Another very interesting tree in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens is the Heptacodium miconioides or Seven-son Flower, located along the path towards our Rose Garden. Native to China, it is a rare plant and reportedly may no longer be found in the wild.
As the name indicates, the flower heads tend to be comprised of seven flowers. It blooms in late summer, unlike most other trees, providing a September highlight.
After the blossoms finish, the autumn colour of its “afterbloom”, comprised of tiny fruit surrounded by showy rose coloured calyces, is stunning. The tree is a good source of nectar for butterflies.
And of course the incredible exfoliating bark adds year round interest. Today, we have winter photos to show, as it is indeed winter!
For more information on this unique plant, and other photos, visit the Missouri Botanical Garden plant database. (This is a good resource for information on many plants – you may want to bookmark it!)
Fun fact – While the heptacodium is presumed to be named for the typical number of flowers in a whorl, it features a variety of numbers in its display:
- 7 flowers
- 6 petals on each flower
- 5 calyces on each “afterbloom”
Next time you are in the Historic Gardens, be sure to keep an eye out for this unique garden resident.
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!
We have a Pawpaw Tree at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. That fact is notable, in that the Pawpaw is not commonly grown in Nova Scotia.
Our Pawpaw story is all the more interesting due to the fact that it produces fruit when science tells us it shouldn’t. It normally requires at least two Pawpaw Trees in order to produce fruit – we have only one. Yet ours has produced fruit annually for about a decade.
The brown flower of the Pawpaw.
Pawpaw fruit mid-season.
This phenomenon has been of great interest to gardening enthusiasts. Have a look at this story: http://www.novanewsnow.com/living/pawpaw-mystery-86268/
Once again this year, we had a crop of fruit and in fact yesterday several us were treated to a special Pawpaw Pie baked by one of the staff. (It was really, really good! )
A good crop of fruit!
The Pawpaw Pie was terrific!
For more on cooking with Pawpaws: https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ksu-pawpaw/cooking.html
And each fruit has a good number of large seeds…
Just another one of the very cool trees in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.
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:
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