Want the recipe for a great summer party? Check out Twilight in the Garden

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Want to throw a fabulous summer party?

Mix together equal parts beautiful blooms, well-manicured gardens, summer dresses, sophisticated wines, delectable food, cool music, stimulating conversation. Stir in a great non-profit organization.

Then, have yourself a great time at the LACASA Twilight in the Garden party.

This year’s garden event runs 6 p.m. to twilight Saturday, July 9, in the spectacular gardens of Tom and Pat O’Connell at their home on Byron Road in Howell Township. Their gardens were featured on the 2005 LACASA Garden Tour, and they’ve generously opened their property to the community’s largest garden party this year.

For the past dozen years, Twilight in the Garden has been the premier summer bash in Livingston County. It’s smart and kind of sophisticated, sure, but it’s also a whole lot of fun.

Now, I confess that I am a bit partial to the party as I am a long-time LACASA board member who also takes a tiny bit of credit for helping get the tour started.

The real force behind the birth of the event is Linda Neff, a gardening buff who used to work with me at the Daily Press & Argus. Anyone who knows Linda at all knows that she loves gardens, gardening and gardeners. She began a series in the DPA called “Great Gardeners,” which featured the people behind some of Livingston County’s most beautiful gardens.

One day, after the series had run for a bit, Linda approached me with an idea.

“These gardens could become a tour,” she said.

And, of course, like all great ideas, it was quickly snapped up — by me. I took the idea to LACASA and the rest, as they say, is history; for the first few years, Linda was part of the event’s planning committee.

I think Linda deserves a huge round of applause.

Linda also writes a scrapbooking blog here at LivingstonTalk.com. You can read her stuff by clicking here.

Throughout the years, an amazing cadre of LACASA and community volunteers shaped the garden tour from its humble beginnings to the amazing event it is these days.

If you’ll indulge me in this minor flight of triteness, it’s been inspiring to see what’s grown and bloomed from the initial seeds planted at the first garden tour in 1999.

That was just a week before the birth of my son. The extent of my participation in that first tour was waddling down the block to my neighbor’s garden, which was featured on the tour.

Since then, it’s been my privilege and pleasure to tour some of the most amazing gardens around.

And, oh, those Twilight in the Garden parties. We can’t forget about the best summer party in Livingston County.

If you’ve attended any of the amazing parties, you understand my point. If not, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that there is something entirely magical about attending a great party in a lovingly tended garden.

Click here for the Garden Tour brochure. And if you have any questions about the Twilight in the Garden party or want to buy tickets, you can call LACASA at (517) 548-1350, or click here for the organization’s website.

The LACASA Garden Tour runs Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for the Twilight in the Garden party are $50 each, and proceeds go to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

In the meantime, enjoy this video I shot at last year’s Twilight in the Garden party.


About Maria Stuart 211 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.