Tour Celia Thaxter Island Garden
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Written by SeacoastNH History


ctgarden.jpgISLES OF SHOALS

You can get there from here, but you have to stick to the schedule. Here is the 2012 schedule for those who want to catch an official ride and tour the restored garden on Appledore Island at the Isles of Shoals, home of Victorian poet Celia Laighton Thaxter. (see below)







VISIT OUR Celia Section

Guided Tours of Celia’s Appledore Island Garden

Each year Shoals Marine Lab staff and dedicated volunteers bring Celia Thaxter’s garden back to life at the Isles of Shoals, ten miles out from Portsmouth Harbor. Her cottage is gone, as is the grand Appleodore Hotel built by Celia’s father Thomas Laighton in 1847. Today the island is leased to the Shoals Marine Lab (SML) for it summer student programs in marine biology. But the garden returns, again and again, as it appears in the famous oil paintings by Childe Hassam. Celia and her parents sleep in an island grave not far from the gardens, but her memory lives on.

In partnership with the UNH Marine Docent program, SML offers select guided tours aboard UNH's R/V Challenger. There are a limited number of trips and limited seating on each journey, so it is important to make your reservations in advance. To check the number of seats available and to make online reservations CLICK HERE.

The cost, including the ferry to the island, the guided tour, lunch and time to explore Appleore is $97 per person. Remember, this is an island without paved roads, vehicles or amenities, so visitors (age 18 and over only please) should be prepared and able to spend the day hiking on rough terrain in unpredictable weather.

Boat departs from New Castle, NH. Scheduled dates for 2012 tours include


Friday, June 29


Saturday, July 7
Saturday, July 14
Saturday, July 21
Thursday, July 26
Saturday, August 4


QUESTIONS? Contact Pam Boutilier: (603) 430-5220 and say "I saw you on"

Introduction by Celia Thaxter

ctgarden02.jpgAt the Isles of Shoals, among the ledges of the largest island, Appledore, lies the small garden which in the following pages I have endeavored to describe. Ever since I could remember anything, flowers have been like dear friends to me, comforters, inspirers, powers to uplift and to cheer. A lonely child, living on the lighthouse island ten miles away from the mainland, every blade of grass that sprang out of the ground, every humblest weed, was precious in my sight, and I began a little garden when not more than five years old. From this, year after year, the larger one, which has given so much pleasure to so many people, has grown. The first small bed at the lighthouse island contained only Marigolds, pot Marigolds, fire-colored blossoms which were the joy of my heart and the delight of my eyes. This scrap of garden, literally not more than a yard square, with its barbaric splendors of color, I worshiped like any Parsee. When I planted the dry, brown seeds I noticed how they were shaped, like crescents, with a fine line of ornamental dots, a "beading" along the whole length of the centre,--from this crescent sprang the Marigold plant, each of whose flowers was like

READ ALL: Celia’s Island Garden online