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Kicking off national Garden Days in Atlantic Canada

Gardening author Niki Jabbour talks National Gardening Week and Halifax Gardening Festival

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Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of vendors, presenters, and attendees at the 2017 Halifax Garden Festival. Photo courtesy of Niki Jabbour.

For the next nine days, Canadians from coast-to-coast will wave their green thumbs in the air, celebrating Garden Days 2018 from June 16 to 24.

Gardening author and radio show host Niki Jabbour is the Maritime spokesperson for Garden Days. “It is such a worthy cause, to celebrate gardening in Canada,” she says. “Not only home gardening, but all of the incredible public gardens, parks, and all the activities that happen in those spaces. It’s just a natural fit for me to join the national conversation about gardening in Canada.”

Jabbour is best known for her books Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, and Groundbreaking Food Gardens.

Activities celebrating gardening will happen across our region throughout Garden Days. You can find a full calendar of events here or search by province and city.

Halifax will kick off Garden Days on Saturday with the second annual Halifax Garden Festival, of which Jabbour is a co-organizer.

“The co-organizers and I used to plan these little events in the public gardens but we wanted to go bigger, we wanted to welcome these nurseries from across the province,” says Jabbour. “We wanted to offer a full day of seminars and to do that we had to leave the public gardens and rent Victoria Park.”

Last year the inaugural event attracted nearly 1,000 gardening enthusiasts in the pouring rain. “Even in the rain last year everyone had a great time,” says Jabbour. “After last year we thought is anyone going to even sign up? They all came back and we have a whole bunch of new ones. It’s a big garden party in downtown Halifax.”

The Halifax Garden Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at Victoria Park in downtown Halifax. Free seminars run all day and include Jabbour, Neville MacKay and the beauty of flowers, backyard composting with Chloe Kennedy, and home canning with Elizabeth Peirce, plus children’s events and a garden party at Government House from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be plenty of nurseries and greenhouses bringing plants–from locally grown trees and shrubs to ferns and perennials to veggies and herbs. You’ll also find local vendors selling seeds, tools, garden accessories, garden art, soaps, compost, and so much more.

Check out the full event line up here.

“It’s such a good way if you have children or grandchildren to connect them with nature and teach them how things grow, what the bees and butterflies do,” says Jabbour. “Even my teenagers put their phones down when they’re in the garden; it’s like a miracle. Gardening and being outside brings us together.”

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