Sunday, June 16, 2013

public gardens

Following on the previous post, yesterday at the stamp market I found the complete set of these 1991 stamps featuring prominent Canadian public gardens
click on any of the links to learn more about the gardens history and amenities, if you are so inclined
some is more entertaining than others

from left to right [west to east] we have The Butchart Gardens, created by Jenny Butchart at Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island. When the quarry started by her husband had been depleted near their house, she decided to transform the site. A massive undertaking, as tons of top soil had to brought in from neighbouring farms by horse and cart. Over the years added to the Sunken Garden was a Japanese garden, an Italian Garden and a Rose Garden. It fell into disrepair during WWII but after the Butcharts passed away in the 1950s, a grandson took over the task of restoring it to its former glory. It is, perhaps, the most famous of the gardens. And yet, I have never been.

next is the International Peace Garden begun as a testament to the "goodwill, understanding and co-operation between Canada and the US". Located at the exact centre of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it borders Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith North Dakota and was officially opened in July 1932. This is the only one that is open 24 hours a day and has camping facilities as one of its many features. None of my camping was done in such colourful surroundings!

then we have the Royal Botanical Gardens located at the western edge of Lake Ontario bordering Hamilton and Burlington in Southern Ontario. It was created as a 'rival' to Britain's famous Kew Gardens. The original vision was for a mix of horticultural displays and protected natural forests and wetlands. A tract of land on the Niagara escarpment was set aside and hundreds of jobs during the Great Depression were created during its building (as with Butchart Gardens, an abandoned quarry was redeveloped as the Rock Garden). This is my local garden and I've taken advantage of the many programs and activities throughout the park's 1,100 hectares.

The Montreal Botanic Gardens in Quebec are next up. This 82 year old garden is a National Historic Site made up of several thematic gardens and greenhouses. It is at Sherbrooke St at Maissoneuve Park facing the Olympic Stadium. While the gardens are bare during the winter months of November to April, the greenhouses are open year round. A detailed archival history can be found here

The most easterly garden in this series is also the oldest. Formally established in 1867, the Halifax Public Garden is in Nova Scotia. It began as an amalgamation of two smaller gardens (as well as a bit of wasteland and an estate) near the shopping district of Spring Garden Rd. The 16 acres has a formal Victorian landscaping style and not much of the gardens had changed until 2003 when Hurricane Juan wreaked havoc and destroyed many of the trees. New infrastructure and restoration of the buildings began in earnest and, as is usual for gardens, continues.


  1. Oh, wow! What beautiful stamps and what wonderful gardens. Such a pity that they're rather a long way from Scotland... but I'd love to see them.

    Just seen that you're unlikely to go to Sandringham because your cousin has bad memories of Norfolk. How sad. Norfolk to me is a paradise because of having had so many wonderful family holidays there - and it's also very pretty. Still, there are lots of lovely places in the world... most of which one will never see, alas, in one lifetime.

    1. It is a pity they are all so far away from each other, too.
      ... and I could always travel by myself to Norfolk and all the other lovely places


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