The gates to the Halifax Public Gardens officially opened yesterday, a full month ahead of the usual date.
A warm winter and an even warmer spring contributed to the Gardens’ early opening. Typically, the Gardens open in the second week of May, according to Brian Phelan, HRM’s superintendent of parks and open spaces.
Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures last month, Phelan said a drainage problem on one side of the Gardens was preventing an early opening.
But there were no signs of problems yesterday. While the Gardens are certainly not up to their mid-summer glory just yet, plenty of people were out reading, walking and enjoying the weather.
McLean Comstock, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Halifax, said she was “ecstatic” the Gardens opened early this year.
“It is a little barren, there’s not a lot of greenery on some of the trees,” said Comstock. “(But) I’m an advocate for all-year opening myself … It’s nice public space.”
Arthur Osmond, of Dartmouth, said he thinks it’s “fantastic” the Gardens opened early.
“Best thing that’s happened this spring,” said Osmond, who comes to the area every lunch hour in the summer. “It’s perfect to get here a bit earlier. It’s so nice. Sunshine, fresh air, the gardens are growing — it’s gorgeous.”
Osmond said while the Gardens may not be yet in bloom, he’s glad they’re open.
“I’m so grateful they did it,” said Osmond. “It’s not perfect the way they like it to be, but it’s just ideal from the point of view of the person who wants to come and sit and really enjoy nature. It’s just great.”