Agave Update

Last month I shared the story of our local celebrity Agave plant. You might recall that this momma plant set up her once-in-a-lifetime flower stalk a wee bit early in the season. When she quickly out grew her greenhouse in the Halifax Public Gardens, she had to me moved outside into some very chilly temps. She attracted National attention as we all crossed our fingers for her.

Just after I shared the post with you, we suffered some pretty seriously freezing temps. It cold enough to pretty much wipe out the wine grape crop and half the blueberry crop (just to name a few) province-wide.

We worried.

Her flower stalk completely stopped growling. It was even reported that the Agave had suffered too much and had, in fact, died before she could bloom.

We mourned.

But! Look!!

Just when we’d abandoned hope, she rallied! And today, a closer look suggests that she is ready to bloom!

At least, that’s how it looks to me.

It’s nice to see that she has lots of company in her garden bed now. Including two sister agaves.

I’m going to have to drive into town next week to check again. I’ll be expecting some flowers.

Stay tuned….

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Doors Open

The historic and beautiful Government House in Halifax threw open its doors to the public last weekend. And Mrs Nosey (me) wandered in to take a look.

Constructed in the early 19th Century – it was move-in ready by 1805 – this is the oldest continuously occupied government residence in Canada.

In fact, it rivals only the White House in Washington for the title within North America.

That’s an interesting fact, don’t you think?

Even more interesting, and one worth researching,is the story of Governor John Wentworth and his clever, social climbing wife Lady Francis.

This couple secured the funding and commissioned the construction of this Georgian mansion, in the style of a grand English manor house.

This hand painted silver wallpaper was imported from China, via England, and was transported in tea crates cut into squares to fit the crates. As you can see, Halifax’s salt air has a oxidizing effect on the silver. Making it all the more beautiful, I believe.

I’m so happy for the chance to take this fun and frivolous tour. It’s a property I’ve rushed by hundreds of times in downtown Halifax.

(Linked with Norm’s Thursday Doors)

Liquid Sunshine

The 24th of May

Is the Queen’s birthday,

And if we don’t get a holiday,

We’ll all run away!

(A little rhyme from my grandfather’s childhood)

I’m not sure why we, here in Canada, still recognize Queen Victoria’s birthday with a holiday weekend, but I’m not complaining.

Neither, it seems, is anyone else.

Maybe because if falls nicely in May just in time to throw ourselves at the garden with enthusiasm.

Anyway, a walk through Halifax’s Formal Victorian Public Gardens, seems a nice way to tip our hat to Her Majesty. Even though it was raining – pouring, at times.

Hmmm. Someone looks a little impatient with me stopping every moment or two.

Understandable, really, as we were on a mission to find this now famous mama. (It was only me who was interested in strolling 馃槈)

The gardens’ 25 year old agave plant had to be moved out of her greenhouse earlier this spring because her flower stalk had become too tall for the building. The flower stalk can grow 5-6 inches per day, apparently.

And there she is – in her, presently muddy, bed. No flower yet. That might be due to the cool temps, or maybe she just isn’t in a hurry. After all, once the flower sets seeds, the mother plant will die.

Take your time, dear, and enjoy the Spring. There is a new queen in the Gardens.

Long may you reign.

WPC – liquid

Nautical Doors

The Tall Ships have been and gone.

After much anticipation and massive preparations, 25 Tall Ships visited Halifax for a festive weekend July 30 – Aug 1. There were parties, concerts, picnics, ship tours and fireworks.

Led by Sail Training International, Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is a聽transatlantic race of 7,000 nautical miles taking place over the course of five months in 2017. The race started at the port of Royal Greenwich in Great Britain on April 13.

It finishes in the port of Le Havre, France, which will welcome the grand winner between August 31 and September 3.

The Race route included stops in Portugal, Bermuda, the United States and Canada – coinciding nicely with Canada’s 150th Anniversary as a county.

From Halifax, 13 of the ships made their way to Lunenburg for the weekend of August 10-12. And what’s time we had!!

Alongside Lunenburg’s “shorter” waterfront (no high-rises here!), these tall masts seemed all the more impressive.

The party is over now. And we wish them all Fair Winds!

Linked with Norm’s Thursday Doors

Resilient

Spotted in late August, this little tomato plant is the best example of resilience I have seen in a while. 

I’m assuming the seed of a patio tomato fell from a nearby balcony, lodged itself in a space between the sidewalk and a foundation on a downtown street.  It then would have survived the freeze and thaw cycles of an icy North Atlantic winter.  It would have been tread upon and scraped over. 

Not only did it survive the Halifax winter (and “spring”!) but grew to blossom and even produce fruit on a shaded street that is dominated by massive urban building project. 

If this had been a wee spruce tree, or other native spicies, it would, perhaps have been a charming find.  But a tomato?  Here?  Impressive!  

My hat goes off to you little plant!  I hope the seed of one of those tomatos carries on your impressive will.  

A Book Walk

My past few posts reflect some of my travel experiences, so let’s bring it a little closer to home. 聽Come with me for a walk through the (relatively) brand spanking new Halifax Central Library聽–聽Opened December 2014.


In a city settled in 1749, and which celebrates it’s history, change does not come easy.

So, when it became apparent that the existing library building no longer met the city’s needs, a series of public meetings and consultations followed by proposed designs and more public meetings, wringing of hands and fretting ensued. 聽In the end though, we have this stunning piece of architecture in the heart of our old city.


Designed to resemble a stack of books, the outstanding feature is the 5th floor cantilever over the entrance plaza.



Inside, many public and private spaces are created around the central atrium and its criss-crossing staircases.

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The roof-top terrace offers a broad view of the Halifax Harbour, the historic South End and the Downtown (CBD). 聽Inside, all that glass provides an appealing interaction between the urban neighbourhood and the cosy spaces within. There are small meeting pods, living room-like spaces, an auditorium, community rooms, an enormous children’s 聽section, banks of computer games as well as…….lots and lots of books!!


And coffee! 聽Gotta have coffee!


The reference section keeps safe and available the documents which record the history, of which we are so proud.

There are information “booths” on all floors…..


…. And the sparkling main circulation desk is backed by an interesting art installation. 聽Each of those wee pieces of art on the wall behind the desk is an individual painting. 聽And each is exactly the size of the card that librarians keep in the pocket of a library book. 聽Lovely, don’t you think?


The Central Library has been an architectural success, garnering many awards, including the “World Building of the Year Award in the Civic and Community Category” 聽in 2015 at the World Architcture Festival in Singapore. 聽But even better than that, with 6,000 visitors per day in a city of 414,000 souls (298,000 in the urban core) Haligonians and visitors alike have embraced this place – making truely the “city’s living room”, just as the designers proposed.

Thanks for walking with me. 聽Now I’d better get reading before my books are due back…….

These photos were taken with my iPhone just last month (Feb. 2016).

Gathering

Gathering on rainy Saturday morning at the Halifax Seaport Market.

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Brunch on the steps….

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While listening to some live music.

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Visit a few of the vendors.

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The oldest continuously running farmer’s market in North America, now housed in a beautiful bright building on the waterfront. Nice and warm inside on a cold damp day.

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And all ready for Christmas.

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Happy Christmastime to you. May peace and love bind you and joy be yours this Holiday season.

WPC – gathering聽 聽 聽All photos by iPhone.