Year of the Garden

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Follow along as regular contributor Frank shares his "Live the Garden Life" experiences during the Year of the Garden.

Feeling recharged from our Beyond Van Gogh immersive experience, and the stroll through the Halifax Public Garden - the colours (especially intense this day), the heady spring fragrances, the light sounds of the breeze through the young leaves on the trees - we walked the few blocks to the Garden restaurant. I made reservations partly because of the name, and, never having been before, the positive online reviews.

We noted the patio area but since it was in full shade, felt it would be too cold to dine outside. Seated at our table we admired the bright room with windows on two sides, the open kitchen beside us, and the bar at the far end. Houseplants were placed throughout the room, and two large gold chandeliers hung overhead. Our server offered us beverages and Gayle selected a house special: a gin and elderberry cocktail - the name escapes me - and I explained our “garden” theme and asked him to ask the bartender to create something to suit. Both beverages came in flutes making them look like tulips. Gayle’s was purple, and mine yellow, and also a gin-based cocktail with an orange and mango juice, both with a sprig of rosemary garnish lending a herbal note to the refreshing, not-too-sweet drinks.

Reliving our Van Gogh and Public Garden experiences, we sipped our cocktails and studied the menu wanting to select garden inspired dishes. Although the Beet salad caught our eye for the appetizer, we opted for the six oysters, with a wine vinegar and sweet onion mignonette. For the mains we chose the Miso glazed halibut and a truffled mushroom risotto dish to share, and a bottle of Nova Scotia's Luckett Vineyards Rosetta to pair.

The chilled, light rosé with its floral notes worked very nicely with the sweet and tender oysters, and later with the two food dishes. We loved the halibut selection. It was beautifully presented, and the meaty yet tender fish cooked to perfection, and placed over the tasty, garden fresh cabbage, radish, and green onion base. The star of the dish was the soybean-based Miso crust, which provided a delicious, sea-salty yet underlying sweetness to every bite.

The risotto was nicely presented and very well prepared, with a creamy but not too thick texture, and a subtle truffle and mushroom flavour. Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano added its characteristic body and taste to the dish. On its own, at first, we thought the risotto could have used a little more truffle flavour, but when we tried the Miso crusted halibut with it, we understood the chef’s choice of seasoning.

We finished our excellent main course, and the last of the rosé, and ordered a Poached pear for dessert. It came with a Chantilly cream, oat crumble, and a caramel sauce and was an excellent way to end our “Live the Garden Life” garden-themed day full of new sights, sounds, tastes and fragrances.

“If one truly loves nature, one finds beauty everywhere” - Vincent Van Gogh, England, 1874

What will you do to celebrate a garden-theme during the Year of the Garden?
#YearoftheGarden #LivetheGardenLife #CelebrationGarden #whatwillyouCelebrate? #PublicGardens #GardensCanada #CanadasGardenRoute #WhatwillyouDiscover? #thegarden
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Join Frank as he and his wife Gayle “Live the Garden Life” throughout the Year of the Garden 2022.

Still happily reliving our Van Gogh immersion earlier in the afternoon, we drove to The Halifax Public Gardens and parked just off Spring Garden Road. We both love plants, and Gayle is a very talented gardener, but she has never seen this wonderful, historic park. It was a sunny mid afternoon under deep blue skies, and the sidewalks were packed with people. We entered the park through a stunning wrought iron gate and began following the path.

We stopped and admired the early spring flower gardens of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths - the floral smell of spring. Some gardens were monochromatic, all whites, or all red for example, and others were a profusion of hot spring colours: yellow, orange, red, and accentuated by the hot pink of the low growing phlox. We saw the deep mauve blossoms of early blooming rhododendron plants, and were delighted to see a white azalea, too. We were just before peak for the cherry tree, but past peak for the magnolia blossoms but they were still gorgeous, especially against the vivid blue skies.

Our three favourite sightings: a Buckeye, the official plant of Ohio, for our dear family and friends who live in the State, a fairly rare Persian fritillary, and the Magnolia “Elizabeth”, with exquisite butter yellow flowers and their beautiful, almost sculptural petal forms.

The landscaping style of the Halifax Public Garden is Victorian formal and laid out in a symmetrical plan with walkways, an historic and architecturally significant bandstand, a pond and fountains, and surrounded on all sides by a wrought iron fence. There are monuments and plaques throughout, which commemorate historic figures, and military operations during the Victorian era and early twentieth century. Three Roman mythology statues are featured: Ceres the Roman goddess representing agriculture and fertility, Flora, the goddess of flowers and spring, and Diana, the goddess of the woodland and wild animals. A number of old trees in the Gardens have survived the ravages of time and weather, including an American elm that dates back to the 1860’s. Seasonal ornamental flower carpet beds, and large stands of perennial shrubs all contribute to the timeless feeling once through the gates.

So far, our day took us from garden art to nature's art in the garden, but was not yet over ...

Life the Garden Life and explore a garden destination near you!
livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/garden-route-map/

#YearoftheGarden #LivetheGardenLife #HalifaxPublicGarden #canadasgardenroute #explorecanada
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Canadian municipalities coast to coast - like the Town of Placentia in Newfoundland and Labrador - are celebrating the Year of the Garden 2022!

Looking forward to seeing your favourite garden photos from your beautiful community!

Don't forget to register your Celebration Gardens, pin Placentia on the map, share your photos, and receive a Year of the Garden Certificate at:

livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/celebration-gardens/

Shout out to Hickey's Greenhouse for you support.

How is your municipality celebrating the Year of the Garden?

#YearoftheGarden #lifethegardenlife #celebrationgarden #placentiagarden #whatwillyougrow?
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Thank you to Promotional Partner: Acti-Sol for your support of the Year of the Garden 2022.

#YearoftheGarden #LiveTheGardenLife #ACTISOL Whatwillyouplant?
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Thank you to Promotional Partner: Acti-Sol for your support of the Year of the Garden 2022.#YearoftheGarden #LiveTheGardenLife #ACTISOL Whatwillyouplant?Image attachment

Join regular contributor Frank as he and his wife Gayle “Live the Garden Life” throughout the Year of the Garden 2022.

I booked tickets for the “Beyond Van Gogh” immersive exhibit in Halifax several months ago, when winter still held us in its grip, and hoped the experience would combine our love of gardens and art into a spring-themed adventure.

Gayle and I are familiar with Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch post-Impressionist artist and, like most people, can recognize several of his beautiful paintings like “Sunflowers”, “The Starry Night”, “Irises” and “Café Terrace at Night”. We’ve seen and admired his paintings at art museums on our travels, which gives us a perspective of his talents as an artist, and his mastery of colour theory (adjacent colours don’t blend, they vibrate against each other giving each stroke of paint an energy and depth). We knew about his inner turmoil that caused him to cut off his own ear, and later take his own life. It was against this backdrop, and with Don McLean’s gentle melody and haunting lyrics for “Vincent” playing in our minds …

“Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy, linen land …”

… that we walked into the exhibit not knowing what we were about to experience.

It was astonishing.

The artworks were larger than life, and because they were projected onto a continuous screen across four walls and floor of the voluminous room, and onto several free standing panels in the middle, we were absorbed intimately into each image, and able to explore it in a way that standing in front of an actual, physical painting doesn’t allow.

We loved the fact that we could admire not just a few pieces of art as in a gallery, but in context by the clever way they were curated and presented by themes such as landscapes, night scenes, florals, early work, portraits, urban scenes, and pastoral scenes. This let us get a better appreciation for Van Gogh’s evolution as an artist, more understanding of the techniques and colour palettes he used, and insights into the passions and emotions that were reflected in the images that flowed before our eyes.

It was the genius of the artist to not keep repeating the same painting styles as we could see with the collection of floral paintings, from gardens to close-ups of iris and sunflower blooms, from blossoming trees to flower arrangements in vases, the colours and the brush strokes captured the true uniqueness of each species. It was just like visiting a garden come to life.

The creative team behind the presentation are artists in their own right and the technology harnessed to create the immersive experience should be considered an art form. Images flowed from one to another, vines grew, windmill vanes turned, stars twinkled, birds and clouds flew, apple blossoms drifted in the wind like snow, and waves of water lapped across the screen, and all to an orchestrated blend of ambient sounds and familiar melodies. It was a wonderful visual and aural sensory experience.

If you love gardens and art as we do, the Beyond Van Gogh immersive exhibit is one not to be missed if you have a chance to experience it.

#YearoftheGarden #LiveTheGardenLife #whatwillyoudiscover? #Whatwillyouexperience?
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All Canadians are invited to Live the Garden Life by signing up their garden as a 2022 Celebration Garden. What are we celebrating? Share with us what your garden means to you.

To learn more about registering your Climate Action Celebration Garden, Native Plant Celebration Garden, Edible Celebration Garden, Social Celebration Garden, please visit:
livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/celebration-gardens/

Lakeshore Garden Centre in Saskatoon, is ready this long weekend to help you with your Year of the Garden Celebration Garden.

#YearoftheGarden #LiveTheGardenLife #ediblecelebrationgarden #ClimateActionCelebrationGarden #plantred #socialcelebrationgarden #therapeuticcelebrationgarden #personalcelebrationgarden #lakeshoregardencentreMay Long has arrived! 🤩
Even though the weather has been misbehaving, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come plant shopping!
We have all your plant needs covered for the season 🌸

Come spend the long weekend with us!
Open 9am to 8pm daily.
#saskatchewanbusiness #shoplocal #yearofthegarden2022 #maylongweekend #gardening
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All Canadians are invited to Live the Garden Life by signing up their garden as a 2022 Celebration Garden. What are we celebrating? Share with us what your garden means to you. To learn more about registering your Climate Action Celebration Garden, Native Plant Celebration Garden, Edible Celebration Garden, Social Celebration Garden, please visit:  https://livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/celebration-gardens/Lakeshore Garden Centre in Saskatoon, is ready this long weekend to help you with your Year of the Garden Celebration Garden.#YearoftheGarden #LiveTheGardenLife #EdibleCelebrationGarden #ClimateActionCelebrationGarden #PlantRed #SocialCelebrationGarden #therapeuticcelebrationgarden #Personalcelebrationgarden #lakeshoregardencentre
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