its leaves.

A frozen Griffins pondNot thick enough to skate on but it served to gather the waterfowl in the few ice-free areas available (right beside the waterfowl house).

Gardeners Lodge after repairsThe scaffolding is finally gone from the Gardeners lodge, the last of the work for this season.

Phase III of the Victoria Jubilee CampaignThe Victoria Jubilee Campaign will continue its work to restore the aging elements of the Gardens.
In 2011 it focused on the bandstand, replacing the roof and restoring it to its former splendor. This year to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the  Victoria Jubilee fountain, which had been installed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, was restored.
Next on the agenda are the urns donated by Sir William Young in 1887, which surround the bandstand. They were a mass-produced item with a ten-year guarantee when purchased from Austin & Seely company in England.
I guess they hadn’t invented planned obsolescence yet.

Cherubs on the VG fountainA toast to a very successful year!

Thank you for following my photo tours and for your lovely comments. I will resume the photo tours next April when the Gardens re-open for the season. Between now and then I will go beyond the Gardens path once a month and feature other gardens.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a very festive holiday season to you all. May the New Year bring you good health and prosperity.
Cheers, Serena.

All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2012. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.