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Maymont Garden Glow is back for its fifth year and bigger, brighter than ever

In addition to the signature experience of the Japanese Garden presented by Colesville Nursery, the Garden Glow path will wend its way through the historic Italian Garden for the first time.

Trevor Dickerson



Maymont’s fifth annual Garden Glow is bigger and more imaginative than ever. Now through November 6, dramatic lighting transforms the historic architecture and gardens into an unforgettable experience for the whole community. Each evening after sunset, people of all ages come together on the Carriage House Lawn, where the Glow Village will offer expanded seating and cozy fire pits, with refreshments from the Glow Bar and a selection of food trucks. The highlight of Garden Glow is the walking tour that immerses guests in a natural landscape dramatically illuminated from within.

In addition to the signature experience of the Japanese Garden presented by Colesville Nursery, the Garden Glow path will wend its way through the historic Italian Garden for the first time. And Maymont has commissioned innovative art installations by local artists: Alfonso Pérez Acostawill engage local school children in a participatory art project to paint designs on lightbulbs that express their “inner glow,” these will hang along with hundreds of the artist’s own hand-painted bulbs, lighting up the interior of the arborvitae grove. And artist Jeff Dobrow will project an animated light show on the historic water tower by the Carriage House featuring a menagerie of mesmerizing illustrations inspired by Maymont’s plants and rescued wildlife inhabitants. In the Japanese Garden, Dobrow will highlight the patterns and textures of animals and plants with a more abstract animation that will play across the natural and man-made structures in the garden.

Other interactive features this year include a Big Bright Mega Light array by artist Kevin Aukward, allowing guests to express their own creativity with over 2,000 glowing pegs. And back by popular demand will be a giant Shadow Wall, perfect for striking poses!

“Garden Glow is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a beautifully reimagined version of the natural and historic landscape at Maymont,” said Parke Richeson, Maymont Executive Director. “And we are thrilled to engage two distinguished Richmond artists in creating original installations that will both touch the heart and inspire the imagination. It’s truly going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The self-guided tour begins with a moderate hike down the WestRock Woodland Trail, a grove of trees awash in soft accent colors. The tour continues through the Japanese Garden presented by Colesville Nursery, where the experience is immersive, with colors enveloping the trees, stone bridges and lanterns, all reflected in the depths of the pond below. The path returns by way of the Cascade stairs to the Italian Garden, where the Via Florum will be illuminated for the first time. For guests who prefer not to walk the hilly terrain and stairs, mobility assistance will be available.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at a discounted rate of $15 per person; $10 for children ages 3 – 12; and free for children ages 2 and under. If not sold out in advance, tickets may also be purchased on-site during the event, for $17 per person; $12 for children ages 3 – 12. Maymont members enjoy $10 admission for adults; $7 for children ages 3 – 12. Guests who present an EBT card receive discounted tickets (on-site only) through the Museums for All program. All proceeds benefit Maymont.

Garden Glow takes place entirely outdoors, rain or shine, except in the case of severe weather. Guests are encouraged to wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear suited for walking rustic paths.

Event parking is available at the Historic Estate Entrance and The Robins Nature Center in addition to street parking. The Farm entrance is closed for the event. Guests attending Garden Glow will enter through the Magnolia Gates at the north (lower) end of the Historic Estate parking lot on Hampton Street.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.