Month: August 2009

Coast to coast

Coast to coast

Following a holiday, cruising up the “wet coast” (from British Columbia to Alaska) with lots of land tours as well, your blogger has returned to sunny Chester, where summer really does mean shorts and sandals. Despite the lack of sunshine in Alaska, the trip was a great experience and your blogger now has a much better understanding of the history of the area as well as the flora and fauna of the region. We did have some luck with the weather, as shown in the above photo of Mt McKinley, located in Denali National Park. The tallest mountain in North America, it is often shrouded in heavy mists. Here, it towers far above a single cloud.

Back on the east coast, Chester was spared the worst of Hurricane Bill’s wrath (August 23) and his weaker brother, tropical storm Danny, on the following weekend. The rain was needed after a spell of very hot weather that had dried out the soil (according to neighbour’s reports), and little damage to flower beds was apparent when your blogger returned to Chester. Whatever the weather, the colourful fish in the pond continue to thrive. They survive even Chester winters, under thick ice.


Mid-summer beauties

Mid-summer beauties

In a swift turnabout, August in Chester has been gloriously hot and sunny, and gardens are bursting with colour. Summer in Chester always brings forth a lot of out-of-town visitors, both day-trippers and longer-staying house guests. This year is no exception and many residents, hosting these visitors while already busy with their own athletic and cultural activities, now find they are neglecting some of their other responsibilities – like weeding their gardens or maintaining a blog!

A number of rudbeckia (above) have self-seeded in many spots throughout a rather large and untamed garden. The double-petalled blooms last a long time as cut flowers when brought indoors as part of a big arrangement. Below, like a sentinel, a stately yucca guards the path into a hidden garden.

Day lilies thrive in Chester’s climate. Some local gardens contain a wide variety of these reliable and (mostly) deer-proof beauties. The flowers shown below are now in bloom on a day lily that was planted just last year. It is a new Nova Scotia variety named Spring Thaw and it got its name as a result of a contest held by the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs.

After weeks of cloudy rainy weather, it seems ironic to be seeking out a shady spot, under a pergola draped with wisteria and clematis. Now that August has, however, brought back the sun and some very hot weather, a shady nook is often the most sought-after spot in the garden (although you won’t hear any of Chester’s residents offering a complaint about the heat).

The next activity planned for Chester Garden Club is its annual summer “social”, a luncheon to be held on August 12 at the home of one of our members. The location provides a perfect grandstand view of the boats competing in the madness that is Chester Race Week.