The Quiet Beauty of Viles Arboretum

With this post, I’m joining Robin at Breezes at Dawn for her annual Walktober tradition. Here’s how she describes Walktober:  “In a nutshell, Walktober is a group walk. We all go out for a walk, we all post about it on our blogs, and I round up all the posts in one big post here at my blog so we can join one another in our various walks.” Anyone is welcome to join, and the link I’ve provided will give instructions on how to do so.

It’s a well-known fact that people will visit places far from home while ignoring those that are in their own backyard, so to speak. For me, this has certainly been the case with Viles Arboretum in Augusta, about fifteen miles from where we live. While I’ve been there before, it was many years ago, when the arboretum was a simple place with a network of trails and not much else.

On Saturday, Clif, Dee, and I went for a visit and discovered that the arboretum has grown over the years. The trails are still there, but now there are also orchards, bees, community gardens, a visitor’s center, and a lovely new barn where a wedding was being held.

Just as I did with Wolfe’s Neck Park in Freeport, I pottered around the edges of the arboretum while Clif and Dee went on the trails. My creaky knees were made worse by a spill I took going up our front steps. I know. Tripping going up the stairs. How foolish is that? But this is what I did. Anyway, other than a few plates, I didn’t break anything, but I have been very sore for the past few days.

Still, I had a lovely time going at my own slow pace, taking pictures and resting on some of the many benches placed at various intervals along the trails. While central Maine might not have the dramatic beauty of the coast, it has its own quiet pleasures. As I sat on one of the benches, I heard chickadees singing their sweet chickadee-dee-dee song. I could smell the nutty fragrance of fallen leaves, and the sun shone at a slant, casting a golden glow on everything.

Here are some pictures from my walk.

This striking sculpture greeted me in the parking lot.

Behind the barn and the visitor’s center, a trail leads to the woods.

On one side there are orchards,

and community gardens. The cosmos, planted at the edge of the gardens, caught my attention.

On the other side, more sculpture, which pleased me as I am a huge fan of outdoor sculpture. If your budget allows—the golden leaves go for $2,500—you could buy one for your very own garden. Alas, not in our budget.

Not far away, were the bees.

Through the fields and into the woods I went, down a charming path with hostas, past their best, and white birches, lovely in any season.

very, very

Farther down, was a bench, just barely visible on the right, where I waited for Clif and Dee. As I waited, I took notes.

Truly, Viles Arboretum is a place worth visiting even if you don’t live in the area.



Nifty Posts from Some of the Lovely Blogs I Follow:

This week, Ju-Lyn of Touring My Backyard, features low-hanging fruit. Literally.

Ever heard of Bohemian Catsody? No? I hadn’t either until I read This Week’s Small Pleasures from Thistles and Kiwis.

I love Halloween—its spookiness coinciding with the chill of fall, and, of course, the candy. From Cimple, here is a deliciously wicked Halloween display.

Lagniappe, with exquisite photography, features little jewels of nature.

As part of her What’s on Your Plate series, Donna, of Retirement Reflections, shares a recipe for mini-cheese cakes. They look both delicious and easy to make. My kind of recipe.

More Halloween fun, this time with the color of fall—orange flowers from Susan Rushton, whose blog’s tagline exactly matches my own philosophy: Celebrating gardens, photography and a creative life.


It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an NPR Tiny Desk concert. Lately I’ve been listening to Tom Misch, an English musician who incorporates jazz, funk, and R&B into his music.  In this unrestful world, I find Misch’s music wonderfully restful.

71 thoughts on “The Quiet Beauty of Viles Arboretum”

  1. I typed up a comment and then forgot to hit “post” when I finished listening to Tom Misch. Silly me. I fall UP stairs, too. Not sure what’s up with that, but it happens quite frequently. I hope everything is better and in good working order now. The arboretum looks like a wonderful place to visit. I really like the first sculpture (and the $2500 gold leaves are outside of my budget, too).

  2. Oh, ouch, hope you are feeling better. I swear the ground is getting harder the older we get!
    Great that you’ve been exploring closer to home. It is true that we are seldom tourists in our own area, like the story ‘Acres of Diamonds,’ we seldom realize we are rich in our own backyards.
    I loved that birch walk – and great cosmos shot – so pretty!

  3. What a beautiful place, Laurie! Yes, you are right about the places closest to home not always being visited first. There is a lot of coastline out here in Oregon I wold like to see.

    I enjoyed your musical selection. Thank you for the introduction to Tom Misch. 🙂

  4. Falling *up* is probably a lot more common than people realize! Hope you heal quickly–and too bad about the plates. The shots are lovely, and I like the sort of bossa nova jazz of Tom Misch. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a beautiful place to visit Laurie and how lovely it is close to home! So sorry to hear about your fall – hope you have some arnica for the bruising and we wish you a speedy recovery 💚🙏

  6. I absolutely love discovering (or rediscovering) wonderful places near to home. Thank you for introducing us to Viles Arboretum. It looks beautiful and peaceful. Thank you also for the kind shoutout. It iis greatly appreciated!

  7. I’m stilll laughing. I read it first as ‘vile arbortetum,” and wondered just what it was that made it so vile. The answer, of course, is “Nothing.” It looks like a wonderful place. Any place that has birches is on my list of good places, and besides — they remind me of Robert Frost’s poem about swinging on birches. That’s good, too.

    Thanks for including me in your links. Little Lagniappe will have a surprise for everyone soon — maybe by next weekend. Stay tuned!

  8. What a lovely place to re-visit Laurie, I liked your wonderful description as you were sitting listening to the chickadees and smelling the nutty fragrance of fallen leaves, and the sun casting a golden glow on everything….I could imagine, and smell, that scene so well I might almost have been with you! I love autumn too.

  9. Ouch, sounds like a nasty tumble. Hope you’re on the mend now. And meanwhile, what a beautiful place to potter and rest.

  10. I know what you mean. We have an arboretum in the village next to us, it’s only the last couple of years we visit it a few times a year to make pictures. Love your pictures !

  11. You got some pretty photos, Laurie. I especially like the Cosmos — I don’t know as I’ve ever seen that before, and it’s such a lovely color. This sounds like a perfect outing — how lucky you are to share it with those you love!

  12. Oh, what beautiful trees. To sit in such a beautiful place and listen to the birds is something I would really enjoy. Sorry about your fall and I hope the soreness is all gone soon. Thank you for sharing the beauty in those great photos.

  13. Thank you for taking us with you on your visit to your own “backyard.” So beautiful, and your photos bring it to life. I agree with the commenter that beech trees create a haven of any space. Just seeing your photos slows my breathing! I also loved the cosmos (great composition!) and the tree sculpture. Heal quickly!

  14. That place looks awesome! Love the sculptures, and to have community gardens and orchards and bees is super cool. Your cosmos picture is gorgeous! So sorry about the fall. Glad you are on the mend.

  15. Hope you’re feeling better and I’m glad you were still able to enjoy a slow walk through this beautiful place! So many beautiful spots to rest and capture those wonderful photos, especially the lovely flowers. Thanks for including my favorite bakery and the wonderful music!🙂

  16. Very sorry to hear about your fall. That looks a lovely place to visit – You seem to be making the most of having Dee home to go out and about. I am reminded that there are lots of places near here which I keep intending to visit but never get round to – a useful nudge so Thank you.

  17. I completely understand about being a tourist at home as that’s what we became by moving somewhere new during restrictions and being so fed up with airports and, in Mr. T.’s case commuting, that we’ve vowed never to go further than these shores again, So much still to see in our small island.

    1. Your small island is a place of great beauty and variety. So much to see. Same is true for Maine, and this fall we are certainly taking advantage of it. Our eldest daughter is staying with us until work calls her back in, and her birthday is at the end of the month. More day trips are planned!

  18. Thanks for the mention, Laurie. I’m sorry you’ve hurt your knees so badly and hope they are soon better. I trust you’d had chance to eat whatever was on the plates. Those birches are wonderful and the hives look colourful too.

  19. Oh dear. Falling up the stairs is my specialty, too. Hope you are much better now, Laurie.
    Beautiful pictures and this looks like such a lovely place to visit. Thank you for the walk!

      1. I tripped going up a puny sidewalk, just this morning. My managing to stay upright must have been quite the sight for anyone who happened to be looking out their window… 😏
        I did!

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