Jodi at Blooming Writer came up with a great idea for a garden blogger geography project, and I’ve not only enjoyed putting together information about my town, but I also learned a few interesting tidbits along the way.
“So I’m throwing a challenge out to all other garden bloggers to embark on something I’m calling Garden Bloggers Geography Project. All you have to do is write a post (or two or three, if you want—remember, my theory is rules are made to be broken). Tell your readers a bit about your hometown, your state, province…something that really tells us where you are in the world. What’s really special about your community? Pretend you’re trying to entice visitors to the region, and remember—what might be obvious to you isn’t necessarily obvious to even the blogger in the community next door. Use maps, photos, whatever you want, so long as it’s not too hard for people to load.”
I hope you’ll enjoy taking a virtual stroll through Windsor, Nova Scotia and exploring some of the links. Below is a map for your reference — click to enlarge, for more detail.
The settlement known today as the Town of Windsor, Nova Scotia, was originally called Pesaquid, a Mi’kmaq Indian term for “where the waters meet”. The name referred to the point at which the Avon and St. Croix Rivers join and flow into the Bay of Fundy. The French settled here as early as 1685 – the wooden blockhouse at Fort Edward was built in 1750 and played a large part in the expulsion of the Acadians. It is the last original blockhouse still standing in Canada. Windsor was incorporated as a town in 1878.
Windsor has several claims to fame and is affectionately known as The Little Town of Big Firsts. It is believed that Long Pond, Windsor, was where the first game of ice hockey was played. Long Pond is located on the property of Howard Dill, just off the grounds of the Kings-Edgehill School, the oldest private school in Canada. Coincidentally, Howard Dill’s farm is also the Home of the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin where the first record-making, gigantic gourds were grown, to which all subsequent giant pumpkins are genetically linked. Every fall, after harvest, Windsor celebrates the giants by hosting an annual Pumpkin Regatta on Lake Pesaquid.
Windsor is also home to one of North America’s most quoted authors, Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton who created the character Sam Slick. Haliburton coined dozens of phrases that are now used in everyday speak, such as: it’s raining cats and dogs; the early bird gets the worm; to get blood from a stone; to drink like a fish; quick as a wink; and facts are stranger than fiction, to name but a few.
Windsor is a quaint little town (pop. 3700) with tree-lined streets and many gracious homes. There are churches of every faith, motels and inns and a community hospital, complete with helipad. The shopping district, both up- and downtown, bustles with a variety of shops (including three florists) and services, including a visitor information centre. In the centre of town, Victoria Park has an elegant Victorian bandstand. There are three walking trails around the town.
Windsor is the site of the Hants County Exhibition, North America’s oldest agricultural fair. Situated at the gateway to the lush Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia’s richest agricultural belt, Windsor also participates in the annual Apple Blossom Festival which draws a hundred thousand visitors to the area each spring. The Festival is a weekend-long celebration of the apple blossom. Miles and miles of orchards in bloom are a sight to see.
The town of Windsor lies on huge deposits of gypsum and limestone. The two rivers have deposited alluvial clay in the area. But these somewhat harsh conditions affect agriculture more than recreational gardening and I have seen many colorful and carefully tended gardens around town.
A sampling of my posie pots
For me, I live in an apartment and my gardening is presently confined to containers on a small balcony. I’ve managed to add a little spot of color to our view, however, and I have to be content with that until we are able to secure a house, hopefully, this summer. The grounds of the apartment building were, at one time, nicely landscaped with mature trees, some flowering shrubs and a couple of raised beds which have gone to the weeds. I do ponder trying to do some pruning and planting, but I’m not sure my efforts would be appreciated by management.
So, that’s a quick look at Windsor, Nova Scotia. It is where I live. But it is not my home.
This Is Home
I lived in the tiny village of Walton (about 25 miles from Windsor) for most of my life, coming to Windsor only after divorce in the late 90’s. This is where I grew up, gardened, dreamed, raised my children, and where my parents still live.
Walton, Nova Scotia
I have an affinity with the sea. The eternal rhythms of the tide, the salt air and gull cries play a song in my heart that will always pull me back to the shore. No matter where I’m forced to live at any given time, the seaside village of Walton, Nova Scotia will always be home.