August 1, 2007

The camping trip was a success. We were 11 days in Nova Scotia starting off at the Bay of Fundy. I picked up a Garden Centres of Nova Scotia pamphlet at the Visitor Information Centre at the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border. We headed on the Glooscap Trail from Amherst, along the Minas Basin to Parrsboro through Truro to Shubenacadie. Along the way, we stopped in at Lowland Gardens in Great Village, NS.

Lowland Gardens have over 300 varieties of bedding plants, 275 plus varieties of perennials, 1500 hanging baskets, planter/window boxes, a wide selection of shrubs, herbs and vegetables and garden ornaments. They also have a small animal farm to entertain kids.

The nursery has a gorgeous pergola and a wide selection of plants.

Lupins are wildflowers in Nova Scotia and can be seen in great colorful masses along roadways. While at the nursery, I picked up a packet of seeds. I’m really looking forward to planting them and seeing how they grow.

We had fun playing with the goats.

We stopped off at Riverview Herbs, Atlantic Canada’s herb specialists with over 500 varieties, and had a look around.

There was an interesting array of herbs, including wormwood, yarrow and scented geraniums.

They had over 30 varieties of mint.

Just outside of Scots Bay, NS on our way to Cape Split, I saw this house with a gorgeous front bed and rock wall.

The amount of rocks to build this wall must have been massive. It was really inspiring to see this beautiful garden down a lonely road. In Nova Scotia you are always within 56 km of the Atlantic Ocean and I suspect these nicely-rounded rocks were washed up on a beach somewhere.

Following the Evangeline Trail, we went through Kentville to the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal.

There were several themed gardens and plant collections. Starting off in the main courtyard, we checked out the Innovative Garden which demonstrated modern horticultural methods and newly introduced plant material. Here they were testing out different types of mulch:

And yes, that is AstroTurf! They were also experimenting with water-filled tubes to insulate and release warmth to tomato plants, allowing them to plant up to 8 weeks earlier than usual. This picture, taken on July 13th, shows a tomato plant that was planted on April 21:

When planting my vegetable garden, I didn’t realize how short pea plants grow. I had planted them under a 6-foot trellis and they really only grew a maximum of 1 1/2 feet. I saw this trellis and thought it was a nice, rustic design:

Here are some more rustic trellis ideas:

We could smell the Rose Garden before we even got through the enterance:

The climbing roses on the sides of the arbour are called Sympathie and were planted in 1984. The scent was heavenly. Here’s a close-up:

The Rose Garden is the largest collection and displays over 230 different cultivars of roses in their historical context. My favourites were:

  • A Hybrid Rugosa rose called Snow Pavement, planted in 1984:

  • A Hybrid Tea rose called Miss Canada, planted in 1963:

  • A Grandiflora rose called Caribbean:

  • And a Floribunda rose called Red Hot, planted in 1988:

It was peak season for the Rose Garden and we had a really nice time walking through the maze of over 2,000 roses.

The Heather Collection had over 25 cultivars of Scotch Heather:

The Rock Garden Collection, built with large granite boulders, had a variety of alpine plants and dwarf shrubs:

The Perennial Bed (my favourite), was designed in an English border style with over 150 cultivars of herbaceous perennials.

Anyone know what these are? It didn’t have a label and I thought they looked really pretty.

I really liked the look of this garden and am now thinking about incorporating a version of it into my backyard. Unfortunately, Historic Gardens didn’t have a garden plan of this collection.

We left Annapolis Royal and headed down the Digby Neck to Brier Island. On the way we saw Pitcher Plants, a carnivorous and native wildflower of Nova Scotia:

At the base of this flower is a bunch of pitcher-like leaves which holds water and traps insects:

On Brier Island, we headed out to Seal Cove and saw lupins and wild irises on the way:

After taking two ferries to return to the mainland, we started on the Lighthouse Route passing through Shelburne where we stopped off at Spencer’s Garden Centre.

There was a beautiful rock garden display:

An inviting garden pond where I saw a very nice Hakuro Nishiki willow (upper right):

And lots of perennials and roses to salivate over:

From there we went to Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Halifax for the Tall Ships and Cape Breton for our final destination. It was a great trip, totalling over 5,600 km. I saw a lot of beautiful gardens and now have a greater desire to turn my it’s-okay-but-I-can-do-better flower beds into an impressive garden. Thanks for reading this far!

6 Responses to “Return”

  1. Dausta Says:

    Those are some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. I don’t even have to ask. If your trip was anything like those pictures it was excellent! Thank you so much for sharing those. The pictures make me want to pack up and go myself. There is nothing more exciting to me than the beauty and wonder of God’s handy work! Good job and I’m glad you had a good trip!

  2. Maureen Says:

    The plant you didn’t recognize is a Knifophia. A.K.A. Red Hot Poker Plant

  3. Ax Says:

    Beautiful photos!

  4. jodi Says:

    Kathy, that house with the stone walls is about a half-mile up the road from my place (mine is on the same side of the road, a little closer to Scotts Bay itself. It was really funny to see Neil’s house in your travels.
    Spencers and Lowland are both marvelous places, as is our Historic Gardens. Glad you had a terrific time on your trip, and hope your garden wasn’t too much out of control when you got back.

  5. Kathy Says:

    Jodi, that’s really cool! I love his house, the flower beds and rock walls are beautiful! It must have taken a lot of hard work to get it so impressively gorgeous. I can’t believe I drove past your house! What a small world. That was a very nice part of Nova Scotia, quiet and out of the way. I took those shots on our way to camp at Blomidon Provincial Park. If you see him, tell him I love his gardens!

  6. Oh, my gosh, what a wonderful trip to take. I can’t believe all the gardens – I’d have been in heaven. Glad you had such a great vacation.

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