Nine historic gardens in Delaware’s capital city will be open for tours by the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 5, during the 80th Anniversary Dover Days Festival.
Dr. Susan Yost of Delaware State University will lead three walking tours of old trees on The Green, recently named a National Monument by President Barack Obama. Dover English Country Dancers will perform in three gardens, and the Holly Consort will perform in the garden of the Ridgely House, built in 1728.
Plein air artists will be painting in many of the gardens, and musicians Mike Nielson on harp and Rick Hudson, Rachael Ann McClain. Greg Shupe and Erin Taylor on guitar will perform. The Potpourri Garden Club will provide floral demonstrations, and May baskets designed by the Sprig & Twig Garden Club will welcome garden-goers,. Robert Bailey, whose garden will be on the tour, will provide a lecture at 3:30 p.m. titled “Gardens of the Vanderbilt Family” in Wesley College’s Carroll Room.
This year’s garden tour, hosted by the Friends of OId Dover with Ann Baker-Horsey serving as chairwoman, is symbolic of the festival’s early days, which began in 1933 with a tour of gardens. Gardens will feature plein air artists painting, music, Colonial dancing and at least one lecture on historic homes.
Gardens include the Loockerman Garden, 419 S. State St.; the Terry Garden, 36 The Green; the John Bell House Garden, 43 The Green; the Ridgley Garden, 7 The Green; the Bailey/King Garden, 49 S. Bradford St.; Wesley College Plaza, 120 N. State St.; Tea For Two Garden, 224 N. State St.; the Watson Garden, 227 N. State St.; and State Street Inn Garden, 228 N. State St.
Tickets are on sale at www.eventbrite.com/event/2222417310#, at Delaware Bay Trading Company and the Corner Apothecary on Main Street in Camden; and at Delaware Made on Loockerman Street in Dover. For information about the Dover Days Festival, go to www.doverdaysfestival.com or contact Kent County Tourism, festival producers, at 302-734-4888.