Courtyard Garden of the Historical Garden, Annapolis Royal

We visited the Historical Garden in Annapolis Royal on our travels in Nova Scotia this past September. The first garden space inside the entrance wicket is the lovely Courtyard Garden, which is well worth a quiet wintertime review.

DSCN1999Much of the space is paved with handsome square-cut flagstones, among which are set groups of boulders. The boulders are framed with a very restrained assortment of plants: mostly just ferns and a grassy plant which seemed to be some form of iris (not in bloom in September). The rocks, the quiet green and grey palette, and the restrained planting, very Japanese in feeling.DSCN1998

From the courtyard, the visitor has views into two very enticing gardens: a waterlily pool, and a colourful little garden of annual bedding. Both views are very carefully and artfully composed. One may also leave the Courtyard space through a long vine-covered pergola, which leads to the perennial garden and the Victorian bedding garden, and thence to other parts of the Historical Garden..


If one turns right from the entrance, one can descend to the edge of a waterlily pool.


Steps down to a waterlily pool.
Steps down to a waterlily pool.

Turn the other way, and a space between two framing shrubs allows a glimpse of bright colour. The sun and hot bright colours in this garden are very different to the quiet greens and filtered sunlight in the courtyard.DSCN1983


The Courtyard is unified by its paving and boulders but it is quite a large space, as befits its purpose as a meeting space in a large public garden. It has sitting alcoves with benches. DSCN2000In the centre, in its sunniest spot, one of the boulders was fringed with pearly everlasting, in full bloom in September. Compared to the rest of the quiet garden, the pearly everlasting seemed a riot of bloom. In fact, pearly everlasting, with muted grey leaves and off-white blooms, suits the space beautifully.

I am inspired by this garden and plan to incorporate some of its design elements into the extension to our patio, a project we will undertaking next spring. (Oops, that should be THIS spring.)

It is now 2015. The days are getting longer, (though neither I nor the houseplants have really registered it yet.) A Happy New Year to you!DSCN1985



Published by

Trish Murphy

Artist: botanical, still life, and natural history illustration. Garden designer: native plants and naturalistic gardens