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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
June 26, 1998     Cape Gazette
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June 26, 1998
 

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86 - CAPE GAZE'FI, Friday, June 26 - July 2, 1998 By Dennis Forney "One thing you can count on for the Lewes Garden Tour, it will be hot," said Mary Vessels, chairman of the Eighth Annual Lewes Gar- den Tour. True to form, this year's edition of the popular Lewes event, on Saturday, June 20, welcomed peo- ple to town on a day when intense sun drove the mercury past 90 de- grees in the afternoon. But the heat did nothing to hold down the crowd. By late morning, downtown Lewes was bustling with people carrying Garden Tour booklets and eyeing maps as they decided which of the more than a dozen gardens to visit next. Vessels said preliminary figures show that more than 1,100 tickets were sold, including 960 for the Garden Tour alone; 130 for the Garden Tour and the Garden Tour Cocktail Par- ty, held Friday on the Gills Neck grounds of Hazell Smith's resi- dence; and another 79 for the cocktail party alone. (Chamber executive director Betsy Reamer said the turnout for this year's cocktail party was double the number that attended in 1997.) The crowds also took advantage of the garden market atmosphere in the park behind Zwaanendael Museum and enjoyed the idea gar- dens and other displays put on by local landscapers and garden sup- pliers. "Things went very well," said Vessels. "There were definitely more people at the cocktail party this year and at least the same number on the tour - if not more - than last year. I know business was good for us at the Swan's Nest and I heard a couple of peo- ple uptown say that business was good. I know the restaurants were very busy. The Garden Tour draws people to Lewes and is good for business and that's the way it's supposed to be." Patrick Sheehan of Gilligan's Restaurant said the Garden Tour always brings the summer's biggest lunch crowd and this year's was no different. "We served over 200 lunches and bare- ly had time to get ready for dinner when we served another 200 plus dinners. It was a great day." Lewes Chamber of Commerce President Trenny Elliott agreed with Vessels' assessment. "From all indications it was another suc- cess. Now we breathe just a little and start making preparations for our Boast The Coast Festival. That will take place Saturday, Oct. 3, the day before University of Delaware's Coast Day, which will be on Sunday, Oct. 4." Reamer said one of the best comments she heard about the event was from one of the garden owners on the tour. "She told me she was so impressed by the civil- ity of the people who took the tour. They were very considerate and careful not to damage any property and complimentary as well. I also heard good comments from people on the tour who said the garden owners were hos- pitable - providing water, etc." The Garden Party Cocktail Par- ty not only drew a large crowd, it Continued on page 87 The Garden Tour Cocktail Party, held on the grounds of Hazell Smith's home on Gill's Neck Road, drew the largest crowd ever. Many of them were drawn by the opportunity to see the grounds of the Smith property. This photograph above shows the side of the brick mansion that faces away from Gills Neck Road. Below, Lucila Carmichael picks out annuals for sale by Small Wonder Farms owner Kay Marini; Small Wonder Farms is famous for its wildflower bouquets. At right, a bumblebee perches upon a Helichrysum, one of the many flowers offered for sale by Windsor's and other vendors during the Saturday, June 20 event. Photos by Angie Moon and Dennis Forney Above, Deanna Wagamon of Deanna's on Second Street stands beside the first-place winning container box dis- play during the June 20 flower tour. At right Suzanne and George Cleaver take a break to watch the hustle and bus- tie on Lewes sidewalks dur- ing the annual garden tour, which brought in a great crowd, despite the heat and humidity. All in all, tour organizers were very pleased with this year's event and are already planning for the 1999 Lewes Garden Tour.