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97 Main Street, South Paris, ME 04281 207-743-8820

Garden Events

Thank you for choosing to visit the McLaughlin Garden! We are a non-profit garden open to the public.

We rely on your donations and support to help us organize and host a free or low-cost schedule of events each season. Although visiting the garden and most of our programs are free, we do have some events and programs that we ask for a fee to enter. We host 5 major fundraising events, most of which have just a $5 admission fee, that provide great value to the garden and hopefully to you.

Artists who hold workshops/classes here at the garden set their own fee and donate a portion of their proceeds back to the garden. Please note if the event you are planning to attend has a fee. Donations above and beyond the admission fee are always gratefully accepted. Cash for $5 admission fees is preferred but credit cards and checks will always be accepted.

Please call 207-743-8820 if you have any questions about our events and programs. We can’t wait to see you at the garden this season!


March 2022

Our in person Winter Lecture Series & Tea is back and we are also offering an option to zoom in if you are out of the area or are not comfortable in crowds. Please click here to join in on any of our presentations online.

Wednesday, March 2 , Winter Lecture Series #1 Tea served at 3:30pm Lecture starts at 4:00pm- Tools: How to Choose Them, Use Them and Take Care of Them” presented by Tom Atwell freelance garden columnist at the Portland Press Herald.

Wednesday, March 9 , Winter Lecture Series#2- Tea served at 3:30pm Lecture starts at 4:00pm- “Gardening From the Ground Up: the Basics of Soil Science for Gardeners” presented by Rebecca Long of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension- Oxford County.

Wednesday, March 16, Winter Lecture Series#3- Tea served at 3:30pm Lecture starts at 4:00pm “Habitat Garden at Valentine Farm” Presented by Barbara Murphy of Mahoosuc Landtrust.

Wednesday, March 23,Winter Lecture Series#4- Tea served at 3:30pm Lecture starts at 4:00pm-“The Unique Characteristics of Trees” presented by Maine state District Forester Patti Cormier

Wednesday, March 30, Winter Lecture Series #5-Tea served at 3:30pm Lecture starts at 4:00pm-  “Container Gardening” presented by Becky Moening, owner of Swallowtail Gardens.

April 2022

Wednesday, April 6- 2:00pm-5:00pm- Wool Trivet Class- Learn how to recycle your worn or unused wool clothing into a colorful trivet.  This class will cover the history and lost art of manipulating wool fabric into sewn folk art rugs.  Students will make a trivet and in the process will learn three different techniques for sewing wools strips together.  With these techniques, students can make coasters, trivets, and even rugs at home.  Teacher will provide all supplies.

 $40 for the class, which includes supplies. 


May 2022

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibit welcomes May Artist of the Month Mary DeLano

Opening Day for plant sales for the general public is Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10am        

Friday, May 6- 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Members-Only Plant Sale- Members enjoy first pick from our 2022 perennial plant sale inventory, gift shop, and barn sale. This is a great opportunity to put your 10% member discount to good use. Consult with the Horticulturist and choose just the right plants for your garden and yard. Share ideas, find inspiration and meet other Garden members.           

May 7-8 (Saturday & Sunday)-10:00 am to 4:00 pm 
Kick off the gardening season with the McLaughlin Garden at the Wildflower Celebration and Wildflowers and Whimsy Barn Sale.  Stroll the garden on your own with a self guided wildflower tour and find Spring Ephemeral and native wildflowers. Attend our Native Orchid presentation at 11a. Bring your gardening tools and take advantage of on-sight tool sharpening (fee for service) with Complete Sharpening Services on Saturday and Sunday from 10a to 4p. Shop in our Wildflowers and Whimsy Barn Sale for deals on used items for your garden and yard, buy plants in our plant sale, and garden themed gifts and items in our gift shop.
Open to the public. FREE! 
Tuesday, May 17- 9:30 am-12:00 pm
Power Propagators-Join Foothills Garden Club members and McLaughlin volunteers in the barn for propagating and potting up plants from the McLaughlin Garden to support our plant sale.

May 27-30 (Friday-Monday/ Memorial Day Weekend)-
McLaughlin Garden Annual Lilac Festival– Become intoxicated by the glorious sight and smell of our lilac collection. You’ll find about 125 different varieties and over 200 lilacs. Take a guided lilac care garden tour offered daily at 11:00am, enjoy iced lilac tea tastings daily from 12p. to 2p. Visit at 1p. on Sunday and listen to a musical performance by Kristin Short’s Sea Siren Duo. All weekend find help choosing just the right plant to take home to your garden and shop the many lilac themed gifts in our gift shop. Open to the public. $5 per person.


June 2022

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibit welcomes June Artist of the Month Anne Stuer

Sunday, June 5- 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
National Cancer Survivor Celebration
Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine invites you to the McLaughlin barn to join together to honor friends and family members affected by cancer. More details to come.

Saturday, June 11- 1:00 pm-4:30 pm
Musubi Stone Wrapping Level 1 with Cynthia Atkinson- When I started teaching this class several years ago, I had no idea there were so many stone lovers! I am happy to guide you to make your own Musubi Stones. Anyone can learn. Musubi stone wrapping employs centuries-old techniques of Japanese basket weaving to make leather-wrapped stones that inspire contemplation. All materials will be supplied, including the leather cord, but please bring 2-3 of your own palm sized roundish stones. It’s so much fun to allow a river or beach stone to choose you for this project! $45 fee. RSVP by calling 207-743-8820 or email

Tuesday, June 14- 9:30 am-12:00 pm
Power Propagators-Join Foothills Garden Club members and McLaughlin volunteers in the barn for propagating and potting up plants from the McLaughlin Garden to support our plant sale.

Monday- Saturday, June 20-26 10:00 am-4:00pm
 National Pollinator Week – McLaughlin Garden will spend the week honoring a diverse group of pollinators and all they do to keep our planet healthy! On Thursday, June 23 at 1p.m Nancy Donovan, a Master Gardener with The University of ME Cooperative Extension will be presenting her lecture titled “Birds, Bees and Butterflies, Oh My!” filled with information on building your own pollinator garden. She will also be sharing pollinator garden certification requirements. State apiarist Jennifer Lund will be talking about native pollinators at 11am on Saturday 6/25 and then, at 3pm, brew honey mead with McLaughlin’s Head Gardener Corey Kotfila (this is an RSVP workshop with a fee. Details on how to sign up will be shared soon). Get involved with our new pollinator garden project or participate in one of the presentations, workshops or activities to celebrate and learn more about what we can do to support the important work of pollinators.

 Thursday Night in the Garden Series starts June 16th

Thursday, June 16- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #1-
“Carnivorous Plants” presented by McLaughlin Garden’s Head Gardener Corey Kotfila.

Thursday, June 23- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #2- “
Clematis and Pollinator Relationship: It’s complicated!” with Cindy Tibbets, owner of Hummingbird Farm. Clematis is not the first plant you think of when trying to attract pollinators to your garden. Cindy will introduce you to pollinator friendly clematis and will also have plants available for you to purchase for your garden.

Thursday, June 30- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #3-
Up-cycle wine corks into drink coasters with Susan Weiler; and maybe enjoy a glass of wine while your here.

July 2022

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibit welcomes July Artist of the Month

Thursday, July 7- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #4- “
Planting a Moss Garden” with Becky Moening of Swallowtail Garden. Learn about different types of mosses, ideal planting sites and garden layout while Becky builds a moss garden right here at McLaughlin Garden.

Saturday, September 17- 3:30pm- 6:00 pm-
Musubi Stone Wrapping Level 2 with Cynthia Atkinson- For all of you who joined us for the beginner Musubi Stone Wrapping class here at McLaughlin Garden last fall and last month, now is your chance to build on your new craft. You’ve learned the basics of Musubi Stone Wrapping and now it’s time to learn some new and more intricate wrapping techniques. All materials will be supplied, including the leather cord, but please bring 2-3 of your own palm sized roundish stones. It’s so much fun to allow a river or beach stone to choose you for this project! $45 fee. RSVP by calling 207-743-8820 or email

Tuesday, July 12-9:30am-12:00pm
Power Propagators
– Join Foothills Garden Club members and McLaughlin volunteers in the barn for propagating and potting up plants from the McLaughlin Garden to support our plant sale.

Thursday, July 14- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #5- Botanical Cocktails with Mixologist Spencer Neuman.

Thursday, July 21- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #6- Shibori (Japanese manual tie-dyeing technique) and Indigo Painting with Mary DeLano.  Mary will guide you every step of the way as you try your hand at creating a uniquely patterned bandana. Class limited to 18 students.

Friday, July 22- 6:30 pm-7:30 pm
Sebago Long-Lake Music Festival Concert
– We are so lucky! This season marks the 50th Anniversary for Sebago Long Lake Music Festival at Deertrees Theater and we are honored to be hosting their musicians in the McLaughlin Barn this season. The string quartet, consisting of 2 violinists, a violaist and a cellist, will carry you away with their performance in the historical barn.  Families could come at 5:30 or 6:00 to picnic and then into the barn at 6:30 for the performance. All are welcome. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Sunday, July 31- 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Eco-Printing Workshop with Mary Delano
– Record your visit to McLaughlin Garden by printing our plants on fabric! Maine fiber artist Mary DeLano will teach you the art and craft of Eco-printing; a process where plant materials are placed on specially treated fabric and then steamed to release the pigments in the plants, leaving realistic prints of the plants on the fabric. During this full day class, participants will learn about which plants print reliably and will have a chance to experiment with other plants.  Students will take home one silk scarf and  1 ¾ yards of printed fabric, including silk, cotton and linen. RSVP required. Payment is due at time of registration. Non-members $135, members $125. Registration closes on July 14th. No refunds after that time unless the class is cancelled.

Thursday, July 28- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #7
– “Come Together” for Beatles Night with pianists Danielle Tran (currently playing with The Cobblestones, and you may also remember her from last year’s Thursday Night in the Garden series “A Night at the Movies” with her son Sam on violin) and Dawson Hill (currently playing with the Jason Spooner Band). Professional musicians Danielle and Dawson will play, not at the “Octopus’s Garden” but at the “McLaughlin Garden”, their favorite Beatle’s tunes. We could listen to them “Eight Days a Week”.


August 2021

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibit- August Artist of the Month-Rebecca Hoskins

Thursday, August 4- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #8
– Heart-felt singer songwriter Kristin Short performs with her acoustic rock/contemporary folk band Sea Siren Trio. Kristin and her band will enchant you with a mix of original music and cover tunes. Sailors beware.

Tuesday, August 9- 9:30am-12:00pm
Power Propagators– Join Foothills Garden Club members and McLaughlin volunteers in the barn for propagating and potting up plants from the McLaughlin Garden to support our plant sale.

Thursday, August 11- 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thursday Night in the Garden #9
Planting for Winter Interest with Rebecca Moening- Learn about which plants still strut their stuff through the cold winter months here in Maine. Be inspired and create a garden that is will be beautiful to look at all year long.

Friday, August 26- 7:00 pm-8:30 pm-
Family Fun Night
– Children’s Event- A magic filled night out, geared especially for your kids. Dress your children up as a favorite super hero and enjoy dancing, crafts, lawn games and other fun set against the back drop of their own mini Garden Illuminated. Explore the paths in the Garden and maybe come across a super hero or two to shake hands with. $5 per person.

Saturday, August 27 8pm to 10pm

Garden Illuminated– All are welcome to join us at this late summer evening celebration. Hundreds of candles light up the pathways through the Garden creating an intimate and “other-worldly” experience. Connect with family and friends under the stars while walking through the Garden and, inside the barn, dance and mingle to this years feature band: The Jason Spooner Band. Light refreshments and cash bar available. This is one of McLaughlin’s signature fundraising events. $20 per ticket, or 2 tickets for $30.

September 2022

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibitSeptember Artist of the Month- hooked rugs by various local artists

Saturday, September 10-10:00 am-4:00 pm-
Art in the Garden-Enjoy the end of the summer by visiting the McLaughlin Garden and watch artists capture the season in paint. Plein air painters are painting throughout the garden all day. Live music in the Garden starting at 11am. Shop for art in artist’s tents outside or visit art shows hanging in the barn, on the enclosed porch, and in the McLaughlin Garden Art Gallery. Art demonstrations this year include eco-printing and geli-printing (11a and 2p). End the day by bidding on a piece of art created by participating plein air artists. The auction will start at 2p.m. The Gift shop will be open where you will find handmade items and cards.

Tuesday, September 13- 9:30am- 12:00pm
Power Propagators- Join Foothills Garden Club members and McLaughlin volunteers in the barn for propagating and potting up plants from the McLaughlin Garden to support our plant sale.

Saturday, September 17-9:00 am-3:00 pm-
Printmaking with Geli plates- Geli “plates” are soft printmaking surfaces in which many different textures and stencils can be used to create a variety of beautiful layers and patterns. Join artist Sarah Shepley in the historic McLaughlin barn and learn the process of Geli Printmaking. In this class participants will spend the day exploring the varied use of different textures ( textured papers, fabric, wooden stamps, lace, flora, string etc.) and will learn how to create surface designs as well as narrative pieces. After introducing the basics, Sarah offers demonstrations on the hour using stencils, mat mediums, rainbow rolls as well as other techniques. All materials provided, no experience necessary. Class runs from 9:30-4:00. $160.00. Please RSVP by calling the McLaughlin Garden at 207-743-8820 or by email to


October 2021

McLaughlin Art Gallery exhibit-October Artist of the Month- 

October 12-13 Wednesday 10p-8p & Thursday 10a-6p-
Pumpkin Carving Room– Try your hand at carving pumpkins to be displayed in our annual Jack O’Lantern Spectacular event. We will provide the gutted pumpkins, the tools, templates of carving ideas, inspiration and camaraderie- plus we clean up the mess. All pumpkins will be displayed in our Jack O’Lantern Spectacular event on Friday and Saturday night (14th & 15th). Carvers may pick up their pumpkins on Sunday the 16th to take home. No fee. Please call 743-8820 for additional information or to notify us if you will be attending with a large group.


October 14-15 (Friday-Saturday) 6p-9p-
Jack-o’-lantern Spectacular– Spend the evening enjoying a spectacular amount of carved and lit pumpkins lining the paths through the garden. Our surprise theme this year is out of this world and we can’t wait to share the pumpkin experience that we’ve created for you this season. Admission is $5 per person for guests 2 and older and includes cider and popcorn and use of the decorated photo booth in the barn. Please call 743-8820 to purchase tickets for gifting or for any questions. Mask wearing is strongly encouraged.


November 2021

November 12
Handmade Wreath Sale


November 25, 26 & 27- Friday 11/25- 4p-8p, Saturday 11/26- 9am to 7pm, Sunday 11/27- 9am to 2pm
Festival of Trees
– Glittering lights, magical displays, fantastic sounds of the holiday…this is what you can expect at the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce 10th Annual Festival of Trees event to be held November 27-28 at the beautiful McLaughlin Garden in South Paris. The Chamber is currently accepting registrations from local businesses, organizations, groups and individuals to have the opportunity to submit their own decorated tree to create a winter wonderland in the Oxford Hills. You will become part of a magical community event by donating a decorated, artificial, holiday tree to the Festival of Trees. Your beautiful tree, along with your name, will be displayed throughout the event and viewed by the public. Raffle tickets will be sold and each amazing tree will find a new home at the end of the Festival.

December 1st through December 8th- 10 am (Thursday the 1st) to 10am (Thursday the 8th)
McLaughlin Garden Annual Online Auction
– Visit and feel the excitement of bidding on a variety of items from the comfort of home. From a week-long stay in a Paris apartment to tickets to special events, you won’t find another auction catalog like it! This is one of our most important fundraising events of the year and we need your help meeting our fundraising goals! Bid high and bid often as all Auction proceeds go directly to supporting the development of our gardens and events & programming for all of us!


December 2021

Member Christmas Party TBD