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Candlelit Garden Tour

July 21st, 2014

On Saturday night Mr Chiots and I hopped in the car and headed off to South Paris for the Illuminated event at the McLaughlin Garden. I discovered this garden while reading about Bernard McLaughlin in The Grand Masters of Maine Gardening. We arrived at dusk with just enough time to catch a glimpse of the amazing gardens, all maintained by volunteers. This garden is truly spectacular, especially because it was all the cultivated by one man during the last 60 years of his life.
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For this event they decorate the gardens with hundreds of candles. They’re on the ground, hanging from trees and in holders along the paths. Strolling through a garden by candlelight at dusk is truly a beautiful way to experience a garden.  Visiting gardens in the day is lovely, but a garden can be equally lovely at dusk and at night.  This would be a fabulous place to hold an event, especially an evening event.
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Now that I caught a glimpse of this beautiful place I know I must head back, hopefully sooner rather than later. I find great inspiration in knowing that this garden was created by one man, alone, with lots of work over the course of his life. He moved to this place when he was in his mid thirties and turned these few acres of pasture into a beautifully wooded garden filled with 125 varieties of lilacs, a vast collection of woodland plants and a great multitude of hostas.  There is definitely a reason he is known as the dean of Maine gardeners!

Have you ever been to a nighttime garden event?

5 Comments to “Candlelit Garden Tour”
  1. amy on July 21, 2014 at 11:36 am

    So so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!

    Reply to amy's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on July 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Susy, I never been to a night time garden event but now I want to see one. I have been to night time bonfires in wooded areas with torches to light the surrounding areas. Part of the area has small flower beds but nothing on the magnitude that you have witnessed. It would be a great new way to experience a garden.

    Have a great candlelit garden tour memory day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Lorna on July 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    What a lovely way to spend an evening. And thank you for sharing a bit of the background story–60 years! Sometimes I need to be reminded that amazing gardens take time to cultivate. Some days it seems as if nothing gets done on my one acre homestead. But then other days I look around and feel content with my gardens and beginnings of gardens and plans for future gardens :) How nice to be reminded that gardening is a life-long process.

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  4. Jennifer Fisk on July 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I never have but it was just beautiful. You really live in a great area. Mine is so tourist or summer people oriented. Your’s is real.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  5. Teri on August 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Ohhhh, sublime! This gives me hope…we have three mostly bare acres that I have to believe I have time to turn into a verdant sanctuary, full of places of discovery and delight for future grandbabies! I’m only just 45 — surely I have time to make it magical.

    Reply to Teri's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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