Monday, August 25, 2014

candy colored park


While our favorite park in Halifax is Point Pleasant, the large multi-pathed and semi-wild woodland that overlooks the harbor, the city does have a very rare (in North America) formal Victorian public garden at its heart. Even though we walk through its seventeen acres fairly often, I hardly ever remember to carry my camera. This time I did.


Known now as The Public Gardens, the park was established back in the 1830s and officially opened to visitors in 1867. It's home to several ornate fountains, a bandstand, statues, urns, a lake and a magnificent wrought iron fence and entrance. Also among their treasures are over 140 different species of trees, including unusual or rare species, some of them very old. There's an oak tree planted by King George VI and a new one next to it planted by Charles earlier this summer. So far that one doesn't have a plaque as I expect they're waiting to see if it survives a Nova Scotian winter or two. I'll wait a while before I take a picture.


As the aim of the urban Victorian garden was to display a great variety of plants in a confined space - confined, that is, by the standards of aristocratic country estates or the great landscape gardens of the eighteenth century - this one is very successful as you can see. I promise I didn't enhance any of these pictures. In fact, it's almost too much if it weren't for being quite nice to actually see.


The bandstand, renovated two years ago with a new copper roof, hosts concerts every Sunday afternoon in summer. Summer is most definitely the Season here. Happily for us locals the park has stayed open until the first big snowfall these past few years and reopens in April once the white stuff has safely gone.


The beautiful Victoria Fountain, built in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, was renovated just a year ago. Sorry, but I missed the proud seagull that was standing on her head just a second before.


The Soldier's Fountain was built in honor of WWI veterans. There's a bench just under those tree boughs on the right where it's nice to sit on hot summer days


There's also a lovely, if rather small, lake in mid-center of the park - another nice place to sit and visit with the ducks and other birds that happen by. Yep, it's pretty tranquil around here all right. I just wish I could say the same for everywhere else, each in its own special way.

17 comments:

marja-leena said...

A beautiful park indeed, and that little lake so tranquil and cool looking on a hot day! A lovely destination for a walk and I'm glad you remembered the camera, Susan.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Beautiful (although I do prefer the wilder less tended places), but beautiful.

Should Fish More said...

A fine park, looks well-tended. I've only been to one other 'Victorian' park in Canada, on Vancouver Island.

susan said...

The lake really is the centerpiece as far as I'm concerned, but the rest is very pretty. It's the park I told you about where it's mostly women who do the planting while the men ride the lawnmowers :)

susan said...

I prefer wilder places too, Andrew.

susan said...

Ah yes, Victoria's Butchart Gardens is a very lovely park. I lived in that part of the country for six years before moving to the US.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
I can understand why your favourite park in Halifax is Point Pleasant, as this Victorian style public garden looks simply stunning as is evident from your lovely pictures.
The park was established about the same time as many of our parks in Australia, to encapsulate the pleasing aesthetics of expansive grassed areas complemented by colourful displays of flowers, plants, water features and pavilions. Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens was established in 1846, with this previous swampy site transformed into the landscape we enjoy today.
Best wishes

Tom said...

A truly lovely park, but something moved inside me when I saw the central lake. That is something I really would like to see 'in the flesh', so to speak.

susan said...

I'm delighted you enjoyed seeing the pictures, Lindsay, and that they reminded you of another lovely garden closer to home.

susan said...

It does work well as a reflecting pool, Tom. :)

Rob-bear said...

It all looks so delightful. But I imagine that upkeep would be fairly expensive. I think you would ned ore than one or two gardeners.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

susan said...

Hi Rob, You're right it is a lovely place. It's also one of those places kept well looked after by the city parks dept. because it's a tourist draw. Most of the summer planting is done by members of the local horticultural club.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Just from looking at your pictures, I can see that this is a wonderful park. I am sure you enjoy it as often as possible.

Sean Jeating said...

Herewith there are already three of us.

susan said...

Since it's on the way to the grocery store where we buy our produce we stroll through at least once a week. The big wilderness park at the end of our road is our usual destination.

susan said...

I'd just seen your comment in email, Sean, and not added to this.
Yes, we are all three in agreement :)

Sean Jeating said...

Ha ha, so funny! :)