Monday, March 23, 2015

Halifax Public Gardens

Van Dusen wasn't the only garden I visited last year.  Later in the summer we made a short trip to Halifax.  Oddly enough I always seem to end up in Halifax during the winter.  This was my first time there in summer and I knew exactly what I wanted to see.  I've walked past this garden many times but it's closed in winter.

This time I was able to walk right in and see all the sights at the Halifax Public Gardens.  This garden is a national historic site created in 1874 when two older gardens were combined.  It's a Victorian style garden and very different from the gardens I am used to seeing.

Victorian gardens tend to be quite formal.  They were used to displayed exotic plant collections and often had brightly coloured symmetrical flower beds.  Ornamentation was prized and Victorians did it big displaying large gazebos and sculptures.

The Halifax garden demonstrated many of these typical Victorian characteristics.  There were numerous statues and grand water features.

This very ornate bandstand is surrounded by brightly planted perennial beds.

 Many plantings were impossibly intricate, like this snake that wove through the grass.

There were several of these snakes winding around, perfectly edged and planted in annuals.

Even the more natural looking plantings still featured statues and large masses of plants.

I really enjoyed some of the wonderful plant displays like this one of locally grown dahlias.

This was a great way to search out new plants for my own garden.

I did find though that the Victorian gardening technique was a bit stuffy for me.  I'm not a huge fan of annuals and I like a bit of a wild look to my gardens.  Regardless, I loved being able to wander through this large park in the middle of the city.  It's a welcome refuge from the bustle and noise.

Have you seen any Victorian gardens?  What's your favourite garden style?