Cape Gazette

Lewes' hidden gardens open for tours

Jun 24, 2013
Photo by: Ron MacArthur In the middle of her Savannah Road garden, artist and floral designer Pamela Rankin sets up a dining table for a Downton Abbey dinner party.

Twenty-three years ago, the late Mary Vessels, her brother Jack and sister-in-law Mickey conceived the idea of sharing some of the hidden gardens of Lewes with neighbors and visitors. The idea took hold and the Lewes Garden Tour – originally called the Zwaanendael Heritage Garden Tour – has taken place every year since.

Sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, this year's event featured eight gardens, the Fisher-Martin Herb Garden and a large garden market in Zwaanendael Park. Carolyn Marshall was chairperson of the 2013 tour.

Free shuttle service was provided by Lewes Senior Center, Irish Eyes, Jolly Trolley, Beebe Medical Center and Prudential Gallo, Realtors.

Mary Ann Etu fills every spot possible with flowers and plants at her Beebe Avenue home. She says has 76 different plants and is aiming at 100 before she stops. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A squirrel keeps an eye on visitors in the garden of Mac and Joanne McNaught on Madison Avenue. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Sonia Hunt, a member of Cape Artists, works plein air at the home of Pamela Rankin. Members of the art group stationed themselves at locations throughout the tour. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A purple clematis adds deep color to Mary Ann Etu's whimsical garden. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Anne Taylor shows off recycled plastic rugs to admiring customers attending the garden market in Zwaanendael Park. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Gerilyn Gaskill, a member of Cape Artists, sketches the backyard of the McNaught home. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
One of the most unusual gardens on the tour is the backyard creation of William Roeder and John Overton on Dewey Avenue. A Tom Torrance bell serves as the centerpiece of the garden. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Garden tour visitors prepare to walk down the sidewalk to the backyard garden of William Roeder and John Overton on Dewey Avenue. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A mix of color and green fills the backyard garden of Mac and Joanne McNaught on Madison Avenue. The home dates to around 1919 and is an authentic Sears and Roebuck house ordered through the catalog. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The Fisher-Martin Herb Garden dates back to 1984, but has much deeper roots. All of the plants were used by colonists and Native Americans who lived in the area during the 1700s. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Daiseys line the side yard of MaryAnn Etu's home. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A ceramic frog keeps watch on the Roeder-Overton garden. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Eight gardens were part of the 23rd annual Lewes Garden Tour. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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