This Week in History
Halifax Grows a Grand Garden
For the week of Monday August 26, 2013
On August 31, 1836, the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society (NSHS) presented a report aimed at convincing the government and the people of Halifax (Haligonians) that a public garden was needed. At the time, there was no place in Nova Scotia that was dedicated to the growing of rare plants and flowers.
The NSHS was provided with a 2.2 hectare (5.5 acre) lot in downtown Halifax where it created the NSHS Gardens.
In 1866, the city established a second smaller public garden right next to the NSHS gardens. A year later, the two were combined to form the Halifax Public Gardens. Over time, the Gardens have been expanded to their current 6.5 hectare (16 acre) size.
Landscape gardener Richard Power designed the Halifax Public Gardens with serpentine, scroll and carpet flower beds. In true Victorian fashion, the Gardens boasts several ornate fountains, a bandstand, ornamental urns, several statues, two decorative concrete bridges, and an elaborate wrought-iron fence, all of which were in place by the end of the 19th century. By the end of the 1870s, there were more than 100 different species of trees and plants in the gardens.
Located in the heart of Halifax, the Gardens are a rare surviving example of a Victorian garden in Canada. For its beauty and rarity, the Halifax Public Gardens was designated a national historic site in 1983.
- Date Modified: