How it’s done in St. John’s, Newfoundland

So many place we travel I’m simply speechless with the outrageous and gorgeous spectacle that is nature:  Hawaii, Bermuda, Central America, Palm Springs.  Nothing struggles to grow; it’s a delight to simply gaze upon tropical beauties and indeed, is abundance magnified.

So I’m always interested to see how it’s done where it’s not so easy.  Like the east coast of Canada.

We had a quick sojourn to St. John’s Newfoundland, and oh.  The food.  The architecture.  The history. The weather.  Yikes.  Talk about your short growing season.  We have little to complain about in Southern Ontario.

the rockYou quickly learn why they call it ‘the rock’ despite that we were in the easy climes in midsummer (and no Newfy pal of mine would even consider St. John’s to be ‘harsh’.  No b’y,  Northern Newfoundland and Labrador–now that’s harsh).

The city of St. John’s is on the windswept waterfront and the gaily painted homesteads more than make up for the weather.   A hilly rocky town, it’s amazing what home and shop owners do with their wee square footage for plants.

narrow street fronts

The streets are narrow and homes front right onto the sidewalk.  I admired their truth to small size gardening.

excellent narrow garden frontsYou need ingenuity to mark your spot with plants on these small plots.  Note all are raised beds. Tall and columnar evergreens and vines at doorways strike the right fit.

climb vine at doorway

Considering, however, that most of the city has literally no room for gardens, particularly in the downtown core, owners still find a way to gussy up their places with plants.

coffee shop trees in pots

Coffee shop has trees in planter boxes

cheery storefront planter

Cheery Storefront planter matches window display

matching mailbox window planter

Brilliant window planter matches infamous mailboxes

hanging basket funky mailbox

Colour coordination with mailbox

The city proper has been ingenious with its use of boulevard and sidewalk space for small trees, raised concrete garden beds, even hedges lining a bleak wall.

small boulevard trees

Small boulevard trees

raised garden boxes everywhere

Raised garden beds everywhere


Hedges fitting in.

Businesses with a bit of space, although paved, strive to make inviting spaces for their guests, such as this open patio.

tiny trees in raised planters

restaurant entry tire planter too

This restaurant welcomes with hanging flowers and even plants in tires

I was enchanted with the indomitable spirit of this town.  Even when there was no space at all, a welcoming garden was made.

stone garden welcome

 I will go back, mid summer again.  We were treated to two days of 25 degree C temperatures before a nasty cold front moved in.  But it was glorious while it lasted.  The food was extraordinary and the people so very fine.  The puffins were adorable and the whales were crowd pleasers.  Highly recommended.









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