Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Highlights of the Castine House and Garden Tour!

It's July and that means summer in Maine! Summer in Maine means lobsters, blueberries, sailing as well as house and garden tours.

I'm thrilled to say that the 2016 Castine House & Garden Tour, sponsored by the Castine Historical Society, was a huge hit with record attendance! From the 18 featured properties including historic homes, cabins, cottages, gardens plus the lighthouse to the perfect Maine summer day, the event was fun, festive and flawless.

A big thank you to the local volunteers who greeted every visitor with a friendly smile. The docents, shuttle drivers, and many others all deserve credit for their enthusiastic teamwork in making this event such a success. There would not have been a tour without Ruth and Lynne, the Co-Chairs, who started organizing, coordinating and managing every detail beginning last summer. And, thanks to those who generously shared their homes and gardens.

Thanks of course to the many visitors who kept coming all day! I'm especially grateful to my blog, Instagram and Pinterest friends for attending - appreciate your support! Though we're social media pals, it was awesome to finally meet in person :)

Without further delay, I'll share a quick highlight of what I was able to see. Because I volunteered as a docent, I didn't get a chance to catch and photograph every property. Click on photo to enlarge.
The beautiful tour poster designed by the talented Meredithe and her team at Meri Meri.
A few photos of our home on tour day.

Look, no more power lines! Our town recently buried all the power lines on Main Street. The sidewalks, granite curbs, lamp posts and asphalt are all new. Everything was finished just in time for the big event.
Inside, a few of my myrtle topiaries in the dining room were ready to greet visitors.
A stunning summer arrangement of wild grass, garlic scapes and dogwood branches created by Nancy for our antique iron urn. I asked her to go BIG and gutsy, but keep it informal.  Everyone, Tom and I included, couldn't stop admiring it. Merci, Nancy!!

Nancy (who lives in Castine) along with her team of volunteers arranged many of the stylish floral pieces for the tour.
The tour started at 10:00 AM but people started lining up early - there was such a buzz around town!
This historic home's edited palette of white, gray and black mixed with brown antiques and a pop of gold looked so striking.
ABOVE and BELOW: This cool, contemporary style beach house originally designed by acclaimed architect Neil Middleton in the 1980s was recently renovated. It is situated among fields of wildflowers with a panoramic view of the sea. Check out that industrial dolly as a coffee table. I want it!
ABOVE: A timeless cape with clean lines, simple color scheme and classic furnishings. Several little rooms were gutted to create this large, airy living space 
There was such a diverse collection of homes and gardens featured. Each had its own unique point of view. Here we have a 1930s log cabin that oozed charm, character and personality with custom built furnishings, Maine finds plus vintage items including the collection of fabulous lobster dishes. Don't you love that massive stone fireplace? Talk about showstopper!
Many houses in Castine are white inside and out, including ours, so it was exciting to see color used beautifully here. Also, the homeowners created these artistic arrangements with fresh flowers from their own gardens.
Speaking of gardens, this one perched high on the cliff overlooking the Penobscot Bay simply took my breath away. It was designed by Maine landscape architect Bruce Riddell. Native blueberries and lush ferns along with favorite perennials and specimen trees are tucked amongst bold granite resulting in a tapestry of plantings and stonework.
From Nashville to New York, thanks to my social media friends that came to the tour - such fun meeting everyone :) Hugs to Linda and her lovely family, Catherine and her gorgeous children, Elizabeth, Billie, Wayne and Glenda. I apologize if I missed anyone. Nearly 700 people came through our home!
Lastly, Tom and I are grateful to the 11 docents, including Ellie, Sylvia and Jane (visiting from England), who volunteered at our place. You all are the best!
Cheers,
Loi
PS - For more photos, check out my INSTAGRAM.