Dig in and explore the growing gardens across Nova Scotia. The different climates around the province allow different plants and flowers to grow to new heights. These gardens are full of all kinds of plants. The diversity of the natural landscapes are complemented by these beautiful gardens. From beautiful flowers to edible herbs, Nova Scotian gardeners design amazing gardens.
So, you should take some time to stop and smell the roses, along the other flowers and plants that call Nova Scotia home.
1. Halifax Public Gardens
Located in the heart of Halifax is one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian Garden in North America. The Halifax Public Gardens are 17-acres that are enclosed by a gorgeous set of ornamental gates hung on wrought-iron fences. The garden is home to native and exotic trees, flowers, and shrubs. There are also fountains and statues along the paths throughout the gardens.
The Halifax Public Gardens were recognized as a National Historic Site in 1984, which makes them a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. There are afternoon band concerts from mid-June to mid-September, which you can attend for free. You can also visit them to just enjoy a leisurely stroll, or pack a picnic and relax in the gardens. Halifax Public Gardens
2. Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum Gardens – Cole Harbour
The Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum Gardens grows heritage plants that they have saved from old farms. They also grow newer varieties of the heritage plants according to the plant’s growing needs to maximize the species, flowering seasons, and uses of the variety of plants that are grown there. The garden grows along the paths around the heritage buildings. There are also tidy plots for growing vegetables and greens that are served in the tea room.
This garden is a rural oasis, in the modern suburban area of Cole Harbour, where wildflowers grow undisturbed. You can take a stroll on the tree and shrub lined paths leading to the neighbouring pond. So, take a day to get away from the rush of the city and relax by the vegetable patches. Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum Gardens
3. Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus – Halifax
There are over 60 hectares of gardens to explore at the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus. The extensive plant collection includes farm crops, trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Each area has a theme, which includes an herb garden and rock garden that have walls and courtyards made of natural stone.
Each year, more plants are added to the garden. The garden is a living laboratory for the horticulture students. There is a 2.1 km walking trail that you can explore that will take you directly to many of the themed gardens. These gorgeous gardens are an excellent place to take wedding, prom and Instagram photos. Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus
4. Tangled Garden – Grand Pré
The Tangled Garden is both a delightful garden and a working farm. This garden has been twenty-five years in the making and covers four acres of gently, sloping land. The garden is over 3 acres in size and includes sculptures as well the herbs grown there. This classic garden has rooms that start the growing process for many of the plants that are added to the garden.
The garden is full of fresh herbs and fruits that are used to make cordials, vinegars, liqueurs, and jellies at the tea room. You can explore the wildflower labyrinth and enjoy the amazing views of the dyke lands and the Minas Basin. Tangled Garden
5. The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens – Wolfville
Located on the beautiful campus of Acadia University, this garden provides visitors and locals alike with a unique look at the area’s indigenous plants. The garden opened in September 2002 as a tribute to K.C. and Harriet Irving and has been growing ever since. This gorgeous garden is home to plants from nine different forest habitats, which represent the native plant communities of the Acadian Forest Region.
There is also a formal walled garden, an interwoven linden hedge, and an herbaceous bank on the six acres of public gardens. The food and medicinal gardens grow local herbs and vegetables. So, take a stroll through the beautiful gardens, you can rest on one of the benches along the pathways or watch the ducks in the sandstone lily pools and babbling brook. The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens
6. Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens – Annapolis Royal
Rated as Canada’s 2015 Garden of the Year, the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens is 17 acres of gardens overlooking the tidal river valley. The Historic Gardens showcase a variety of gardening methods, materials and designs from the last four hundred years of Canadian history. The Historic Gardens have the largest rose collection in Eastern Canada, which makes it a gardener’s paradise and a photographer’s delight.
There is a reconstructed Acadian house from 1671 that will amaze you with its nail-free construction and heavily thatched room using elephant grass.There is an area where you can see and walk on the levees built by the Acadians, which is a wonderful way to get a good view of the bay. Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
7. Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site – Maitland Bridge
The Kejimkujik National Park was established in 1969 and was recognized for its old growth forest, traditional Mi-kmaq waterways, and rare wildlife. The extensive walking trails explore the forest and the hiking trails can take over 15 days for visitors to fully explore. The trails are lined with ferns, wild orchids, and other unique flora, including the water-pennywort and Long’s Bulrush.
There are two butterfly gardens at Kejimkujik National Park. The Kejimkujik’s Butterfly Club has created gardens to help the beautiful Monarch butterfly, which are a species at risk in Nova Scotia. Visitors can learn how to help this lovely species of butterfly by visiting the special Monarch exhibit. Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
8. Pine Grove Park – Milton
This park is a hidden gem in the Milton area. Pine Grove Park is over 54 acres of Community Park and has a wide, easy walking path. Along the paths are native flora, such as partridgeberry, Ionicera Canadensis, and lady’s slippers, along with planted magnolias, azaleas, and rhododendrons. The gardens were started by the late Captain Dick Steele, who was a Member of the Order of Canada and enjoyed plant breeding. There are graveled trails that lead to a picnic area and the beach, where you can enjoy a quick, dip in the Mersey. The park is also home to ducks, but there are signs posted that say ‘please do not feed the ducks.’ Pine Grove Park
9. Ouest-Ville Perennials – West Pubnico
The gardens and greenhouses at the Ouest-Ville Perennials are full of interesting plants and gardening ideas that will get you ready to head outside and start your own garden. They have a large selection of annuals, alpine, perennials, hardy perennials, herbs, ornamental grasses, and ‘David Austin’ Roses to look at. So, just relax and enjoy the fresh sea air as you explore the gardens.
However, do not be surprised if you happen to see a cat (or cats) relaxing in the sun or hiding in the plants. They are the owner’s cats and are enjoying the gardens, just like you. Come enjoy the garden and maybe take some plants home with you. Ouest-Ville Perennials
10. Blomidon Inn Gardens – Wolfville
Right outside of the Blomidon Inn is the restored Victorian styled gardens, which are bursting with color from early spring to late in the fall. There are 4 acres of the property that are divided into different styles of gardens to show off what Nova Scotia can grow. The pathway takes about 15 to 30 minutes for visitors to explore.
The terraced vegetable garden was added in 1996 and its produce is used in the dining room to make amazing dishes. A series of 3 pond gardens with cascading brooks, along with collections of indigenous rocks, was added a year later. Even though over 20 years have passed, the garden continues to grow and mature. Blomidon Inn Gardens
11. Seafoam Lavender Company and Gardens – River John
It all started with a couple of lavender plants and has grown to a field of over 8,000 lavender plants. The lavender is used to make the lovely products for sale at the shop. Even when the lavender is not in bloom, the scent of lavender is still in the air.
There are information panels with stories and interesting facts about lavender. The best time to visit is during July, when the lavender is at its peak. You can also pick your own lavender bouquet at the U-Pick garden. So, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the Northumberland coast, along with the flowers and scent of lavender. Seafoam Lavender Company and Gardens
12. Pebble and Fern Market Garden – Isle Madame
This unlikely and unexpected market garden is located on the small island of Petie de Grat, which is one of the two islands off the coast of Cape Breton. The garden grows organic, and heirloom vegetable, and you can buy the vegetables at the Farm Stand and the Isle Madame Public Market.
Feel free to tour the gardens or to shop the homegrown produce during your visit to Cape Breton. This garden maybe small, but it produces big flavours. Pebble and Fern Market Garden
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13. Leighton Dillman Park – Dartmouth
Across the street from the Dartmouth and near the Alderney ferry terminal, the Leighton Dillman Park is a nice break from busy shopping on the waterfront. The park is full of small gardens growing flowers and shrubs. The grounds are well-kept and beautifully groomed. However, the paths will take you up and down hills, so they can be challenging at times.
If you visit during the summer or early fall the Park Avenue Community Oven will be burning. Bring a pizza, or some vegetables and cook a meal in the outdoor oven. You may want to bring a chair or blanket as the picnic tables fill up fast. Pets are welcome in the park, but please keep them leashed. Leighton Dillman Park
14. North Highlands Community Museum Settlers Garden – Dingwall
The Settlers Garden opened in 2008, on the grounds of the North Highlands Community Museum, after a long year of designing, construction, planting and growing. The garden is made up of ten gardens that show off what early European settlers in the North Highlands of Cape Breton would have grown. Many flowers in the garden are not there to just look nice, they also are used to make teas and medicine.
The garden tries to be as sustainable as possible, mainly by using organic weed and pest controls. The trails have overripe fruit, along with vegetables and dead wood, which allows them to support the local ecosystems. North Highlands Community Museum Settlers Garden
15. Prescott House Museum Garden – Port Williams
The Prescott House Museum honors Charles Ramage Prescott, who was a member of the legislative house in both Kings County and Halifax. However, he was also known for his love of horticulture. Charles Prescott introduced many varieties of apples to the valley by growing them on his estate named Acacia Grove, which is now the Prescott House Museum.
The garden is in full bloom from June to October, so you can stroll through the rock garden, rose garden and perennial border in the informal English garden to the west of the house. The gardens are still in the same form as when they were first planted in 1935 by a landscape gardener from Scotland named Mary Stewart. Prescott House Museum Garden