I turned to Gary, “I’m in my happy place.” I felt giddy. We were walking through the Historical Gardens in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. I love gardens. I don’t know when this started for me but everywhere we go, if there is a botanical garden or other type of public green space (arboretum, outdoor sculpture garden, etc.) I am drawn to it. I want to visit – it is more appealing to me than most other tourist destinations. I am not a gardener myself, so I am not sure how to explain this, but I love them.
Whether it is the conservatory in Central Park in New York City, the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, the Chihuly exhibit in the New York Botanical Gardens, I feel a deep satisfaction looking at the meeting of nature and man. People have planted and tended these gardens and then nature puts on an awesome display.
I love the walking, the scent (even my compromised nose could smell the fragrance today), the colors, the breeze (if there is one and somehow there usually is). Yesterday was a perfect day for our tour in Annapolis Royal. The sun was brilliant, no humidity, a strong breeze to keep us cool, but not too cool. The idea behind this garden was to take us through the history of the area using gardens to show the changes in the region. Our tour guide was excellent, quite knowledgeable. We learned of the competing cultures – originally there was a First Nation tribe, then French settlers (who lived harmoniously with the indigenous people), then the British (who deported the French and were at odds with the local tribe), then the French attempted to reclaim the area. Some things never change – war, deportations, immigrants struggling to make a life. All of this told through the gardens. With the splendor around us, I didn’t get bogged down in the negative, though. Everywhere I looked I saw something gorgeous. Here is a small sampling, though my photography skills don’t do it justice.
I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. On the walk back to our bed and breakfast, we stopped in several art galleries. I bought a few things – a magnet to remember the trip, some postcards to send the kids, a couple of gifts for those who are watching our cats. The kind of shopping I enjoy!
As we walked, Gary commented that San Diego would be jealous of the weather. He was exactly right. There aren’t too many times or places where that can be said. Then to top it off we watched a lovely sunset, chatting with a likeable couple from Florida who were staying at our B&B.
Whatever the rest of our vacation week brings, this was a day to be treasured.