Delaware by Day Series: Cape Farm & Garden Tour

Get A Sneak Peek at Three of the Area’s Coveted Gardens 

Love that early summer bloom? So fresh, newly warm, and FULL of colour! Well, the Cape Farm and Garden Tour, has something special for you, so SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, June 5th, at 9am or 1pm.  

Not only can you soak in the scents at Lavender Fields. You can drink in the colors of native plants in full bloom at Mill Pond Garden. AND you can have rare access to the private grounds of the Shimzu Garden, the beloved home of two renowned horticulturalists whose jaw-dropping landscape even catches passersby who you’ll see stop and even stage a few selfies as they walk or ride a bike by their King’s Highway home. 

To make good into great, this year’s Cape Farm and Garden Tour has a MISSION to make a difference: proceeds from ticket sales benefit local food banks and pantries. The project is a collaboration of three very distinct garden entities. They are sharing the beauty of their gardens and working farm with a generous purpose – addressing food insecurity in Delaware.  

*(The Food Bank of Delaware estimates that at least 9% in Sussex County alone is experiencing the inability to adequately (or nutritiously) feed their families.) 

What a lovely way is there to support this mission, helping our neighbors in need while spending a June morning (or afternoon) appreciating the generosity of the tour’s participants?  

There are three precious properties to explore in any particular order, but you must make advance reservations. Each site is only a ten to twenty minute drive from each other, allowing guests to take their time to stroll each site without being rushed. 

Ticketed guests can either reserve the morning “shift,” between 9 am and Noon, while the afternoon guests arrive at the destination of their choice at 1 pm, ending their tour by 4 pm. 

In no particular order (because you get to choose your starting point), the three beauties are: 

The Shimizu Garden, at the historic home of renowned horticulturalist Holly Shimizu, whose accolades and accomplishments are too long to list here (such as being the director of Washington’s United States Botanical Garden) and her husband Osamu, also a renowned author and expert in the subject of bonsai, Japanese gardens, landscaping and design. His resume includes design of fabulous gardens around the globe, such as the Royal Botanic Garden of Kew in London. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to have a peek at the renowned – and personalized – artistic horticulture at their Lewes home?? 

A brief drive away, Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor will be a feast for your eyes with its acres of purple-hued, exquisite fields. It’s a working farm. Not only is the lavender harvested for everything from body lotion and soaps with hilarious names, the farm also features gardens, and historic farmhouse popular as a wedding an event venue.  

But the most unusual feature you need to definitely check out is their incredible Labyrinth, an exact replica of Paris’s Chartres Labyrinth, a shout-out to Lavender Fields’ proprietor Marie Mayor’s deep roots with France (including her mother’s family’s professional lavender farms). Where else can you find that experience in Delaware but on this tour? 

Finally, we highlight the “host” of the tour, Mill Pond Garden. Just north of Lewes on Red Mill Pond, this holistic nonprofit botanical garden is an oasis for native Delaware horticulture and wildlife. Watch for nesting osprey or eagles, look out for otters on the water, herons silently fishing or turtles basking in the sun. 

Besides the abundance of flora in bloom Mill Pond offers visitors (and it make efforts year-round to highlight whatever happens to naturally be in bloom at the time), there are walking trails, a koi pond and beautiful waterfront. It’s a Delaware sanctuary, actually – a GEM of a place we can treasure and pass on for generations to come.

If you’re a fan of roses, they are expected to be in full bloom just in time for the Cape Farm and Garden Tour. Tickets for the tour are limited – so act soon to save your spot!

IF YOU GO 

  • Tickets are $30 per person. Reservations must be made in advance. 
  • When you order tickets online, you can choose either the 9am or 1pm shift 
  • You can also choose your starting point 
  • Masks and social distancing protocols are in order 
  • Additional donations to the food banks and pantries are encouraged 
  • Our personal tip: Treat it like a hike and enjoy the whole day with comfy shoes, a full bottle of water, and your sun/shade gear!

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