The Delaware Botanic Gardens started a week-long grand opening celebration with a memorable dinner party Sept. 12.
Just as the night’s festivities were about to begin – outdoors – a strong storm system rolled through and drenched everything. The rain brought everyone in under the tent, but it didn’t dampen the mood.
It was a very gratifying night, said Delaware Botanical Gardens President Raymond Sander on the morning after the dinner, Sept. 13. Sander had been walking the DBG grounds with famed Dutch garden designer and author Piet Oudolf one last time before he left. Oudolf’s work includes the renowned High Line gardens in New York City, and he designed the DBG Meadow Garden, which includes nearly 50,000 plants and grasses.
During the dinner, Oudolf said it had been a while since he had seen the garden, because while he designs them, it’s up to the local gardeners to keep them up and running. He said, in the end, he was impressed with how the meadow looked.
Guests were treated to food from SoDel Concepts, music from Vincent Varrassi, wines from Banks Wines & Spirits, and beer from Dogfish Head Brewery.
In addition to the celebration, the event served as a fundraiser. With a $75,000 matching grant included, the event raised $154,000.
“The outpouring of love and attention was beautiful,” said Sander.
The Delaware Botanic Gardens will be open to the public beginning Monday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. Those will also be the hours for Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 17 and 18.
The gardens’ grand opening event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. Starting Wednesday, Sept. 25, the botanic gardens will be open from 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday through Friday.
Admission to the botanic gardens is free for members, $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (65+), $10 for children ages 6 to 17, and free for children under 6.
For more information on the Delaware Botanic Gardens, 30220 Piney Neck Road, Dagsboro, go to www.delawaregardens.org. Memberships – individual, dual, family or senior – can be purchased on the website.