Story Archive – 2018 and earlier  –  Click on each title to open or close the news article

New VIDEO - LIB CIB Judgement Day

Please view and enjoy our new video documenting Lewes and LIB being judged by the Communities in Bloom Judges in July 2018. CLICK HERE

Many THANKS to Eric Davidson and his Wruff Wryder Productions for making and editing this video

Lewes Christmas Parade - LIB takes another 1st




2018 LIB Christmas Market

Pictures from the Lewes in Bloom Christmas Market in the St Peter’s courtyard on 12-1-2018.  Thanks to all the volunteers who spent many hours cutting and bundling greens, making center pieces, setting up and braking down, transporting, etc.


LIB thanks Lewes Merchants for their support during the CIB competition

Recently, Lewes in Bloom presented downtown merchants with beautiful poinsettias in appreciation for their support of the Communities in Bloom international competition. The spectacular plants were donated by Lewes Weis Market in 5 Points. Sincere appreciation to Mr. Stephen Rayburn, Store Manager, Weis Markets from Lewes in Bloom, the City of Lewes, and all Lewes downtown merchants for the generous donation.  Clearly…it takes a village…and we appreciate everyone in ours!    

Daniela Lindsjo and Pam Meador with Poinsettas donated by Weis Market

Pam Meador presents a Thank You Poinsetta to Hotel Rodney

2018 Annual LIB Luncheon

Text by Marilyn Vai. Photos by Bud Vai and Sandy Ahn.

Almost 100 Lewes In Bloom members attended our annual luncheon/meeting held at Irish Eyes in their banquet room. Marilyn and Nancy welcomed everyone and Pam Meador toasted the members with a glass of Prosecco in celebration of our win. After a delicious lunch we were entertained by not just the Golde Girls, but what is to be known going forward as The Golde Girls & Guys. They humorously and graciously wished Nancy farewell as her two terms are over. Then to top it off they came back for an encore performance celebrating our win in the Communities In Bloom International Challenge, wheeling out an Italian orange/almond cake which was provided by Irish Eyes in honor of our win! Thanks to Terry Yates and Irene Robertson for putting the luncheon together and directing the cast and making their costumes. The cast included Gail Baschwitz, Cindy DeEmedio, Cecilia Friend, Judy Hanson, Linda McDonald, Kent Baschwitz, Gavin Braithwaite, John Hanson, Joe Rooney, Marty Sechehay, and Stuart Weiner.

Next Nancy presented a gift to Pam Meador, and Marilyn to Nancy as they leave the board. Marilyn then explained that the board will be expanding to twelve members due to the growing membership and other avenues to explore. She announced Sue Crawford and Dianne Stevens will be joining her as co-chairs and gave a short bio on them. Sue’s first task as co-chair was to announce the three other new board members Diane McGreal, Tom Ager, and Ed Hynes, and read their bios.

Next came the Volunteer(s) of the Year! Instead of just one we honored eleven deserving members with an individual membership and an ”Above and Beyond” pin; Cindy DeEmedio, Jane Ellan Golde, Diana O’Hagan, Judy Hanson, Daniela Lindsjo, Lou Papp, Fred Phillips, Sue Sandmeyer, Marty Sechehay, Bud Vai, and Ed Zygmonski. These members not only logged over 100 hours but were also nominated by fellow LIBers.

Next Marilyn and Dianne recognized the committees of LIB – Did you know we have 17?! The three co-chairs then listed our many accomplishments for 2018 and our ongoing endeavors – some that have been going on for many years!

After the business portion of the luncheon Marilyn announced that she, Dianne, and Sue will be on radiorehoboth 99.1 on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30 a.m. to talk about Lewes In Bloom and to promote our Christmas Market.

Also, thanks to Sue Sandmeyer for putting together the slideshow of LIB 2018.

Last, but certainly not least, Eric Davidson played a video from the Communities In Bloom judges visit. Thanks Eric.

Nancy Phillips and Marilyn Vai welcoming the members

Pam Meador toasts the members

New board members Tom Ager and Ed Hynes are welcomed by Dianne Stevens co-chair, Marilyn Vai co-chair and Sue Crawford co-chair. Diane McGreal not pictured.

2018 Volunteers of the Year – right to left – Marty Sechehay, Fred Phillips, Daniela Lindsjo, Jane Ellen Golde, Sue Sandmeyer, Cindy DeEmedio, Diana O’Hagen, Lou Papp, Judy Hanson and Bud Vai. Ed Zygmonski not pictured.

The Golde Girls and Guys celebrating our CIB win

Italian orange / almond cake provided by Irish Eyes

The Golde Girls and Guys entertaining the members


Bulb Planting 2018

From October 24 thru November 19, LIB volunteers were digging and drilling holes and planting over 20,000 tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs in the various sites we maintain.


2018 Pumpkin Carving at LHS and Halloween in Zwaanandael Park

Text by Nancy Phillips, photos by Nancy Phillips, Bud Vai and Goran Lindsjo

Lewes in Bloom members and the Lewes community came out on Sunday, October 28, from 2-4 p.m. to carve pumpkins at the Lewes Historical Society. Russ Huxtable and LIB Co-Chairs, Nancy Phillips and Marilyn Vai, organized the event for a second year. A huge Thank You to the Lewes City Council for paying for the pumpkins.

The 100 pumpkins were creative and scary when lit and displayed in the Zwaanandael Park on Halloween night. Many LIB members came dressed in costume to hand out candy and seeds to the children and their families.

Thank you to Russ Huxtable and Mike DiPaolo for asking LIB to be part of such a fun event. This event proves how dedicated LIB is to serving the Lewes community.

LIB wins 2018 Communities in Bloom International Challenge

Article by Nick Roth – Cape Gazette – October 2, 2018

Photos by Sue Crawford

Lewes was once again reaffirmed as one of the most beautiful towns in the world, as the city was named winner of the International Challenge for medium-sized towns at the Communities in Bloom Symposium on Sept. 29 in Strathcona County, Alberta, Canada.

CIB Stage
Photo by Sue Crawford

Warren Golde giving the Lewes Post Office Project presentation

Red Carpet Treatment for Sue Crawford and Warren Golde

Lewes topped four Canadian towns and one Croatian town to earn the honor. Lewes has previously won America in Bloom honors in 2002, 2005, 2010 and 2015, but this is the first time it’s entered an international competition.

“I thought we had a good chance to win,” said Warren Golde, founder of Lewes in Bloom. “What this town and our organization does is wonderful. I thought we might be hard to beat.”

Two judges visited Lewes in July for a one-day tour and evaluation. The judges were welcomed by local and state dignitaries, members of the business community and residents at a breakfast reception. Following a morning tour, judges enjoyed lunch at Black Hog Farm. After more touring, the day concluded with a dinner reception with the whole Lewes in Bloom membership.

“This community wouldn’t be what it is without our volunteers,” said Mayor Ted Becker. “We don’t have enough employees nor the financial resources to do what [Lewes in Bloom] does for our town.”

Lewes in Bloom maintains most of the gardens in the city’s parks as well as the flower boxes in the area of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal drawbridge.

Lewes in Bloom was founded in 2002. Along with Golde, there were seven other original members. Membership has grown to 235 members over the last 17 years.

“There’s not too much more we can do in terms of beautification,” Golde said. “There are not too many places to put gardens in Lewes. I think there’s a lot more we can do with making Lewes a healthier environment. That’s in its infancy.”

Art in Bloom will also likely take a larger role in the coming years, he said. The group, a subcommittee of Lewes in Bloom, was responsible for procuring and placing the public art windspinners near the library.

“The judges really thought that was a great initiative,” Golde said. “It was a real positive in their scoring.”

Lewes earned a score of 877 out of 1,000 possible points. That resulted in a Five Blooms Silver rating. Gold is the highest honor, but, Golde said, it is difficult for a town the size of Lewes to achieve that score.

Lewes competed against Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada; Killarney-Turtle Mountain, Manitoba, Canada; Jasper, Alberta, Canada; Novi Vinodolski, Croatia; and Stettler, Alberta, Canada. Jasper also received a silver rating.

“I was a little concerned about Jasper,” Golde said. “I visited their town on the way to the symposium. After looking at them, I thought our chances were good.”

Golde is confident the honor will bring more Canadian visitors to Lewes.

“We were treated very well in Canada,” he said. “People were very impressed with Lewes. I think it will increase Canadian tourism to Lewes. People have said they want to see our town.”

Warren and Jane Ellen before awards ceremony

Jane Ellen Golde and Warren Golde with Strathcona Police Officer and RCMP escorts

Warren Golde talking with Strathcona Mayor and Councilman

The Award

Sue Crawford with a Canadian Police Escort

Warren’s new watering hat

Arbore Care sponsors the Lewes Post Office Garden - September 2018

Arbor Care of Lewes, which specializes in the diagnostic and treatment of plant material, donated $1000 to Lewes in Bloom in September 2018 to sponsor the Lewes Post Office Garden at Front and Bank Streets. The $1000 will be used to purchase plants for the garden and maintain it throughout the year. Lewes in Bloom thrives on community support such as this.

Left to Right; Ellen McCathran, Laura Hatfield of the Post Office, Nancy Phillips, Ritchie Thurman of Arbor Care and Marilyn Vai
Photo by Fred Phillips

Ice Cream Thank You Social 6/12/2018

LIB Members enjoyed their Ice Cream as a Thank You from the LIB Board prior to the 6/12/2018 General Meeting.

LIB Board members dish out the Ice Cream 6/12/2018 – left to right Sue Crawford, Marilyn Vai, Pat Fischer, Nancy Phillips
Photo by Sandy Ahn

2018 Tulip Dig

Text by Ellen McCathran

The tulip dig on May 2 was a HUGE success! We had a beautiful day, perfect weather…and all patrons were in place EARLY to oversee the public digging at their sites.  I would like to share with the membership some of the positive stories and comments from the public relayed to our patrons at the dig. I think all of you would love to hear these stories…especially those of you who worked so hard to plant over 20,000 tulips last Fall…and the patrons who “manned” LIB sites for the dig…and those of you who were unable to do either!

I hope all the membership will feel as good as we did in receiving these wonderful comments and accolades! Great job LIB!

“Tulip dig at Stango Park was just fantastic, we did not have to throw any tulips away, Cindy and I were so happy about that. We had people that came from Middletown and as far as Newark! Everyone was so happy and grateful to be able to have tulips. They thanked us for all our work in the gardens, nice, nice people, we are blessed.” – Nancy Palladino, Stango

“I got several heart-felt thanks and comments for all the beautiful LIB gardens in town from people digging tulips at 1812 Park. I also got a check for $100.00 handed to me…from an appreciative part-time Lewes couple.”  – John Long, 1812 Park

“I think Gateway was a hot spot for the tulip dig. By 7:45 people had encircled the perimeter of the garden and were waiting patiently to start digging. In 35 minutes the garden of 4,500 tulips were dug! There were a lot of newcomers and a few return customers – all very appreciative of Lewes in Bloom and our generosity.” – Marilyn Vai, Gateway

“A young lady wanted to acquire tulips for her mom when her mother hinted she wanted some, but couldn’t make it to the dig herself. She came with a trowel and plastic bag…and asked ‘are these tulips?’” – Sue Sandmeyer, St. Peter’s barrels

Lewes in Bloom patrons are “Good Will Ambassadors” to the  town of Lewes…and the best of the best of LIB.



Spring showers do not dampen the spirits of the LIBers enjoying the LIB Garden Tour

About 35 LIB members enjoyed touring the gardens of Mardi Thompson, Linda and Tom Ager and Jane Charters.  The weather did not dampen our spirits, after all we are gardeners and a little rain is always good for the garden.  Everyone enjoyed some refreshments at the end of the tour.


Colonial Herbs and Liberty Tea - Fisher-Martin Herb Garden

Colonial Herbs and Liberty Tea

This article, by Diana O’Hagan, the Fisher-Martin Herb Garden Patron since 2013, was published in the Cape Gazette, Spring Home & Garden issue. Photos are by Diana O’Hagan & Sue Sandmeyer. Diana, an avid gardener, has been a member of Lewes in Bloom since 2008 and Fisher-Martin Herb Garden Patron since 2013.

Passing under an arch into the Fisher-Martin Herb Garden in Zwaanendael Park, the fragrances and romas of the more than 80 plants used by 1700’s Lewestowne housewives and Delaware’s Native Americans steeps the visitor in pre-revolutionary history. As the colonists sought independence from Britain, the Patriots brewed herbs as Liberty Tea to protest the taxed English Tea. At a dedication by the Delaware Sons of the American Revolution in 2017, we were reminded of Lewes physician and  clergyman Matthew Wilson who advocated the boycott of English Tea.

Dr. Wilson, writing in the February, 1775 issue of The Pennsylvania Magazine, proclaimed the harmful effects of “Asiatic teas” as well as promoted the use of herbal teas. Ladies and gentlemen “will have the self-pleasing satisfaction of having emancipated their country from the slavery and tyranny of an evil custom, and erecting a monument to common sense which will merit the praises of  unborn generations.” Growing in containers or, perhaps, your own “tea garden,” try some of the substitute herbs from Wilson’s list that are also grown in the Fisher-Martin Herb Garden. Wilson lists rosemary and lavender together to “strengthen the stomach and elevate the spirits.”

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), a small, hardy, shrub-like plant with silvery gray leaves and whorls of fragrant blue flowers on long stems blooming in early summer, grows best in full sun and somewhat dry, well-draining soils. Dried flowers are used in many culinary recipes as well as herbal tea mixtures. Tea brewed with fresh or dried flowers is appreciated for its calming effects.

Mostly known as a culinary seasoning, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), also a hardy shrub-like plant with green tightly arranged narrow leaves along its branches, enjoys the same growing conditions as lavender. Rosemary ‘arp’ has pale blue-violet flowers that bloom early in the Lewes garden. Fresh or dried leaves are infused for tea.

Let’s not forget Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) “beneficial in…depression of spirits.” Commonly used in tea as well as other drinks today as it was in the eighteenth century, it can be used fresh or dried. Peppermint is a perennial that vigorously spreads by runners and grows well in sun to part shade. It’s wandering habit can be controlled by growing in a container or in a pot buried in the soil. Just lift the pot each spring pulling its runners with it, trim both the runners and roots, repot with fresh soil and rebury.

Sage (Salvia officinalis), the herb of wisdom and immortality, is a perennial with green, velvety leaves that grows in full sun and evenly moist, well-drained soil. Best flavor occurs before flowering. Dried leaves used as seasoning were also brewed as “stimulating and strengthening” tea.

Are you ready to try making your own fresh herbal tea? Many suggestions for combinations are available on the internet, or just be adventurous and mix your own. An article in Country Living suggests brewing in a French coffee press so you can watch the wonderful color develop as well as smell the fragrant aromas. Time to get mine off that high shelf!

The Fisher-Martin Herb Garden was originally established in 1984 by a group of Lewes residents to complement the recently relocated Fisher-Martin House, c.1730. Members of the Sussex Master Gardeners took over stewardship and maintained the colonial atmosphere of the garden for a number of years. Lewes in Bloom, an award winning, all volunteer, nonprofit that serves to beautify the City of Lewes assumed care of the garden in 2004.

After consultation with Williamsburg and Nanticoke experts and with help from the City of Lewes, the current garden redesign was built starting in the fall of 2006. An inventory of the plantings in 2012 was used to procure new plant ID tags and to refresh the garden. Continuing this dedication to authenticity, emphasis is placed on ensuring the accuracy of herb and plant varieties to the time period represented.

Today, the Fisher-Martin Herb Garden is lovingly attended by many Lewes in Bloom volunteers. Each spring these eager helpers reevaluate the garden for its content and growing conditions procuring plants and making adjustments as needed. From early spring to the hard frost of early winter, members weed, plant, prune and nurture this space so that all can see, sniff and sample a brief moment in 1700’s Sussex County, Delaware. Come visit the garden!

April 2018 - LIB Showcase at the Lewes Library

See the beautiful LIB Showcase at the Lewes Library setup by Ken Norman, Nancy Phillips and Terry Yates.

New planter boxes arrive at the Graves/Dogfish corners

On Thursday, April 19th, a chilly and windy morning, the carpentry crew and some extra muscle men along with two City workers delivered the new planter boxes to the corners of Graves and Dogfish Inn-their new home. The City was kind enough to get their fork lift driver to deliver the pallets of bags of dirt.

On Friday, April 20th, another windy but sunny morning, Marilyn’s patron group got an early start putting rain mat liners in the boxes. The men followed behind filling the boxes with soil to which rain gel was added and then more dirt. All this was accomplished in one and a half hours due to the wonderful volunteers of Lewes In Bloom. Great job everyone!!!

Next step planting. Check out the new box at the corner of Graves -“Warren’s Special” box.

Lewes BPW employees help Bud Vai and Frank Cebula load boxes at the LIB Warehouse. Also loading boxes were John Hanson, Guy Townsend and Rich Robertson

Photo by Marilyn Vai

Left to Right – Tom Rew, George Temme, John Long, Warren Golde, Joe Rooney and Dave Beck place new planter boxes at the Graves corner

Photo by Marilyn Vai

New planter boxes being placed on the Dogfish corner

Photo by Marilyn Vai

Loading dirt into Warren’s new two tiered corner box. Left to Right – Dianne Stevens, Sue Townsand, Warren Golde, Pat Fisher and Kelly Burns
Photo by Marilyn Vai

Left to Right – Bud Vai, Dianne Stevens, John Hanson, Pat Fisher, Sue Townsend, Guy Townsend, Irene Robertson, Sue Crawford, Deb Milkosky, Kelly Burns, Joan Russo, Barbara Rew, Jerry Virden and Terry Yates
Photo by Marilyn Vai

Irene Robertson and John Hanson loading the first dirt layer into the new boxes on the Dogfish side.
Photo by Marilyn Vai

Loading dirt into the new boxes. Special mix – rain mats followed by first layer of dirt, then rain gel, then a slightly different mix of dirt, then rain gel again then a final topping of dirt. Hope the plants appreciate their special mix.
Left to right – Rich Robertson, Barbara Rew, Deb Milkosky, Jerry Virden and Joan Russo
Phot by Marilyn Vai

Pictures from 2018 Tulip Celebration


Gateway Garden

Mary Vessels

1812 Park

Tulips at the Lewes Firehouse

Mary Vessels

Tulips at Gateway Garden

Zwaanendael park

April 2018 Presentation - Lewes in Bloom Volunteer of the Year

Click on this link to see the presentation “Lewes in Bloom Volunteer of the Year” given at the April 2018 General Meeting.

New Lewes in Bloom Communications Chair Announced

Sue Crawford has been selected to be the new Lewes in Bloom Communication Chair, replacing Sue Sandemeyer.

Sue is well known throughout Lewes in Bloom for her active roles in the Children’s Learning Garden, the Social Committee, the Annual Plant Sale, the Philly Flower Show, planting, weeding and much more.  She is exceptional as a communicator and will bring her ability to connect ideas and people to LIB’s various communication media.



LIB to enter 2018 Communities in Bloom Competition

 Text Sue Sandmeyer.

Award-Winning Lewes in Bloom (LIB) will enter the 2018 Communities in Bloom International Competition.

LIB and the City of Lewes earned honors in the national America in Bloom Competitions in 2003, 2005 and 2010. In 2012, it was given a “Circle of Champions” designation, and in 2015, with Lewes in Bloom’s assistance, Lewes won the America in Bloom Circle of Champions Award for small towns. Volunteers are gathering now to plan and execute the rigorous requirements for the Communities in  Bloom Competition. According to its website, the International Challenge involves winners from  different National Programs (Communities in Bloom, Britain in Bloom, America in Bloom, Tidy  Towns of Ireland, Japan in Bloom, Entente Florale, Comuni Fioriti and other national programs) competing with each other based on population categories.

Communities in Bloom organizes the International Challenge (logistics, scheduling, and information) in partnership with the above national programs. The program consists of communities receiving information and being evaluated by an international  jury on the accomplishments of their entire community: Municipality, Businesses and Institutions, citizens and community groups.

The evaluation, which normally takes place in June or July, is based on the following criteria:

• Tidiness

• Environmental Action

• Heritage Conservation

• Urban Forestry

• Landscaped Areas

• Floral Displays

Community involvement is taken into consideration in all criteria. Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the enhancement of green spaces in communities.

Lewes in Bloom is dedicated to helping Lewes boost its attractiveness through a variety of efforts including historical preservation, environmental awareness, a children’s garden, floral displays, and more. Warren Golde, LIB Founder and Chair of the competition, said “We are excited about this competition and look forward to its challenge!”


Care and Protection of Hostas - LIB General Meeting March 13, 2018

LIB Member Lou Papp introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Jim Henry, currently a member of the American Hosta Society and Vice President and webmaster of the Delmarva Hosta Society. His talk included helpful books, hosta history, growing and caring for hosta, defending hostas, helpful online links and Q&A.

Helpful books, including the Hosta Adventure Guide, the Hosta Journal, the Encyclopedia of Hostas, the Book of Little Hostas (concerning miniature hostas that can be grown in containers), Les Hostas (a Québecois publication), The Genus Hosta (recognized and cultivated in 8th century China and in 9th and 10th century Japan), The Hostapedia (which reports some 10,000 hosta cultivars to date), and his own novel, Hosta Seizure.

Hosta history, including Mr. Henry’s personal encounter with Alex Summers, Founder of the America Hosta Society. The hosta is sometimes called the “friendship plant”, because it can be easily divided to give plants to friends and neighbors. Top selling hostas at auction have gone for as much as $3500-4000. Hostas that are designated OS (original stock) tend to be valued higher.

Growing and caring for hostas. In general, soil should contain a high proportion of organic material. Slow release fertilizer (such as Osmocote) can also be helpful. Hostas need lots of watering, which is one reason they flourish so well in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Hostas should also be mulched heavily. Hostas may be grown in containers with rich potting mix and adequate drainage; pots should be kept indoors during cold winter months.

Defending hostas. Hostas have three main predators, deer, rabbits and voles. Deer repellents to use include Repels-All, Bobbex (spray), Deer Scram (granular powder), and, in serious cases, electrified fences. To keep slugs as bay, one can use Sluggo (granular), Deadline (liquid), or simply put beer in a shallow container at the base of the plant. Voles can be caught with mouse traps or outdoor cats; poisons are a less desirable option but spreading castor oil in the garden (which may be odorous) or placing small-mesh cages around the plants will help keep voles out. Hosta Virus X (HVX) is an ongoing threat to hostas that should be watched for.

Helpful on-line links, including the Delmarva Hosta Society website; the American Hosta Society (celebrating its 50th anniversary) website—search also Phifty in Philly; and The Hosta Library, which lists varieties in alphabetical order

Q&A In response to questions, Mr. Henry provided the following tips:

o Hostas are long-lived plants, as long as they are cared for properly.

o Drip irrigation is better than spray irrigation for hostas.

o Once flowers begin to fade, they can safely be cut back without hurting the plant.

o The best time to divide hostas are in early fall or early spring.

Lewes in Bloom Plans Many Events During The Lewes Tulip Celebration

Thanks to our volunteers, Lewes in Bloom planted nearly 20,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs in the Fall of 2017 at the King’s Highway Gateway Garden and other gardens throughout Lewes. Daffodils are blooming, and the tulips should bloom over the next few weeks, depending on the weather!

In addition to the popular plantings enjoyed by residents and visitors, Lewes in Bloom (LIB) has events planned during the Lewes Tulip Celebration. Everyone is invited to participate. On Saturday, April 7, from 9am to 3pm, LIB will sell a variety of plants, including tulips, the Lewes in Bloom cookbook (don’t miss out on the tasty samples available), and merchandise such as t-shirts and sweatshirts at the LIB Booth in Zwaanendael Park.

LIB and the Lewes Library will host a Tulip Celebration Children’s Story Hour on Thursday, April 5, at 10:30 am in the Children’s room at the Lewes Library. Maureen Miller will read stories. Siobhan Duggan and LIB volunteers will present arts and crafts. Cookies and juice will be served.

LIB members Cindy DeEmedio and John Hanson will be the Trolley Guides for the celebration this year! LIB will also assist the city with The Tulip Dig in April this year. Watch for more news about it. If you love the explosion of tulips throughout Lewes in April, you can keep them blooming for years! Residents are invited to come to specific locations with a bag and a spade and will be able to dig any number of the thousands of bulbs planted throughout Lewes last fall — and take them home to your garden.

Silent Sentinel Dedication & New Art in Bloom Fundraiser - March 2018

For further information contact Jane Ellan Golde 302-200-7970,
or Tony Boyd-Heron                  

A committee of Lewes in Bloom, known as Art in Bloom, and the Lewes City Council, have collaborated to bring about the placement of three kinetic wind sculptures by nationally recognized sculptor Lyman Whitaker. This is the first of hopefully many future collaborations to bring public art to Lewes. Over several months, Art in Bloom raised sufficient funds to acquire and place the sculptures. The dedication for the Inaugural Project, the Silent Sentinels of Lewes, will take place on April 14, 11:45 am, at the Trailhead, Lewes Public Library. The public is invited. Mayor Ted Becker and Art in Bloom Chair Jane Ellan Golde will speak.

Art in Bloom continues to raise money for future public art. Two prominent local artists have donated work that will be on display at the Peninsula Gallery during March. All the sale’s proceeds will go to Art in Bloom to support its ongoing efforts to enhance the beautification and cultural environment of Historic Lewes.

Artists Richard Calvo and Nick Serratore have both donated works for the fundraiser at the gallery.

Calvo’s distinctive photograph “October Mist” is an example of the landscapes he has been creating for more than 50 years. Helen Harrison of the New York Times described his work as “romantic, almost abstract in its concentration on shape, tone and texture.”

Serratore is known for his atmospheric landscapes of Southern Delaware. In the past several years he has focused on a series of wildflower pieces. His large-scale paintings depict vast fields of flowers in shimmering tones and it is the latest of these creations that he is donating to raise funds for Art in Bloom. The Serratore painting “Wildflowers” recently sold to Joyce and Stephen Oliner. All proceeds from the sale will go to Art in Bloom as it continues to raise funds to bring public art to Lewes.

Left to right: Tony Boyd-Heron, Peninsula Gallery, and Stephen and Joyce Oliner

Art in Bloom plans to add outdoor art, such as sculptures and perhaps murals and mosaics, in Lewes’ parks and other public spaces. Fundraisers such as the one sponsored by Peninsula Gallery are key to its success and implementation.

Art in Bloom’s mission is to enhance the beautification and cultural environment of Historic Lewes and the community at large by means of public art. Further donations may be made by check, payable to Art in Bloom, to PO Box 61, Lewes, DE 19958.

The Peninsula Gallery is located in the Shops at the Beacon on Savannah Rd. The next gallery exhibition, opening on March 31, will be a multiple-artist show titled “Birds and Bees, Flowers and Trees.” A proportion of all sales will also go to support Art in Bloom.

Some Early Spring Garden Pictures From Tom DeMarco

Post Office – 3-13-2018

Crocus 3-13-2018

Daffodils 3-13-2018

Mary Vessels 3-13-2018

February 2018 presentation by Mardi Thompson "Pruning in 20 Minutes"

Pruning in 20 Minutes Mardi Thompson 2018021  (click on this link to see Mardi’s Presentation Slides)

Progress on building new planter boxes for Graves / Dogfish Corners - January 2018

31 of the 35 new planter boxes for the Graves / Dogfish corners are complete.  The last 4 should be completed in the next couple of weeks and all will be ready to replace the old boxes after the daffodils have bloomed in the spring. Thanks to Joe Rooney, Rich Robertson, George Temme, Tom Hoffman, Guy Townsend, John Hanson, Bud Vai, and Marty Sechehay.

left to right – George Temme , John Hanson, Bud Vai, Tom Hoffman, Marty Sechehay, Guy Townsend, Rich Robertson. Photo by Joe Rooney

31 boxes completed

Corner box for Dogfish side

Cooking with Dry Herbs Presentation at the October 2017 General Meeting

Text by Dave Beck; Photos by Sandy Ahn.

Denise Clemons, writer for the Gazette and Master Gardener, spoke first about drying herbs, explaining that it was best to cut fresh herbs in the morning, after the morning dew has evaporated. The cut herbs should never be dried in the sun, the oven or the microwave. Instead the herbs should be “beaten” on a dry paper towel, then hung to dry, e.g., with the aid of simple rubber bands and paper clips. She noted that there were generally three classification of herbs: culinary, botanical, and medicinal. Once the herbs were dried, they could be stripped from their stems and stored in spice jars (away from light and heat for best preservation), and should be used within one year. The stems could be used for infusing olive oil or vinegars. Finally, she noted that a teaspoon of dried herbs was equivalent to a tablespoon of fresh herbs. In just 10-15 minutes, she demonstrated how to prepare three different recipes using herbs— quinoa salad (prepared with parsley), glazed peas (prepared with tarragon and thyme), and mushroom paprikash (prepared with paprika)—and with the aid of volunteers distributed samples to all the members present. Attendees came away with not only recipes of these dishes, but new knowledge about using herbs in cooking.

Denise Clemons

Birds Eye View - New Perspective on Several Lewes Gardens - Sept 2017

Text and Photos by Sue Sandmeyer. Aerial Services and Editing by Eric Davison.

As Lewes in Bloom volunteers we see our beautiful work up close. At their peak, the gardens are a plendor to behold – and a tribute to how our city and volunteers work together to make Lewes a unique and vibrant place in which to live, work and play. For the first time you now have a birds-eye view of our parks as never seen before.

The photographs are a result of a collaboration between Lewes in Bloom member Sue Sandmeyer and Eric Davison, owner of Wruff Wryder Productions, Audio and Video Specialists. ,  602-803-7620. Wruff Wryder provides recording, shooting, mixing, editing, and aerial services. Eric, son of Linda and Dennis Davison, long time LIB members, is also a drone pilot. While Eric controlled the flight path of the drone, Sue captured the photos. Then Sue and Eric worked together to edit them for publication. If you look closely at the Gateway-Kings Highway Garden photo, you will see LIB patrons hard at work. These are just four of dozens taken.

Gateway Garden

Children’s Learning Garden and Stango Park

Mary Vessels Park

Otis Smith Park


A Picture Perfect Sunset - LIB Sunset Cruise - Sept 21, 2017

Text by Marilyn Vai; Photos by Bud Vai.

Forty-nine LIB members set sail on Thursday, Sept. 21st for a 2 hour cruise and all came back. It was a picture perfect night and a great time was had by all! What a great way to end the summer season!

Picture Perfect Cruise

Sandy Ahn, Nancy Beck and Sue Townsend enjoy the view


Oak Construction Sponsors LIB Citizen's Bank Garden - July 17, 2017

Oak Construction Company of Lewes, which builds small to large homes and businesses, donated $500 to Lewes in Bloom in July to sponsor the Citizens Bank Garden on Second Street. The $500 will be used to purchase plants for the garden and maintain it throughout the year. Lewes in Bloom thrives on community support such as this. Lewes in Bloom Co-chair Nancy Phillips said, “Contributions such as this by Oak Construction allow us to improve and expand what we do for our city.” Joann Purnell of Oak Construction noted that she is impressed and pleased by the way Lewes in Bloom enhances the entire city and wants to foster its efforts.

Left to right: Matthew Purnell, Vice President, Oak Construction; Joann Purnell, Secretary, Oak Construction; Tina Thurman, Branch Manager, Citizens Bank; Marilyn Vai, LIB Board of Advisors; Nancy Phillips, LIB Board of Advisors; and Fred Phillips, LIB Board of Advisors. Photo by Sue Sandmeyer

LIB Warehouse Undergoes Improvements - Summer 2017

Text by John Hanson & Photos by Judy Hanson

The Lewes Board of Public Works warehouse space that LIB uses has recently received many improvements. The warehouse area, inside and out, has been renovated, reorganized, and cleaned up! Thanks to the efforts of many LIB members, (also known as the LIB Warehouse Team), the warehouse on Schley Avenue in Lewes has a new door, a new area for plant storage, an improved ramp to the lower warehouse, new lighting in the lower warehouse area, additional shelving, work space and storage areas, and onsite water access. All of these improvements will aid LIB in the many activities throughout the year including the receipt, storage and planting of tulips and annuals, and the staging and preparation of activities such as the Christmas Market, LIB Plant Sale, and the Tulip Celebration. It is now much easier to locate tools and other items stored at the warehouse as well as working inside at the existing work spaces. Future improvements are being considered such as repainting of the walls, further clean-up of the outside areas and further clean up and reorganization of the lower warehouse area. Our many thanks to all of the individual and group efforts of the LIB Warehouse Team members! We are very fortunate that the City of Lewes has allowed us to use this space so we need to continue be good stewards of the warehouse. Any LIB individuals or groups who are using the warehouse –inside or out– are asked to clean up after themselves so that the warehouse stays organized and clean.

Warehouse Crew

Thanks - Warehouse Driveway Planter Given a Facelift - Spring 2017

Thanks to the initiative of Eileen Larkin, Ellen McCathran and Daniella Lindjo, the planter at the entrance to the warehouse driveway has gotten a facelift with new plants.

Planter at Warehouse Driveway Entrance
Thanks to Eileen Larkin, Ellen McCathran and Daniela LindsjoLeftL

Winner Selected for the Peninsula Gallery Raffle to benefit the Garden For All Ages - April 2017

During April, the Peninsula Gallery hosted “Springing Into Summer” – a multi-artist, multi-media exhibition. The Gallery donated 10% of its proceeds of the sales of these images to the Garden for All Ages for a future art-related project. Additionally, there was a raffle of a framed acrylic painting by Lewes artist Jane Ellan Golde.

Left to right: Diana O’Hagan, Tony Boyd-Heron, Jane Ellan Golde, and Nancy Phillips surround the raffled painting Color in Bloom, donated by Jane Ellan Golde. Tony drew the winner’s name and Nancy announced the winner. Photo by Tom DeMarco

To kick off the month-long show, a reception was held on Saturday, April 1 at Peninsula Gallery. Tickets for the raffle for the Golde painting were sold throughout the month at the gallery, at the Tulip festival LIB table, and at various LIB events. The winning ticket, held by Dottie Papp of Lewes, was drawn on April 30.

The proposed Garden for All Ages, which would be overseen by Lewes in Bloom, will create a multi-use space in Lewes for the enrichment of children and families for environmental awareness, appreciation of the beauty of nature, and for public gatherings. It is hoped that the garden, located in Stango Park and the area in back of the new library, will be completed within 2 to 3 years. Fundraising efforts are just beginning.

Lewes in Bloom Cookbooks FOR SALE

LIB Cookbooks for Sale


Order Online

The LIB cookbooks are here! $20 each and selling like hotcakes! They will be for sale at all the LIB events and some local merchants will carry them soon.  Contact Linda McDonald at for more information.

Lewes in Bloom's Childrens Learning Garden received a $3500 Grant from Staples - 2017

Lewes in Bloom’s Children’s Learning Garden has been awarded $3,500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples Associates around the globe to direct donations in the total amount of about $2 million each year. John Muldoon, Staples Associate, was instrumental in making the donation come to fruition. Nancy Phillips, Chair, Children’s Learning Garden said “The funds will allow us to provide even more educational hands-on experiences to Lewes’s children and families”.

Pictured left to right: Dennis Crawford, LIB Board of Advisors; John Muldoon, Staples Associate; Nancy Phillips, CLG Chair and LIB Co-Chair; Judy Hanson, LIB Co-Chair; and Warren Golde, LIB Founder


ST MICHAELS in Bloom - May 2017

by Warren Golde

About a month ago I received a phone call from Mary Lou McAllister in St. Michaels, MD., who said a group of local residents and business people were thinking of starting a beautification program. Mary Lou has been a frequent visitor to Lewes and admired our plantings. She asked her friends in Lewes for a contact person and they put her in touch with me. In late April, Jane Ellan and I were invited to visit St. Michaels and talk to their group about LIB. They arranged for us to stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin and we had dinner at Mary Lou’s house with a few other people involved with starting the beautification program. The next morning I gave a presentation to about 25-30 people and showed them LIB videos and PowerPoint presentations and answered a myriad of questions: ”How did we get started?”, ”What are the costs involved?”, ”Where should we plant first?”, ”How do you choose your plants?”, and many many more.

On May 3 I received a call from Mary Lou saying St. Michaels in Bloom had been formed and that a group from St Michaels would like to come and visit Lewes this summer to view our plantings and see firsthand what and how we do things. We set July 10 as the date for the visit with details to be worked out later. Subsequently, I received a call from Lynne Kleinburg, who said she has been anointed the ‘Warren” of St. Michaels in Bloom. She told me where they decided to start their plantings and asked me for advice on where to purchase materials.

I forwarded Lynne a thumb drive with a list of our plantings and sources and wished them success in their new venture and offered our help whenever needed. I hope our patrons will be available when STMIB visits in July so they can showcase their areas and answer any questions that the visitors may have. I think the visit should be an opportunity for a great photo op and publicity article for LIB.

Lewes Wins America in Bloom Circle of Champions Award - 2015


PO-and-AIB-sign-and-volunteers-sml-300x266WE WON!!!

Lewes, DE was awarded the America in Bloom Outstanding Achievement Award.

This award recognizes an overall winner of excellence in each of the six judging criteria plus community involvement. Because Lewes had won in categories prior to 2015, we competed in America in Bloom’s “Circle of Champions.” Lewes won the America in Bloom contest in 2003, 2005 and 2010 for cities with population under 5,000. In 2012 Lewes was honored with the “Circle of Champions” designation. This honors the achievement of communities that have won a combination of three population and/or criteria awards over the years.

While there are more than 200 cities across the U.S. that compete for a wide variety of awards, only 13 cities are among the AIB’s Circle of Champions. Lewes volunteers spent hundreds of hours planting thousands of plants throughout the city to promote the beautification and maintenance of Historic Lewes, increase environmental awareness, teach children about planting, and showcase our exceptional floral displays. Because of the number of entries, the Circle of Champions Award was divided by city size and we won in the small city category.

More details here.