Jay and Marianne Smith say their backyard is comfortably plain but still worth showing off, especially when the lighting is just right.

"We did nothing exotic," Marianne Smith said of the garden at their South Third Avenue house.

The German Village couple are among 10 stops on the Gardens by Candlelight tour, to be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

Each of the 10 gardens reflect the individual style differences of the owners as well as the physical boundaries of the gardening space, said Ashleigh Lemon, vice president of the German Village Garten Club, which is hosting the event.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at germanvillagegartenclub.com and obtained at Hausfrau Haven, 769 S. Third St., where patrons also can purchase tickets and pick up maps.

Lemon said it's not unusual for patrons to visit the gardens while the sun's out, go to dinner and return to the settings while they're washed in candlelight.

"Last year the experience at Gardens by Candlelight was magical," she said. "The gardens are beautiful enough during the day with so many textures, colors and fragrances but when you come back to view them at night, (when they're) illuminated by candlelight, they seem to change to a completely different garden -- you're whisked away to a secret garden."

The Smiths see their patio and foliage as a sort of sanctuary in the squeezed-together nature of German Village.

"The thing we just like so much about it is the privacy," Jay Smith said.

A tall fence borders the verdant space - called the yin-yang because of its shaded and sun-lit halves -- replete with hydrangea, ground cover, tall pine trees and an assortment of other foliage, as well as lawn decorations.

"We've accumulated things without trying to be too tacky; no gnomes -- there are no gnomes," Jay Smith said.

"It's all perennials except for the one bed, so it's very easy to take care of," his wife said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary