23rd ANNUAL LEWES GARDEN TOUR ON JUNE 15, 2013
The Lewes Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau sponsors its 23rd annual Lewes Garden Tour featuring delightfully unique and private gardens that can only be fully appreciated by stepping inside the gates that enclose them. Twenty-three years ago the late Mary Vessels, her brother Jack and sister-in-law Mickey conceived the idea to share some of the marvelous “hidden gardens” of Lewes with neighbors and visitors. Originally named the Zwaanendael Heritage Garden Tour, it took place on June 23, 1990. Thirteen years ago, the event was honored with a Governor’s Tourism Award for Outstanding One Day Event.
The seven private gardens on this year’s tour were selected by the tour’s Chairperson Carolyn Marshall and they are places that represent a variety of styles and types of gardens. Five of this year’s gardens are all located in or near the historic district and many of them are walking- distance from the Zwaanendael Park where the Garden Market and the chamber’s visitor center are located. Two of the gardens are located on the Lewes Beach-side of the canal. Additionally, Lewes’ newest public garden will be on the tour. The Children’s Learning Garden is a new initiative by Lewes in Bloom, the award winning volunteer organization responsible for the beautification of Lewes. Now in their 11th year, it was decided to organize an outreach program involving children. Thus the Children’s Learning Garden was born! The raised bed garden consists of various shapes and sizes of planting beds. There are also barrels, a potting table, a work table and a compost bin to teach the children how to make compost and learn the benefits of using this natural material to feed the plants. The garden was designed, developed and constructed by volunteer labor.
In addition to the Garden Market where more than 40 vendors are located selling garden related items during the hours of the tour (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), artists will be in the tour gardens painting and tour-goers can enjoy beverages and lunch in the Refreshment Tent provided by Café Amici in Zwaanendael Park with coffee service beginning at 8 a.m. During the hours of the tour, free shuttle service is available for ticket holders.
Local artist Libby Zando returns to the Garden Tour and will be painting in one of the gardens. Fiber artist Sarah Pavlik, whose work has been on display at the Children’s Beach House and at biblion on Second Street, will be in another of the gardens this year. Five members of the Cape Artists will be painting in some of the other gardens. To date, Cape Artist members Jean Bowers, Gerry Gaskill and Ellen Serafini have been confirmed to participate.
Tickets for the tour are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour. They will go on sale Memorial Day weekend at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce visitor center in the Fisher-Martin House located in Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum.
For more information on the tour or to order the tickets in advance, call 302-645-8073.