The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ghost: The Land and the Sea in Nova Scotia

View of the Atlantic Ocean from Stonehurst East near Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

View of Hirtles Beach from near Shobac with Drumlin in the Far Distance

Hirtles Beach one of Nova Scotia's finest sandy beaches.

Eroding Drumlin at Hirtles Beach

View of the Atlantic Ocean with a Pond in the Foreground

Another View of Hirtles Beach from Shobac

Ferns and Grasses Mingle in Drifts with Spruces Beyond

A Field and Shrubs

The Rocky Berm at Hirtles Beach
The Beach helped me understand why the Late Derek Jarman's Garden in Dungeness, on the Coast of the English Channel, looked the way it did

This is the first time I have seen Artemesia growing in the Wild

A Field of Grasses and Thistles

This Field Reminded me of the Cover of Henk Gerritsen's book Essay on Gardening

Glaciers advancing about 15,000 years ago, shaped the landscape surrounding Shobac in the South Shore Region of Nova Scotia. As the glaciers advanced, they flattened the land down to the bedrock. Centuries later, the retreating glaciers deposited stones and soil and formed a series parallel hills called drumlins. Over time, the drumlins have been eroded at their bases by the sea and from the cliff tops by bleeding groundwater. Each winter, the soil from the drumlins is carried out to sea and sand is redeposited in the summer. Sandy beaches are produced on ridges formed by stones that have rolled out of retreating drumlins creating in ecologically diverse and beautiful landscape.


  1. Beautiful photos, beautiful landscape. Yes, those last ones do look like the cover photo of the Gerritsen book.

  2. Wonderful location..nice sceneries! Thanks for sharing!

    Agriculrure Job Responsibilities

  3. James, it was very beautiful. We were fogged in one day. You could see how variable and sometimes harsh the climate could be. You would really like it there. I spent some time observing how plants naturalized with each other. Hopefully it will inform how my woodland garden and the garden at Teixeira Park develop.

    Thanks, Maddy. We had a great week.

  4. The saltwater in my blood really enjoyed this post. I have only been to Nova Scotia once and that was when I was a child, but I remember scenes like this. Derek Jarman's garden is one of my favorites, though I have only enjoyed it vicariously. I think I was introduced to it during a film class in college and it stuck with me.

  5. I'm not surprised, Les. I have never seen Jarman's garden in person but have always been intrigued by it. I tried to figure out a way to get there when I was in England in May but couldn't pull it off.

  6. Thanks for posting these lovely photo's. I'm a Scottish gardener but I did a college exchange in Nova Scotia in '92 so this is bringing back the memory of my amazement that being there was just like being home but on a bigger scale (with more polite people and no trash on the ground).

    Bad health has me stuck at home just now so I feel like you've taken off to a local beach since so many of the same wildflowers will be blooming here in South East Scotland.

  7. Nice to hear from you, Cally. I agree, the people in Nova Scotia are lovely. I would to go to Scotland someday.

  8. Always great garden design lessons to be learnt from the big outdoors!
    Thanks for this.

  9. What an amazing landscape. Nova Scotia is really a treasure. It's still so untouched in many ways, but so inspirational. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  10. Robert, I think that is very true. I am always looking at the way plant arrange themselves when I am outdoors and hiking.

    It was a great trip, Michael. If you get the chance to visit Nova Scotia, go! Yes, very inspirational.

  11. This is the year that I finally go back to Nova Scotia and drag my husband with me. These photos are inspiring the trip.

  12. Nellie,
    I'm happy to know this post inspired a trip to Nova Scotia!

  13. Big, wild, beautiful country, Michael. Thankyou.



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