The Lewes Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau sponsors its 25th annual Lewes Garden Tour on Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To commemorate the tour’s 25th anniversary, an additional, ticketed event has been added on Friday, June 19 from 5 - 7 p.m. A “Garden Party” will take place on the green at Shipcarpenter Square. It is open to the public with tickets priced at $50 each that will include a ticket to the Garden Tour on the following day.
Saturday’s Garden Tour will showcase ten private gardens and the Cadbury Senior Lifestyles’ Monarch butterfly garden, revisited after its initial planting prior to last year’s tour. Many of the private gardens are all located in or near the historic district and are walking- distance from the Zwaanendael Park where the Garden Market and the chamber’s visitor center are located. The gardens were selected by the tour’s chairperson, Carolyn Marshall, with assistance from other Garden Tour committee members. She has chaired the event for eleven years and is retiring after this year’s tour. Current Lewes in Bloom Co-Chair Linda Davison who serves on this year’s event committee will be the 2016 Garden Tour committee chair.
Tour ticket holders will be transported to the 10 private gardens by the Jolly Trolley and other chamber member-owned vans and the Cadbury vehicle will take tour-goers to their gardens. Last year, in response to the dwindling Monarch butterfly population, Cadbury initiated the process for its gardens to be designated an official Monarch Way Station and began disseminating information and education on how others can help save the Monarch. The route to tour the Cadbury gardens will be different than last year’s as their official Monarch Butterfly Waystation celebrates its first birthday, complete with a living birthday cake! A light jazz combo will entertain guests and as an added bonus – guests will be invited to view an observation beehive! Tour-goers will have the opportunity to watch as the bees create the comb and travel in and out of the observation tubes. Cadbury also will be providing informational handouts about their plant materials, butterfly gardens, and bees as an educational experience for tour-goers. Beautiful butterfly fans and milkweed seeds will be given out while supplies last.
In addition to touring the gardens, the event includes a 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.); Cape 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. During the hours of the tour, free shuttle service is available for ticket holders. Chamber members Beebe Healthcare, Lewes Senior Center, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty and the Jolly Trolley will provide the shuttle services.
Tickets for the tour of gardens on Saturday are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour. Tickets for the Garden Party on Friday are $50 and includes a ticket to Saturday’s garden 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.