It is not often that I take time for a leisure valley trip, these drives are saved for nursery runs only. But this year my friends, Jeanette and Laurie, and I decided to check out the Ghostly Gardens After Dark event at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens and boy are we glad we did!
We were first met by a scary ghoul who turned out to be our very friendly tour guide. Of course we immediately requested that he/she take a picture of us in our "Fancy Hats" at the entrance to the gardens as a start to our journey. We were then directed into the gift shop which offered many beautiful and non-ghoulish items ready for purchase.
I do not want to give away too many details of the visit so as not to ruin the surprise for those of you who want to visit for yourself. The suspense of not knowing what is around the corner is a major part of the experience. I can say that the folks here put a lot of time and thought into the event and we enjoyed every minute.
For saftey reasons we were supplied with a lantern and much to our delight it was powered by a real candle - yes they trusted us with fire - and was totally charming. With lighted pathways to follow and signage we were able to naviagate through the gardens with no problem.
There were some great special effects and wonderful props that were well thought out and must have taken a considerable time to make. Look for these giant heads - there is a history lesson to be learned from them that I won't spoil, you must experience it for yourself.
And no one broke character no matter how much we tried. Laurie dared to get close to this creepy priest (left) while I had a little romantic cuddle with the grim reaper on a park bench (right).
This was my first trip to the gardens at night. We were able to appreciate the plantlife in a different "light" (pun intended) as their many forms and textures were more pronounced. Noticeable were the way the lighter colors popped in darker areas and how the shadows were cast from different shrubs and trees. Seeing the gardens layout in this way may give you some ideas for designing your own gardens around night time viewing and entertaining.
We did take many more pictures but as mentioned I do not want to ruin the surprises for anyone still wanting to attend. Friday, October 30th is the last night to experience the Ghostly Gardens at night so make sure you go. Do not miss the the Bat Cave, the Witchsteria Arbour and the Giant Spider Web and the Musician's Graveyard. Because we were pressed for time we missed out on the hot chocolate and marshmellow roasting at the cafe so make sure you schedule your trip accordingly so you do not. There are a few events being held in Annapolis Royal for Halloween and you can purchase a pass right at the gardens which will give you a discount on other entrance fees.