Month: November 2011

Seasonal Trimming of the Bandstand

Seasonal Trimming of the Bandstand

Warm weather following our little snow storm last week caused the white stuff to melt away but the Garden Club’s traditional greening of the village bandstand went ahead as scheduled.  In the background, a statue representing a soldier of the Nova Scotia Highlander Regiment is silhouetted against a chilly grey sky. This bandstand is situated beside the village cenotaph, on what is known as the Parade Square, long a setting for military ceremonies and village gatherings. 

The first boughs are placed on the railing

A large quantity of spruce boughs were used by the volunteers in decorating the railings. Once the boughs were secure, strings of lights were aded.  The gusts of wind played havoc with a wreath as Sandy tried to hang it in position.  Eventually, all the boughs were in place and the lights were found to be working so all the volunteers (excluding Bandit, the mascot)  traipsed off to a neighbouring house for hot mulled wine and a well-deserved lunch.

Spruce boughs are spread along the railing


Heritage Houses Featured at Annual General Meeting

Heritage Houses Featured at Annual General Meeting

The timing of this inaugural post from Chester Garden Club, in Nova Scotia, Canada, serves as the club’s debut on a new platform. It also happens to appear in the same week as the club’s annual general meeting and, therefore, the change from one year’s activities to the next.  Reports of the various committees endorsed the view that the club had completed a busy and successful year. The highlight was the  annual convention of the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs, co-hosted with our neighbouring garden club.  Members are now looking ahead to next year with enthusiasm for new projects. 

Members volunteer to decorate the village bandstand

There will, no doubt, be some learning issues for the club as we become used to this new platform but we hope to post information and photos illustrating the club’s activities and the gardening scene in Nova Scotia in the months ahead. The archives from our former blog will be moved to this blog so that we won’t lose any posts. To learn about the aims and activities of this group of gardeners, click on About our club.

Chester’s Heritage Houses  

Members who attended the AGM were entertained by an amusing and informative talk given by Syd Dumaresq, an architect who has a particular fondness for heritage buildings in the area.  Some of these houses actually do have gardens but it was their architectural features that interested Syd.

Syd Dumaresq, guest speaker at the Club's AGM

Pointing out that the basic Cape house – a simple wood-framed structure that is compact and ecologically sound – dates back to the founding of the first settlements in Lunenburg county (1752), he stated that they are the oldest houses in English Canada .

Using photos to illustrate the many examples of the original style of a Cape house, he showed how they changed  as succeeding generations prospered and began to add gables, turrets and the unique “Lunenburg bump” to the original design.  Further embellishments such as transoms and fancier shapes of window were also incorporated. Syd also discussed the “kit houses” that were made up in the New England states and then shipped to Nova Scotia for assembly here.

Early Cape house
Gothic-styled additions






To close this post, we offer two photos that illustrate the strange swings of weather we have experienced this year. The anemones shown below were picked in a member’s garden on November 20; the shot of a garden under the first snow of the season was taken on November 23. 

Anemone coronaria
Snowy garden reminiscent of a Currier & Ives print
A Mid-November Garden

A Mid-November Garden

Having missed the Bloom Day North date of November 15 on the blog, we are posting a few shots taken on the 17th, to illustrate the lengths to which we go, to find colour at this time of year. The burning bush below stands in striking contrast to the faded foliage of many of its neighbouring shrubs.

The thousands of small red berries on this ornamental crab apple tree will last only until the usual migrating flock of cedar waxwings arrive later in the year. They will spend a few days in late winter feasting on this succulent treasure.

Lacking colour now but bearing the promise of luscious blooms next spring, if the buds are not devoured by the deer, we see a healthy crop of flower buds perched jauntily on these Rhododendron branches.

Members of the Chester Garden Club are reminded of the club’s Annual General Meeting on November 21st. In addition to a brief business meeting to deal with the annual reports, members will be entertained and enlightened by guest speaker Syd Dumaresq as he provides stories about some of the oldest houses in English Canada. Refreshments will be served.

Finding Colour in November

Finding Colour in November

Despite it’s being my birthday month, I’ve never felt a particular affinity for November, with its dreary damp and chilly days. Once the leaves fall, we miss the vibrant colours that are on display in October. Nevertheless, during the warm sunny days that have occasionally appeared this month, we did find many colours (in addition to green) in our gardens. The ornamental cabbage below was a straggler donated by a friend who showed up with a bunch of seedlings in September and insisted I give them a home. Given the shortage of growing time, it was a question of “tough love” but the plant responded with glowing colour if not enormous size.

The holly bushes under a kitchen window produce shiny berries that attract the deer and also friends who raid the bushes for Christmas decorations.

Another treat today was discovering a very young oak seedling that had sprung up beside a hilly bed and which, when the leaves were back lit by the afternoon sun, resembled sections of stained glass.

The branches of cotoneasters are laden with bright red berries this month but they will soon disappear when the deer begin to forage on this bounty. Fortunately, for the time being, the deer and the ducks are busy cleaning up the windfalls from the old apple orchard. 

Members of the Chester Garden Club are reminded of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, to be held on November 21st. Annual reports will be circulated in advance and all members are encouraged to attend. The evening’s guest speaker will be Sydney Dumaresq, who will give an entertaining talk on the subject of old houses.