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Friday Favorite: McLaughlin Garden

June 21st, 2019

Last Sunday, my friend Joan and I went over to the McLaughlin Gardens to see the last of the lilacs. This garden boasts New England’s largest collection of lilacs. Most of them were past prime, but we still got to enjoy a few, here are the ones we were able to see.

I like lilacs as shrubs and the flowers are pretty, the smell however is much too much for me. Any flower with strong fragrance kicks my oversensitive nose into overdrive. Luckily, they look lovely on the plant and I don’t have to cut them to bring them indoors. Here at Chiot’s Run we have a few old fashioned lilacs that are planted around the old stone foundation of the original homestead. There is another dark purple variety planted near the old outhouse. We have purchased a ‘Miss Kim’ as well. This summer, our plan is to plant a lilac hedge around the back of the garage, it should be perfect to help with wind and erosion.

Do you have any lilacs in your garden?

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?

Reading & Watching

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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.