In the next few posts, we’ll be taking you on a virtual tour of the eight locations that make up The Acadian Passport. Here in Nova Scotia, we all learn the story of the Acadian Deportation in school. This summer, we learned there was a whole lot more to the story of the Acadians, both before and after the Deportation. See all posts in this series below.
My father is a master gardener, so good that growing up it was not unusual to have total strangers visit our house and request a tour. Needless to say, with such a deep horticultural influence in my family, it takes a lot for gardens to impress me.
I was impressed with Historic Gardens (@HistoricGardens). This 17-acre property has more than 270 cultivars of roses alone. Better still, the property is alive with butterflies, bees, chipmunks and birds hard at work in the garden.
The Historic Gardens are more than a pretty collection of flowers and trees, though. They use agriculture to interpret the history of Annapolis Royal. The story is divided into five historically themed gardens. There is the Pine Forrest (representing pre-european settlement), Governor’s Garden ( Early 1700’s), Victorian Garden (1800’s), the Innovative Garden (modern day/modern horticultural methods), and the Acadian Gardens.
On our most recent trip, we were exploring The Acadian Passport, so we set our focus on exploring the Acadian Gardens. It is divided into two areas. Near the back of the gardens, there is a gateway that leads out onto a preserved Acadian dyke. It was built prior to the Acadian deportation in 1755. We walked the 1 km path out among the salt marshes, taking in the water and the wind swept grass.
From there, we headed up to the Acadian House, a structure built to represent pre-deportation life. There are some traditional tools inside the home, wooden shoes, and a garden filled with vegetables that would have been grown by the Acadians in the area at the time. Take a virtual tour (and hear Trish Fry’s beautiful description of the Acadian connections at The Historic Gardens) below:
It isn’t all about history. There are some unique features to keep your eye out for during your visit. We liked the oversized driftwood, rock fountain and garden ponds.
Perhaps our favourite spot was the fully covered trellis in the middle of the garden, which felt a little like the entrance to The Secret Garden. We spent a few minutes just sitting under the vines, taking in the view and the fresh garden smells.
While there, take a few minutes to check out the interpretive centre where you’ll find information on the property and a large collection of floral photographs.
Historic Gardens is a must-see in the Annapolis area. It has been recognized as a top destination by a number of family, garden, and travel publications, including Top 5 Gardens in North America.
If wandering the gardens isn’t your thing, they also offer a number of events such as Wine and Roses, an evening of wine, music and hundreds of roses. They also hold an Acadian Kitchen Party each year.
441 George St
Annapolis Royal, NS
Acadian Passport Series:
Historical Acadian Village of Nova Scotia – Lower West Pubnico
Musee Acadiene des Pubnico – Lower West Pubnico
Port-Royal National Historic Site – Annapolis Royal
Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens – Annapolis Royal
This is an old post from 2012 that we updated. We recently re-visited the gardens as part of the Acadian Passport. We were hired to create a video series for the Acadian Passport. Learn more about the passport at www.discoveracadie.com.