Holiday Lights at the Garden 2016

I made my annual trip to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the holiday lights last night. The night of my visit last year was uncharacteristically balmy. This year it was just plain hot-67 degrees at 6p.m. No fumbling for the camera through coats and mitten-encased fingers required.

The new light exhibit this year is called Blue Arches. Come enjoy the garden with me!


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Holiday Lights (And Orchids!) in the Garden – 2015 Edition

After 18 straight evenings of rain, the forecast called for a dry night on December 27th, and I made my annual trek to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the holiday lights.

Usually I pick the coldest night in December to do my wandering in the garden. But this December temperatures were in the mid-70’s, and the evening was balmy. The garden’s flowering crabapple trees and ornamental cherry trees and witch hazel were all in bloom. Lenten roses decided to be advent roses. A cold craft-brewed beer was more welcome than hot chocolate.

I beat the lines of evening crowds by arriving about 5 p.m., and then waited for sunset in the orchid house. This year the orchids stole the show from the light displays. I’ve never seen so many in bloom at one time. These were my favorites:

The light displays are more beautiful every year.  I hope you enjoy this year’s slide show of Holiday Lights in the Garden.

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For a look at previous years’ holiday lights, check out this post.

I wish you all a most magical and joyful New Year!

Holiday Lights In The Garden – 2014 Edition

After Christmas I made my annual trip to see the holiday lights at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. This year the Garden really stepped up their holiday offerings. There were outdoor fires where you could make s’mores and enjoy adult beverages, carriage rides, live music, and model trains large and small. The  variety of orchids in bloom in the conservatory was amazing. But the lights were still the best part of the Garden. Come take a look!

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If you would like to see how the Garden lights have changed over the years, check out my Holiday Lights posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Anchored By the Season

All autumn I’ve been adrift in time, tossed from past to future in equal measure, without feeling roots to the present month, the present day, or even the present moment. The strangeness of the weather – one day below freezing, the next day in the 70’s – hasn’t helped. The record-setting warmth could just as easily signal the beginning of spring, except for the walls of gathered leaves waiting for pickup on the neighbors’ curbs.

It’s the return of Christmas that has me anchored in time at last. Seeing Christmas tree lots on the usual corners and twinkling Christmas lights at the usual shopping centers, hearing old Christmas carols on my favorite radio station, I feel like I’ve come home. The holiday sights and sounds tell me where, and when, I am.

IMG_0766For the first time in too many years, I unloaded the Christmas boxes out of the attic, and decorated a Christmas tree. Charley Dog, who I adopted in 2007, never watched me drag a tree inside her house before. She is still not sure what to think about it. Yesterday she threw her nylabone under the tree, and returned from fetching it with a penguin ornament delicately held in her teeth. I’m sure she thought it was a fair trade.

IMG_0755Unpacking Christmas decorations was like reconnecting with old friends.  Some of the ornaments hung on my childhood Christmas trees, and a couple of them hung on my dad’s childhood trees.  Most of the ornaments I got as an adult. They hold sweet memories of the places where I bought them, or of the people who gave them to me, and of many happy Christmases past.

IMG_0753My tree is also full of colored lights. Every night I walk out in my front yard to look at it through the living room window. I strung colored lights outside on my dogwood tree and holly bushes as well. Those lights reflect in the window glass, creating a whole rainbow of color I can see from the street. My neighbors don’t go for the “tasteful white” Christmas lights either. We have a riot of color on houses and shrubbery and suspended from trees everywhere I look. I am happy to be a part of creating the neighborhood Christmas sparkle.

Despite three days of open windows and wearing shorts and flip-flops, tonight will be cold enough for a fire. I’ll spend this Christmas eve bathed in the twin glows of the fire and the Christmas tree. After an autumn of feeling so adrift and out of phase with the time stream, I am grateful to feel connected to this celebration of the season, and to feel that I am home.

Whatever and however you celebrate, I hope that you enjoy peace, joy, and connection this Christmas, and in all the days to come.

Holiday Lights In the Garden 2012

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all photos © Janet Hince

Daniel Stow Botanical Garden creates “Holiday Lights In the Garden” each Christmas season. Something new is added every year. This year it was the illuminated bottle trees. I hope you enjoy your walk through the garden with this slide show.

Holiday Lights in the Garden

Every year Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden fills the garden with lights and music. I’m sure that by now there are millions of lights outlining trees and creating holiday scenes.

One of my Christmas traditions is to go to the garden after Christmas and stroll the grounds on what usually turns out to be the coldest night of the year. But last night was almost balmy, so I could tolerate ungloved hands to take photos of the light displays. Here’s a few of my favorite shots. Click on a photo to enlarge it to a full-size view.

Happy Third Day of Christmas to everyone!