Norma and I lived in Kentville, Nova Scotia for several years just after we were first married. Our apartment, the top floor of a fellow teacher’s home, was right next door to the Kentville Research Station, which provided us with great outdoor adventures, from walking or skiing the paths to looking at the variety of bird life and the amazing flowers and apple trees on the property.
From 1952 to 1983 the Kentville Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia carried out an active rhododendron and azalea breeding programme. That means that some of the Rhododendrons there are now almost 70 years old, as the Station began planting the resulting cultivars around the property. The display area and trials are in full public view, surrounding a small pond and sweeping up the hill below the Blair House station headquarters.
Every year, for the last 45, Norma and I have travelled up to the Valley from wherever we happen to be living, to see the apple blossoms in late May and the rhododendrons a couple of weeks later in June. This year was a bit of an exception as we could not travel when the apple blossoms were blooming but – Covid did nothing to stop the flowers from blooming, and we were allowed to travel!
We got to the Station around 2 pm and found the shurbs in full bloom – in fact we both remarked we’d never seen it quite as full and beautiful as this year! We spent a couple of hours just wandering the grounds, taking it all in and remembering old times.
The flowers were cheerful and plentiful. It is truly a gift to be able to see this garden.
The image on top is the front face of the main bed, with its riot of colour and numerous species. The image below is for scale – Norma and Finn in front of one of the most mature Rhododendrons.
It is wonderful when humans can work respectfully with nature, and that we then all get to observe the beautiful result.