Saturday, June 11, 2016

Castine House And Garden Tour

There is much to see and do in seaside Castine: golfing, sailing, kayaking, hiking, biking, playing tennis, museum going, shopping, dining, and relaxing on the beach. And this time of year, when Castine's weather is picture perfect, come experience our charming town - you'll be in for a treat!

Speaking of treat, on July 13th, the Castine Historical Society (CHS) is sponsoring the 2016 Castine House and Garden Tour. The last one was back in 2010, so don't miss this special opportunity to visit 11 private homes and 4 coastal gardens that are otherwise not open to the public. I'm thrilled that our home is included.

In addition, visitors will get to tour the CHS's recently restored Ca. 1850 Samuel P. Grindle House, a Greek Revival on the Town Common. Also included are the Ca. 1763 John Perkins House and Dyce Head Lighthouse built in 1828.

From historic houses to summer cottages, 18 properties, all located within the town village, will welcome visitors from 10 am - 4 pm rain or shine. Advanced tickets and more information are available on the website.

Many thanks to Lynne and Ruth, the Co-Chairs, for organizing this event. And thanks to the many volunteers for all of their work. Tom and I are super excited to be participating. We personally invite you to attend! Please help spread the word.

Here's a sneak peek. I took most of these photos over the Memorial Day weekend when we were up to open our home.
The weather was slightly chilly over Memorial weekend, but everything was lush in that fresh shade of spring green. I gardened as much as I could; felt great to dig in the dirt again! The two boxwood shrubs flanking the granite steps were just transplanted. Though full of perennials, I felt this area needed more structure.  
I'm planning on adding a few more shrubs to the beds, particularly near the barn / garage.
Below is a photo of our house taken in 1871 - looks completely different compared to today. That's because it was originally built in the Federal style in Ca. 1804.  Architectural changes in the Victorian taste were made in the late 1800s. A third floor was added along with a mansard roof.

When you visit on July 13th, check out the other Victorian details such as the staircase railings, windows, etc., as well as the original Federal features. Feel free to ask us or the hosts and hostesses.  
This handsome residence with its distinctive hexagonal shaped cupola will also be on the tour. It's known as the Ca. 1830s Samuel Adams House.

Adams was a successful merchant with a prominent general store in downtown Castine. He was one of the founders of the Adams and Abbott Schools, both still overlooking the Town Common. 

Let's head over to the Town Common. Below is the Samuel P. Grindle House, a Greek Revival built in Ca. 1850 for Grindle, a ship carpenter. It was acquired in 2008 by the CHS, and expertly restored and renovated to provide research and small exhibition spaces, staff offices, and state of the art archival storage.  
Here is the newly decorated front parlor with furnishings, fixtures and wallpaper that are all appropriate to a house of this period - it's what the Grindles might have used during the mid 19th century. See more on July 13th.
Two photos (courtesy of the CHS) of the Grindle House. The above image is from the 1870s; below photo taken during the restoration.
In addition to the crisp white clapboards, Castine is graced with many other beautiful and unique homes. Don't miss this stunning Ca. 1890s Arts and Crafts cottage perched on the ledges of Dyces Head with breathtaking views of the sea. Behind is the lighthouse. Photo (below) courtesy of Saltmeadow Properties.
Dyce Head Lighthouse will also open to tourgoers. This is high on my list as I've never been inside.
At the John Perkins House, now a museum, visitors will step back in time to experience 18th century living in Castine's oldest standing home. Originally built on Court Street, it was moved piece by piece in 1969 to the current location overlooking the harbor.
Here is one of the featured gardens. It's on the grounds of the Ca. 1796 Parson Mason House. An allee of standard lilacs graciously leads visitors to the terraced gardens beyond.

There are many more homes and gardens to enjoy. Plus a lovely luncheon at the Manor Inn.
Now for a quick stroll around town.      
Please visit the 2016 Castine House and Garden Tour website for all the information. You can purchase your advanced ticket at a reduced rate HERE.

Hope to see you!
PS - For more, follow along on my INSTAGRAM.


  1. Hello Loi, Each time you post about Castine, I am impressed how much of its past it has been able to save and make usable in the present. In addition, in summertime at least, there is a laid-back, vacation-regatta type atmosphere that adds to its appeal.

  2. You have both done a wonderful restoration job on your Castine home Loi, and I am sure that lots of people will be flocking to see it. Have a lovely day on the 14th July.

    1. Thanks so much, Rosemary! The tour date is July 13th.

  3. I just got in on time to see your newest blog post, LOI! First of all, thank you so much for coming to visit my blog. Your charming presence and kind words resonate so much love. OH THOSE PEONIES, HUH? Gosh, I am never sure which flower is my favorite, but I think the flowers say, "WOMAN, there are no favorites in the garden. Just love it all in." And I will, 'cause the hydrangeas are NEXT!

    OK, now for your slice of Maine. LOVE! I am so happy for you and Tom that you have settled into this fabulous place of rich history in both culture, architecture and tradition. The house is marvelous; I seem to remember however, that you got your hands on a sweet Tudor cottage? DO TELL! Show us!

    Peace and blessings for a fabulous Sunday! Anita

  4. Man, how I love an all-white house!

  5. MC and I wish you and Tom all the success of a fabulous Tour of your beautiful home! If we could visit anywhere it would be there to see you in Maine!!!
    Your home will be the HIT of the Tour!

  6. How I wish a summer in Maine were on our calendar. The Home and Garden Tour would be a must do for me. I know it will be a lovely tour for all. My friend, Cinnie, will be there and likely helping with the tour. Eager to see more photos!

  7. Wow, I would enjoy joining this tour. To see the houses, the gardens and the ocean views will be so inspiring and marvellous!

  8. This is wonderful! Love the photographs and commentary on the landscaping at your home. Can't wait to get there for the summer!!

  9. Thank you Loi!! This is lovely!!
    See you soon!

  10. Castine looks like such an ideal community to live in.

  11. Congrats, Loi! What an honor to be part of this beautiful tour. Your town looks absolutely idyllic!

  12. Loi,
    So many great historic homes. I love how they've been preserved and maintained. I wish I could be on the east coast for this tour. I hope you'll share some of the details of the event once it's taken place. Your home looks lovely.

  13. What a most wonderful tour it will be Loi!!!

  14. I wish I could go!!!!! Your pictures are just all so lovely Loi and your home is just splendid as always! You always say you need to do this or that, but to me, your home always look so perfect! Enjoy your summer my friend!

  15. One of these days I will make a point of visiting. It looks like the most perfect New England town and I bet they are so happy you chose that village as well to add to the beauty of the homes and gardens :)

  16. wow! thanks for the tour, loi. it is so charming and feels as though time stood still. castine is on my list! peace to you.

  17. Absolutely beyond gorgeous Loi! My fave was the pale gray home with the standard lilacs. They are chartreuse? I'm not that knowledgeable about flowers, but my heart skipped a beat or three when I saw that! xoxo

  18. I so wish I lived nearby so that I could join in. Those houses and interiors look absolutely beautiful. All the inspiration you can find there....Hope you will have a great time Loi. Enjoy!

    Madelief x

  19. i actually thought to myself, let's check my calendar! not to be, will be at the gift show in atlanta....drats!
    oh how i love your home, the lighthouse home, gardens and the town in general. love the wallpaper in the grindle home, our small village country club is from the 1850's and when redecorated the same paper went up!
    enjoy Loi
    debra @ 5th and state (my blog has disappeared and it wants to name me something not quite nice)

  20. Oh boy would I love to come for this! Maybe next year. We have been dying to come to Maine again!

  21. A lovely looking place, I would certainly love to be relaxing right now under those blue skies!

  22. Thanks for the preview, Loi. Can't wait. Ordered my ticket and room reservation. Castine always seemed to me the quintessential New England town, perhaps not found by everyone. Hope to see you there.
    Billlie (

  23. Loi, your Maine home is just would be a treat to attend this event and see your beautiful home. I hope to visit Castine some day soon! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

  24. Such a pretty looking place, it must be the perfect destination for the Summer!

  25. Hello Loi,

    How exciting. Your home and garden look fabulous and I am sure everyone will love meeting you and Tom.
    Fondest wishes

    Helen xx

  26. Such an amazing place to be in the summer. Hope that you have a great one Loi!

  27. Stunning images! I hope to get up there some day!

  28. Oh Loi Castine is storybook magical. Amazing the beauty seen without the ugly power lines. Your home is breathtaking and I am thankful you share photos with us.

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi