Much to the delight of our visitors, we were able to exhibit several Witch Hazel cuttings at an event recently, taken from the shrubs at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. This one is ‘Arnold Promise’, one of the Arnold Arboretum’s most famous plant introductions. We really love its striking yellow tendrils, and always look forward to it blossoming in the Gardens in late winter.
To read more about this stunning plant, we refer you to an Arnold Arboretum blog post: https://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/the-ultimate-early-bloomer/
On a blue-sky winter day like today, we will sometimes get questions from visitors about the funky tree near the street that has “dangling ornaments”. We know immediately they are referring to our London Plane (Platanus × acerifolia), a cross between the American Sycamore and the Oriental planetree.
Our London Plane was planted in 1995, so is still a young tree. It is beautiful in the summer months, with lovely large leaves that resemble maple leaves. (Fun fact: all sycamores, including London plane-trees have alternate branch and leaf arrangement, while all maples have opposite branching.)
But in the winter, when the leaves are gone, one can fully appreciate other features of the tree, including the lovely “dangling ornaments” as well as the great camouflage bark.
The “dangling ornaments” are its fruits which are in aggregates of hundreds in a round ball about 2.5 cm (1″) across. Many remain on the tree into winter, but eventually fall to the ground and break apart.
The other really interesting feature is the bark, which exfoliates to reveal a colourful camouflage pattern. While this feature is present year round, it is often better appreciated in the winter.
Our London Plane is also graced with some climbing ivy, adding even more interest.
A little extra reading:
An interesting resource about the history of the London Plane is found in an article from, well, London of course! The Secret History of the London Plane Tree.
One of the more notable trees in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens is the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). The Dawn Redwood is a unique and magnificent tree, and one with a very interesting history as well.
The Dawn Redwood is a tall tree with fern-like, feathery needles. One of its unusual features is that it is a deciduous conifer – the needles change from green to russet brown in the fall and then drop from the tree. The resulting “winter” look is quite striking, as seen above.
Another interesting feature of the Dawn Redwood is the bark – rough, red and sometimes peels in long strips.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides – Dawn Redwood
Metasequoia glyptostroboides – Dawn Redwood
The history of the Dawn Redwood is a very interesting one. It existed on earth more than 50 million years ago, the only sign of existence being fossils found in Asia and North America. That all changed in 1941 when a Chinese botanist discovered an unusual tree in a remote village – samples later confirmed that it was a Dawn Redwood. A few years later a grove of Dawn Redwood was discovered in an isolated valley in China. The Arnold Arboretum was the first North American institution to receive seeds and was instrumental in their distribution to botanical gardens and universities around the world. Now, seven decades later, the Dawn Redwood is commercially available in garden centres and nurseries everywhere. For more in depth reading on the history of the Dawn Redwood, have a look at this publication by the Arnold Arboretum.
If you want one for your own property, plan carefully – it grows very tall, 70-100 feet, and can reach up to 40 feet in width. But given the space, it is a magnificent tree. Below is a photo taken several winters ago showing the long shadow cast by one of our Dawn Redwoods… in the centre of the shot.
We actually have several Dawn Redwoods in the Gardens, very close to our pond bridge. Have a look next time you are visiting!
Magnolia time in Annapolis Royal.
What a sweet, sweet smell… and the colours are beautiful.
We invite you to stroll our community and enjoy all that it has to offer.
Please download a Self-guided Magnolia Map HERE.
For more information on the area, please follow these links:
January 30, 2016 in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens…
Town Announces “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” Video Series
When they decided to create a series of five new promotional videos, the Town of Annapolis Royal had a great challenge. How do you capture more than 400 years of community and natural beauty in an attractive and engaging video production? With its particular mix of history, arts and gardens, Annapolis Royal is a community unlike any other. From the energy of the Saturday morning farmer’s market to the mystery of the candlelight tour at the Garrison Burial Grounds to the serenity of a walk through the roses at the Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal offers a wide variety of experiences for visitors and residents. Capturing the spirit of the town was the task given to Edifice Media when the Town of Annapolis Royal partnered with various community groups to create the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” promotional videos.
“My family and I have been spending summers in the Annapolis Royal area since 2006 and have always been drawn to this perfect little town” said Edifice Media CEO, Dr Christopher Cooper. “This past summer we filmed a series of promotional videos based on the Branded Entertainment model of short episodic snap shots of the best Annapolis Royal has to offer – as always just a pleasure to work with the core people taking on this initiative and what better canvas to paint with than Annapolis Royal!
This video project was funded by the Town of Annapolis Royal with support from the Historic Gardens, Parks Canada, The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Explorer Visitors Guide, Annapolis Heritage Society and Annapolis Region Community Arts Council. “It was such a pleasure to work with Christopher Cooper and all the community partners who collaborated on this project” said Trish Fry, Manager of the Historic Gardens. “With social media marketing at the forefront, it is vitally important to have visual and engaging media as part of our internet marketing, and Edifice Media delivered just that.”
The first of the videos in the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” series was released in the autumn. This video featured Laura Lowe riding a bicycle along St George Street while greeting merchants and residents along the way. The remainder of the videos will be released March 3 through April 14 to build momentum leading into the 2014 visitor season. “Thanks to the Town of Annapolis Royal for leading this effort to get us this far” Fry adds. “Now it is up to all of us to ensure that this tool is used to its maximum potential.”
Check it out! MeetYou in Annapolis Royal
Jan 19, 2013 – It was like walking in a snowglobe today in the Gardens!