While the sun descends in the August sky, during the balmy summer twilight, the grounds of Cylburn Arboretum shine.
The transitional time between daylight and dark is when the gardens and lawns surrounding the 1880s mansion are full of wildlife, said Jane Baldwin, president of the Cylburn Arboretum Association. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bats are a few of the creatures sighted frequently during the evening hours, she said.
But Saturday, those critters will have to share the space with humans when Baldwin leads the arboretum's Evening in the Garden tour.
"We'll be talking about all of the magnificent trees and shrubs and evening blooming flowers," Baldwin said. "There's lots of things to see and smell and enjoy."
Those visions of natural beauty will be more visible thanks to several luminarias placed along the path to guide visitors. And though the lanterns will add a festive summertime atmosphere to the garden groves, this hourlong tour is serious business.
"We'll be on the trails, on the lawns and on the pavement," said Baldwin, who recommended that participants wear comfortable shoes because lots of walking will be done. After the stroll, Baldwin will guide visitors to the mansion's grand porch for a music-accompanied dessert service.
"It'll be a beautiful scene," she said of the refreshment hour, which will include creme de menthe brownies, peach cake and other homemade goodies.
The porch party won't last for long, however. At 9 p.m., when night falls on Cylburn's trails, flowers and bogs, the arboretum's resident creatures will take over once again as the humans call the evening to a close.
The Cylburn Arboretum is at 4915 Greenspring Ave. For more information, call 410-367-2217. Space is limited to 60 people, and tickets must be reserved by noon tomorrow. Admission is $7.50 for adults and children. The tour will begin about 6:30 p.m.