Thursday, August 14, 2014

Catching Up

"Fairest of the months!
 Ripe summer's queen
 The hey-day of the year
 With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
 Sweet August doth appear."
 ~ R. Combe Miller

Well, hello! It's been a while. How did we get to mid August so quickly? Tom and I have been dividing our summer between DC and Castine, Maine. If you spot a silver mini-van with DC tags crammed with dogs, furniture and stuff puttering along I-95, that would be us! Wave hi, okay?

There's much to catchup on, so let's start with our garden in DC.
This August has been cooler than normal, and it feels marvelous. The plants love it, too. The first photo from a few weeks ago shows the row of Russian sage along the pergola. I shared it on INSTAGRAM and many of you "liked" it - thank you!!

A couple weeks later, the Limelight hydrangeas to the right of the garden pavilion burst into bloom. Next to the hydrangeas is Blue Fortune agastache with its lavender-blue flowers. Both long bloomers are showstoppers of the August garden. 
The white border really shined this season. With more of a cottage garden spirit, the planting here is less formal. There is still structure, such as the evergreen shrubs to anchor the perennials, but the overall appearance is a bit softer. Surrounding the granite sundial are Minnie Pearl phloxes - this is their second flush of flowers. Also in bloom are veronicas (below) and daisies.
Not much new inside except for a few tweaks and additions of books and creamware. I was invited by Kim at Savvy Southern Style to chat about my favorite room - did you see my guest post on our library? Thanks so much, Kim!
In Castine, the exterior of our grey house has yet to be painted as the short summer is, as you can imagine, the busiest season for local painters. While I love grey, I plan to perk up our historic home with crisp white paint, graphic black shutters and sunny yellow doors. So that's the exterior color scheme! 

As for the gardens, we've planted 18 Limelight hydrangeas, five white spruces and many native cinnamon ferns. The front perennial beds need simplifying and weeding. I'm thinking of a white, pale-yellow and green garden - simple, cheerful, summery!

Here is a sneak peek of the dining room with botanical prints of ferns inspired by the local flora. 
We continue to explore beautiful Maine, and took a "daycation" up to Lubec and Eastport. Lubec was just delightful - an unspoiled Downeast coastal gem. Being the easternmost town in the U.S., you can enjoy the sunrise before the rest of the country. Also the fresh, salty air!
Don't miss The McCurdy Smokehouse Museum, the last traditional smoked-herring facility that closed in 1991. Next door, there is a charming gallery featuring the works of local artists.
Across the Lubec Narrows, enjoy views of the Mulholland Point Lighthouse on Campobello Island, Canada. If you are a lighthouse enthusiast, this is the region for you. There are five around Lubec and another one in Calais.
The harbor and historic cottages. New Brunswick, Canada can be seen from Lubec. Greetings to my Canadian friends and readers :)
Speaking of lighthouses, the boldly striped red-and-white West Quoddy Head Light is stunning against the blue sea. I hear it is quite the Maine experience on a misty, foggy day with the sound of the foghorn. 
The most eastern point in the U.S. - quite the setting with the rocky cliffs, big tides and gusty winds!
After Lubec, we made our way to Eastport, a small city with lots of galleries, cafes and antique shops. We had a wonderful time chatting with the very friendly locals.
BTW, the Port of Eastport is the deepest natural seaport in the continental U.S. It was low tide when we visited.

Hope you've enjoyed seeing more of Maine!
Cheers,
Loi

73 comments:

  1. I have never been to Lubec! I love the color scheme for the exterior of your Maine home...and it sounds like you will be planting a proper garden that accentuates the yellow door! I love chartreusy green foliage of any sort!

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  2. oh eastport and lubec both look so dreamy and adorable!!!! i want to go to maine so badly- i miss it! i haven't been in 19 years i think... wow! and the gardens look amazing as always. always love visiting you for all the beauty you share and your fabulous happy disposition. XOXO

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  3. Hello Loi, so nice catching up with you on this post. The views are sublime over in Maine. Wow, it must be so close to the Canadian Border. Your house is looking good! I bet it will look much beautiful with white paint and black shutters. I'm looking forward to your yellow door. Enjoy the rest of Summer!

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    1. Yes, very close to Canada!! Next time we're bringing our passports and coming over :)

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  4. Maine looks so picture perfect, really happy to hear you have been so enjoying yourselves this summer! Love how the exterior looks! And I will be looking for you on the highway as we head north to drive my son to college next week boo hoo........always fun to check in. Hope you enjoy these last weeks of summer!

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  5. Your cottage garden is gorgeous! Russian sage is so dreamy... I might need some for my own garden :) Yellow would be perfect for the front door - it's such a fresh and happy color. Now you make me want to paint one of my doors yellow :) Have a wonderful rest of summer, Loi. xx

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  6. Hi Loi! I saw the Canadian flag and thought it an invitation to say hello:) Perfect timing for me to read this post as I am in need of some inspiration for my front garden. Russian sage, yes! As always, you don't disappoint. All the best from my humble abode! xob

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  7. OMG! That dining room! no fair teasing us like that! ;] I love every single element and it's soooo tone on tone and then the warmth of the cabinet is so lovely too! I really have no idea how you do it all. Maintain two homes, [exquisite] gardens, shop, blog and then, you DRIVE up to Maine? But then, I guess you have to. xo, Laurel PS: the library doesn't need anything new; it's perfect as is. Love it all!

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  8. Loi, your garden is just stunning - you are truly inspiring to keep pushing forward with ours, although I think it will be next summer before it's photo ready. I love all the textures of they various things you've planted. So much interest. Your library is stunning, and Castine looks amazing. Love the paint job! So glad you are making the most out of summer. It's going so fast....

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your beautiful world!!

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  9. Hello Loi! Glad you are enjoying your summer. A lovely inspiring post….your library is stunning, and you have given me some wonderful planting ideas for a new part of our garden we are developing, so thank you! Castine and all of that coast looks fabulous and is very much on my wish list to visit. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

    Sophia xx

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  10. Hello Loi, So many interesting things in this post, it is hard to focus on just one, but I was particularly intrigued by the McCurdy Smokehouse Museum. Not only is it very handsome architecturally, it also represents a fast-disappearing way of life and way of doing things. I also liked the views of your library; so cool and inviting-looking for summer.
    --Jim

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    1. Thanks, Jim. The McCurdy Museum was fascinating and very well preserved. Definitely a step back in time.

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  11. So beautiful, Loi! Your home which makes me swoon! and the lovely tours of Maine! Your garden is absolutely stunning .... I am using your photos for inspiration for my garden next summer!!

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  12. Wow, I had forgotten how much I love that library! I know I asked before but lost your reply...what color paint(s) did you use?

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    1. Thank you! The library is painted in Benjamin Moore's White Dove. Trim is the same only 75% of the formula and in low lustre sheen.

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  13. That Russian sage in the first photo is luminous -- beautiful!

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  14. The weather down here in the South has been amazing,I agree! Six days of steady rain did wonders for the garden and grass: I've never seen everything so green in August. My Encore Azaleas, in particular, look so much healthier than usual.
    Lubec: we have friends who own a house there. I've never been, but yes, it must be beautiful this time of year (winter…not so much!) Enjoy the rest of summer Loi: and, I will be in Sissinghurst early September so check out Instagram. Cannot wait!

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  15. I love the corner cabinet in the dining room. Everything is incredibly gorgeous AND GREEN.
    xoxo Mary

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  16. AHH! I have missed you, Mr. Man! teeeehhehehe

    You and Tom has mastered the art of juggling two homes and gardens and the gorgeous spirit these two abodes brings us is delightful. Loi, your sensibilities are thrilling. How I love these photos of your gorgeous and bright homes, and our summer has also been cooler than normal, so I see what you're saying about the plants. Some of my plants have loved the coolness, others have not appreciated the cold nights! But I have enjoyed my moon vine and other wonders.

    The picket fences surrounding those Maine cottages are so darling. Your new home is going to make a statement with a bright yellow door, and how do you do it all....

    Missed you so. Come on over when ya get a chance. Anita

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  17. The photo of the pier in the foreground with the water and islands around is magnificent! It reminds me of a classic painting. Thank you for sharing part of your summer - I feel as though I've been on a mini vacation also!

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  18. Your DC garden looks beautiful!
    I can imagine how much fun it must be to plan and visualize what your Maine home will look like. Love the plan of white house with black shutters and a yellow door, how fabulous it will look!
    I enjoy your travels so much. I am always on a vacation reading your posts!

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  19. Loi, it's good to see a post from you. Beautiful gardens, more about your Castine home, and all the wonderful shots of coastal Maine from your daycation……you have given us a delightful "daycation" in this post. You and Tom and the mini-van full of dogs are obviously having a grand summer. Everything sounds totally delightful!

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  20. LOI,
    I too have a white and yellow and of course green garden!My front door is painted yellow!
    I wish I could spy you in the van with the BEASTIES traveling up North but I am way on the other side of the good old USA!
    Your garden in DC reminds me a bit of VITA and her master piece over there in ENGLAND!I am on my third book about HER VITA SACKVILLE-WEST............am fascinated.I believe YOU were just there this past SPRING??SISSTINGHURST.........is that right?

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    1. Yes, I visited Sissinghurst this past spring. It was glorious, as usual. One of favs!!!

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  21. Hi Loi, so fun to catch up with you. Love the color sheme for the outside of your home. I have the same scheme but my home is yellow with white shutters trimmed in black. You garden plans sound perfect to me, in fact everything you do seem pretty perfect to me!!
    Happy Thursday!
    xo Kathysue

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  22. So good to catch up with you both! Love your garden so much. I keep telling myself that this is a country property with tons of wildlife, so I am not going to do any gardens. Somehow the perinnials and hydrangeas have followed me home! We planted 7 different hydrangeas that varey from white, to green, to soft pink. Next year shades of blue will be planted along with lavender and russian sage. There are daisies and coneflowers, white bleeding hearts, and vaious others that are destined for a bed infront of the barn. I am trying, really, to keep it simple! Thanks for the trip to Lubec and waving hi to Canada. It touched my heart to see the Canadian flag flying alongside the American flag. Lovely town which I hope to visit if and when we get to do our Maine trip from Nova Scotia. Enjoy the rest of your summer! Patty/NS

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    1. Patty, please come visit Maine! And if you do, please come visit us in Castine. It would be wonderful to chat over a lobster salad and iced tea at our home :) Cheers!

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  23. Hi Loi,
    Maine looks so inviting, one day a road trip will be in order for Mr. B. and me.
    Your garden never fails to inspire me. My garden needs a little sprucing up after my 2 week absence while babysitting Olivia.
    The Castine house will look amazing in white with black shutters, can't wait to see it.
    xo,
    Karen

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  24. oh the pergola and the sage, loi! isn't it magical? that stuff grows so well here in prairieland, and the color thrills me. your library is so purdy! purdier than a punkin...but not yer lil sweet baby white punkins! enjoy these gorgeous summer weeks, and i can't wait to see the castine house transform into white splendor. love to you and tom.

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  25. Your garden is gorgeous Loi as is your library. I missed the guest post so I will pop over to check it out. Sounds like you've had a wonderful summer and looks like you are enjoying Maine:) We are in the midst of extensive construction and blogging is taking a back seat for another month or so. I'm trying to keep in touch ~ loving your Instagram! xxL

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  26. Dear Loi
    I had just been thinking that I had not seen you post for a while and there you appeared on my sidebar. Delighted to see you are having a varied and enjoyable summer as you travel the 1-95 (that is a busy road). I admire how you can keep both houses and gardens looking so well.
    Your library looks relaxing and peaceful.
    Continued joy as August ticks along
    Helen x

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  27. Hi Loi,
    Beauty surrounds you like none other... Your library a favorite, mixed with earthware ironstone pottery adds such richness in a historical feel.
    Sitting and reading must be a favorite pastime in this wonderful pass through space.
    The gardens set the tone for your exterior beauty plans of white and carbon black shutters, but as for a yellow door, how about a fern green door matching some of your botanical fern prints in the home bringing the outdoors in, adding carbon black door hardware to anchor the black shutters. I rather love the grey's that it is, but a fresh white would stand out with awwww! If it were my home I would do the home crisp white, grey shutters and an oat mill toned door and pewter/zinc lighting and door hardware....perhaps a bit stand-out to its whiteness yet calming to its sea side town of historic beauty. When I see homes and surrounds like yours Loi, it makes me feel so not fair that it's not mine :)

    I love every inch of this home, and to dine there is that much more wonderful. You have created a home to love!

    Thank you for share the towns history, the port, the lighthouse another favorite and the beauty that takes our breath away.
    You are a designer to adore.

    Xx
    Beautiful summers end to you and all it inspires.

    Dore

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    1. Dore - Thank you, my friend!! I appreciate your kind words. You really made my day :)

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  28. So good to hear from you and to know you and Tom are having a good summer. Love your hydrangeas, for some reason ours did not bloom this year, trying to figure out why? Pictures of Maine are so beautiful they give me nostalgia :)
    Have lot of fun.

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  29. Dear Loi, It sounds like you have had a perfect summer. After our brief visit to Maine in July I am looking forward to spending more time there; it seemed to be a perfect blend of what I love most about the two places I spent summers growing up - Rhode Island and the Adirondacks. The house in Castine looks beautiful as does the garden in DC.
    xo,
    Phyllis

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  30. Loi - thank you for letting us come along on your trip to Maine. The town looks like the quintessential New England coastal town, much like Nantucket without all the tourists! Your garden has faired the hottest time in DC beautifully. Ours have sadly gone neglected as we never seem around long enough to weed!
    xxoo
    C + C

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  31. Oh my gosh, Loi! You put us all to shame! Such a beautiful post!
    You always shower us with so much gorgeousness. Can't wait to see the house painted.
    Happy Thursday.
    Teresa
    xoxox

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  33. Loi, Your garden is glorious! And that bowl on your dinning table just goes to prove what a wonderful artistic eye you have! Thanks for catching us up! All the best, Rié

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  34. We are such fans of Maine and can't wait to see the house painted white - know it will look amazing! Our limelight hydrangeas are loving our cooler and wetter than normal weather in NC - love seeing them through our windows and bringing them indoors…happy weekend!

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  35. It looks like it's been a busy summer for you - love all of the images of Maine (both of your beautiful home and all of the gorgeous places!). You'll be my go-to guy for advice when we finally get a chance to visit up there!

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  36. Hi Loi, I love exploring new places. I did not know about this Town. I am always dying over your garden and now your Maine garden will be spectacular by next summer. What would you grow in Florida?

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    1. Linda, I'd check out the area's botanical gardens. That's what I'm doing in Maine.

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  37. I always swoon over your garden Loi! Your library is tdf too! Oh and I can't wait to see the changes planned for your exterior, especially that yellow door!!:) xx

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  38. Hi Loi,
    Thanks for info on Lubec - never been there. Have been thinking about visiting Monhegan Island in September. Have you explored this artist's paradise? I always trust your opinion.
    b

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    1. Billie, I've not been to Monhegan. Please go and let me know what you think. Maine in September should be very beautiful!!

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  39. Happy Friday Loi,
    I always look forward to taking a tour through your photo essay and this one is amazing. First picture my heart sung with joy, simply breathtaking as all your gardens in both states are. I adore your library, I did comment on your guest post. The room must embrace you and Tom everytime you enter it's inviting calm. I have two antique iron garden chairs in my DR. I put Mongolian lamb cushions on them, but then that's me! I love the textural feel and accessories you have chosen for that room.
    Your exterior in Maine sits on the land proud and with New England charm. I like the idea of white with black shutters it will enhance and add a punch of drama. I personally adore white and black. Loving all those shutters.
    Enjoy the weekend, wherever it finds you and Tom.
    Vera

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  40. Hi Loi! Your not the only one who's M.I.A.! I've been busy with vacation and a lot of baby stuff and since it's back-to-school time, that's kept me busy at work and home too, so don't fret about being a bit easy on the blogging, You're definitely not alone there! ;-)

    Your garden in DC has always been enchanting, but I can see how much more it is now, glad you got to enjoy both homes dear. Your library is fantastic, in case you missed my comment on Kim's blog, I can't believe I haven't seen it before?!

    Your home in Maine is looking wonderful already, do you ever have a bad shot of your home? I bet even with the moving boxes around you can still make it look stunning! Can't wait to see it inside! As for the exterior, I love the crispness of white and black, your house will be elegant and atune with your surroundings there for sure. Love the tours dear, I've never been that far east in the U.S., it almost feels like a different country out there (you know I live in the south right ;-))!!!! Anyway, you guys enjoy the rest of the summer, it's getting a bit nippy at night, which I'm lovin' since my hormones have made feel so H-O-T (warm) all the time! 7 more weeks for me dear . :-) Mwah!

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  41. What a treat to visit your gorgeous gardens!! And the visit to the beautiful state of Maine...and get a peek at your home there...via your photos was delightful! It truly is a state with spectacular scenery.
    Thank you so much, Loi, for stopping by my blog and your very kind words of encouragement!
    Mary Alice

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  42. I am in love with your library! Who wouldn't want to have one in their home? And your garden, it's like the flowers and plants know they're being photographed and are posing! So gorgeous! Maine looks so charming and quaint. New England is on my list of places I need to visit and your pictures make me want to visit even more!

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  43. LOI! Good morning to you! Thank you for coming by to dance with me at the American Swedish Institute! (I thought of you the entire time we were perusing the halls of this Swedish mansion!)

    I wish you success as you continue to get the house in order to prepare for FALL! I can see your home now...all decked out in the fall colors of Maine. We await your next share and isn't it nice to take a blog break? Missed you, but looking forward to another post soon.

    OK, off to gear myself to getting back to school! Anita

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  44. Hi Loi - I enjoyed these photos so much! Thanks for showing us more of Maine. It's good to know you're having a great summer--hard to believe it is passing so quickly. We are already feeling the cooler air in Boston.

    Happy Weekend,
    Deborah

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  45. Hello Loi,
    I am always so happy to see your blog pop up on my side bar.
    Great post - garden ideas, a glimpse into your library and travel blog all in one.
    Hope you both have a lovely weekend,
    Liz x

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  46. Hi, Loi,

    I enjoyed reading you guest column and seeing the extra photos of your handsome library. I'll bet it looks great in the evening when your sconces cast a nice glow. I wonder whether Russian Sage would survive in Florida? It's gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I bet Russian sage would do well in Florida. Try it and let us know.

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  47. Hi Loi,

    Well, it's official: I'm in love with Lubec and its lovely lighthouses, along with my native Canada's colourful ones! Such picturesque prettiness everywhere you turn, from the quaint little houses and shops to the crystal blue waters, the entire area, shared by our two chummy countries, is stunningly beautiful! At home, in your own oasis of summer blooms, things are just as gorgeous. Enjoy the simple pleasures of this most spectacular season, my friend!

    Poppy

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  48. What absolutely beautiful pictures, Loi!! I love your color scheme for the Castine house - it will be gorgeous! Thanks for this little glimpse into your summer! xoxo

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  49. The plans you have for the Maine house sound perfect! I wish I had room for 18 limelights!!! LOVE your library and am anxious to see the dining room.

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  50. Hi Loi, the garden is lovely - I love all your plantings and so nice to see the beds all lush and vigorous. Beautiful! Your plans for the Castine house are exciting - love the colour scheme. Can't wait to see the house painted (you too, I'm sure). So very nice to see your photos from your Downeast trip in Maine. I grew up in New Brunswick - you were about a 2h drive from my Mom's house from there. Haha. Looks lovely - I have not visited that part of Maine yet, but plan to. We usually cross the border and stay on I-95 until we are further into the state, but some day I want to drive back to NB along the coast and see the sights. I think it was the Roosevelts who used to have summer stays on Campobello Island, which is one of a few islands belonging to New Brunswick right by Maine. I am heading to NB next week for 10 days of visiting with my Mom. Hope it is not too hot and humid.
    Glad you're well. There is so much to get done in summer. We are trying to do a bit of work on our house and cannot find a contractor who isn't booked solid. Late starting as the wedding got in the way of other plans.
    Hello to Tom!
    xo Terri

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    1. Thanks, Terri. Wouldn't it be fun to meet in Maine next summer? Please come visit us in Castine!! We'd love that :)

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  51. What a beautiful library and great photos of that part of Maine. I have never been to Maine only as far as Boston. Reminds me of the northern coast of California near Mendocino.
    Enjoy.

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  52. I enjoyed all of your photos of Maine -- I've got to get back there - haven't been in years! And your DC garden is outstanding! The russian sage is gorgeous!

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  53. Your limelight hydrangea are absolutely marvelous!

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  54. Hi friend! That first image of your garden should grace a magazine cover, it is spectacular! Your garden this summer is spectacular. I can't believe the grass is still growing and plush and the days and nights cool for us. I really enjoy your journalling about Maine, since I have never been there. The towns are so full of character and the views of the water really are as beautiful as I've dreamed about up there. Enjoy your trips and your two houses! xoxo Nancy

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  55. Looks like you're having a fabulous summer as well, both in DC & Maine!

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  56. Hi Loi!! So nice to catch up with you :). The coast of Maine is spectacular! What charming little towns...perfect for strolling through shops and local cafes. I couldn't help but chuckle at the instant visual I had when you described your silver mini van stuffed with dogs, furniture and stuff puttering along the highway lol! We've made so many of those same types of trips to our country place. The exterior paint scheme sound fresh and crisp, like the water and air in Castine I bet. Sounds like you are enjoying your summer. Wishing you the best :)
    Cheers!
    Sarah

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  57. What an incredibly beautiful part of the country and so different from where I live! I will have to add Maine to my bucket list!!! P.S. Your gardens are to die for! xo Leslie

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  58. Great photos, Loi. A co-worker of mine just visited New England and loved Maine. He told me I must put Acadia on my list of places to see.
    Claudia

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  59. Everything is looking absolutely lovely, Loi! The gardens look to be in great shape this year.

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  60. I'm pinning your white plantings for future reference...lovely!

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  61. All of your garden photos are beautiful per usual but Loi, that first image....took my breath away!! Is that Russian sage? The lighting...all of it exquisite! Book cover worthy!
    Monica

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  62. OK...so that yellow door will be awesome. And what a great summer you have had going back and forth from DC to the shore. It was hot and not rainy enough in Atlanta and some of my plants did not do so well.....whaaaaa.

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi