What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens A Night of Light

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens

A Night of Light

By Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist


As daylight saving time ends and we shift to days of less sunshine, many of us have a natural tendency to hibernate. This can be a welcome change for those of us who love the darkness. (Each year I long for the day when I can put the garden to bed and cozy up by the fire for a quieter season.) For some however, the change to darker days can be a challenge. A great way to fight the winter blues is to stay active, get outside, and embrace the beauty that can be found in fresh cold air and starry nights.


Instead of lamenting the loss of the light this year, try embracing the new gifts that the dark cool nights bring. There are not many smells as sweet as a campfire on a cool night or marshmallows roasting. It’s hard not to find joy in listening to the sound of fresh leaves crunching underfoot, or watching steam escape into the night air from a mug of hot tea. Winter brings a new and brighter star map to observe in the sky and new sounds to hear in the woods.


A slow and mindful hike in the dark can be a very warm and welcoming experience, especially if done in a group. This year for one night only, we will be lighting up the pathways of the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens with hundreds of luminaries in celebration of the night. Come early to make your own lantern out of recycled materials and then take a walk through the illuminated pathways to explore and get comfortable with the darkness. After your walk you’re invited to warm up around the bonfire where local musician Heather Kelday will be leading a sing-along. Bring a travel mug to sample some herbal tea, and an instrument if you play one. If you make it to all of the night stations in the garden you will have a chance to win a prize basket of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate from Just Us! to help keep you warm as the weather cools.


A Night of Light is being coordinated by four Acadia Students from Alan Warner’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies Community Programming class. A great thanks to Rosalind Beddoe, Hayley Boutilier, Tammy Mudge, and Kayla Winsor for planning this night of fun for Acadia students and community members. We look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you around the campfire on Tuesday, November 7 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Rain date: Wednesday, November 8. Dress warmly and bring a travel mug.



Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens

Acadia University