Thursday, July 31, 2014

Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens

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's one of the handful of great gardens in all of North America. Ironically, the collateral damage of "9=11" has been to reduce their visitorship by almost half: an example of the grim downside of globalization.

Their extensive rose garden was just starting to come into active growth: beautifully laid out and meticulously maintained.

Acer pseudoplatanus--quite showy in bloom

Eleagnus umbellata: surprisingly hardy here.

Eleagnus umbellata may be invasive in milder climates, but it's not reliably hardy in Colorado

The obligatory paperbark maple--and this is a fabulous specimen

An Akadian cottage: delightful

Aesculus pavia hybrid

The herb garden had yet to be planted for summer--but good bones.

Bob Howard, my host and garden guru--now on the board of this Garden

I love Maidenhair fern!

A fine perennial border

Euphorbia griffithii--not seen much in the U.S.

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Trish Fry, who manages this garden, has a long history of involvement in this garden from her youth.

Karen Achenbach (Horticulturist) expressing a bit of shock, perhaps, at the planting task behind (or perhaps ahead of) her?

 The Laburnum walk just about to burst into bloom...

Hydrangea aspera ssp. sargentiana
A spectacular specimen of this rarely encountered hydrangea--growing far north of where it is supposed to be hardy. The Historical Gardens are truly blessed with a gentle microclimate.

One of the massive trees on the site--not many gardens exist in North America that have been occupied for so many centuries. I'd put this on your "must see" list: Nova Scotia ROCKS.


  1. It is too bad more people are not enjoying such a beautiful garden. It is a shame that a passport is needed to cross the Canadian/USA border. I am sure the extra effort needed to get a passport is deterring many who might visit this garden. I am sure some of the Canadians would gladly accept our money, even if other Canadians don't like the actions of some of our political leaders.

    It is lucky we have you. You are like our personal space probe travelling to far off places and reporting back. Even better is the fact that you cost much less than the typical NASA mission. Keep up the good work.


  2. You are too flattering, James! And I blush to think of myself as an eldery. chubby and balding Rover--but so be it! You're right I'm a lot cheaper than most any mission--although poor NASA's budget has been cut to more than the bone. I'd rather see some other budgets trimmed down more, if you know what I mean!

    I feel privileged indeed to rove! Believe me, there's a lot in the hopper that never gets out.

  3. Thanks for the tour! I'll be staying in Annapolis Royal in September and I'll be sure sure to visit the gardens!

    1. You are in for a fabulous time, Amy. It's a wonderful community.

  4. Thanks for sharing that beautiful garden! It’s pretty hard to grow plants on a wide lawn like that, and I am so amazed they’re able to take good care of the place. I really hope their green thumbs would further help cultivate the garden, and more plants would be added there. Have a great day, Panayoti! :)

    Sam Lucas @ Green Collar


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