Lewiston GardenFest

A couple Sundays ago I attended the Lewiston GardenFest. I'm so used to my own very urban garden tour that going off into the world of a suburban garden tour was like culture shock -- they have so much space! I would have no idea where to begin with a property measured in acres, as opposed to feet, like mine is.

Even with pretty throw pillows,
I don't think the owners spent much time
on this bench in the woods.
There is much more grass. WAY more grass. And where we urbanites have color and areas defined by good-sized perennials, they use shrubs for color and texture. They also have deer and other vermin to contend with, which isn't a consideration for we city-dwellers. The use of plantings to mask air conditioning units is an art form here.

I was also struck by the unique challenge of transitioning from yard/garden to woods. Most had planted shrubs & perennials going into the forests behind their homes, as well as having meandering paths that go off into the forest. Many had a sitting area, or, minimally, birdhouses tucked into the forests behind them. Growing up, we had woods on two sides of our yard. Transitioning wasn't even a consideration. The woods & underbrush started where dad stopped mowing.

Some of these homes really had "grounds" looking more
like a suburban office park than a residential garden,
or at least with what I've become familiar with.
Not all the homes were "suburban" with large expanses of grass and perfectly groomed shrub beds, but they were in the area with the most concentrated gardens so that's where a lot of people were garden-browsing. There were a few homes & gardens nearer the town's main street that were a bit more human in scale. The main drag of Lewiston, Center Street, was closed off for a few blocks and area nurseries, tree farms, garden art sellers, non-profits and such were set up for visitors to peruse & purchase. This is where much of the action was. It's a pretty village of shops and restaurants, and on a nice sunny day it was a treat to walk through.

There was also a container contest with some creative and unusual entries I caught while there. Donna from Garden Walk Garden Talk was there taking photos of the entries. If you've never visited her blog, you should. It's a great mix of garden design information, in-depth coverage of residential garden issues (diseases, bugs and such), great photography, and the occasional discussion of societal issues associated with garden gnomes.
I should have gotten better photos of the vendor's booths.
There were some great displays, plants and garden art available.
When your border is across a LARGE yard, you use shrubs and
ground covers as the tools in your palette. Only masses of perennial flowers could make a visual
dent when viewed from far away. These are things I don't concern myself with in my small urban plot.
Sidewalks abounded around the houses themselves,
but, curiously, not along the street.
Annuals, not massed looked downright wimpy.
We screen garbage cans and utility poles. These homes had air conditioning to hide.
This is apparently R2D2 doing some home maintenance.

Oh to be a sidewalk salesman in suburbia!
One of the "forest transition" solutions. I think it was
probably more of a grand entry way for the deer.
What to do with all this space!? This yard had a fire pit, bar and putting green.
Downtown, good fences make for good neighbors. Out here there are no secrets.

Here, and following, are some of the container garden entries.

My favorite, though Cookie monster was a close second.


  1. Was this a wake up call for you Jim to see how many in America live or should I ask "what's wrong with this picture." I was asked to write about a few gardens in our area recently. Here is a link to the article. My favorite was the Blinn Garden ... http://www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com/article.asp?aid=747&iid=93&sud=27


  2. Thanks for the plug Jim. You got some photos I did not see when making my rounds. You know the deer freeway? I got a photo of a mother deer and fawn walking that very path last Friday. The photos were not very good as it was my iPhone from inside the house from behind blinds, but it was one in the afternoon. I was stunned to see the doe come out from the path and stand in the yard then go up the other side of the path. I took photos for proof because my friend who raises deer and did the landscaping there would never believe it.

  3. Those are some crazy container gardens! I think I like Cookie Monster best if only cos it's a cool idea. :)


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