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Showing posts from July, 2014

Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens

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The summer is advancing, but I yearn to go back to spring--and in this posting I shall! If you are a regular at "Prairiebreak" you're used to my droning commentary on picture after picture. After loading a slug of pix from this amazing garden, I realized my words are really unnecessary: this gem of a garden is perched at the far West end of Nova Scotia in a picturesque town of a few hundred people. Many things are noteworthy about the place: Annapolis Royale antedates St. Petersburg and Plymouth as a permanent settlement of Europeans in Northern America. And surely it's the smallest community in North America to host a really grand  botanical garden. The garden is picture perfect: the trees, shrubs and perennials are all planted in just the right way--a fantastic range from Rose and formal gardens (the latter only just being planted--you shan't see those), woodlands, bogs and a fabulous Rhododendron dell--and that's just scratching the surface. I think it…

Barking up the right tree

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I have recently sung the praises of Madrone, specifically the majestic Ericaceous tree of the Pacific coast, which I have admired from the time I was a child on my yearly (or often twice or thrice yearly) trips out to the coast to visit family or give talks. I fantasized that there had to be a place somewhere along the Pacific where this had been isolated inland and might prove hardy in our harsh, steppe climate...


 There may indeed be such a place, but part of the impetus to seek it out has been obviated by the existence of a truly hardy Madrone: I shall get around to providing evidence of that, but here you can see a young, but already impressive specimen I saw last Friday at the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque. There were many wonderful shrubs and trees I would have liked to transport home, but none more precious than their handful of specimens of Texas madrone--which is of course found in Mexico as well, but also in New Mexico (and possibly Arizona, if A. arizonica prov…