Abode & Abloom

Chasing the fog

As I backed out the driveway last Friday morning at 7:15, Cedar Drive was still quiet before the mad rush of buses and parents dropping off the kids at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Even though I live a half a mile from work, it’s funny how I need to do just the right timing so I do not end up mixed in part of the busy drop-off time of the school traffic.

As I went down School Lane, I notice that there was a soft layer of fog over the fields drifting up toward a brilliant blue sky. Going to be another great day of this Indian summer we are seeing this year, I thought to myself.

Pulling into the office parking lot convinced me that there needed to be a change of plans for the morning. I can read e-mails anytime, I figured. This fog is here now and will be gone in another half hour. Grabbing my camera, I headed for Fresh Pond, making a few scenic stops along the way.

Fresh Pond is a part of my old stomping ground, as I lived on Cedar Neck Road until I was in 11th grade. It was much different then, comprised mostly of fields (some farmed and some just natural). After school, weekends and in the summer, we rode bikes or walked just about anywhere. We ran through cornfields, built forts in the woods and even swam in the Assawoman Canal.

Tour to offer a peek inside historic homes of Ocean View

The Ocean View Historical Society is giving residents and visitors the unique opportunity to get an inside look at some of the most historic homes in Ocean View on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Century-old home to be featured as part of Coastal Towns Historic Tour

The Joanne Gichner House, built in the early 1900s, is one of seven historical homes on the Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Oct. 7.The Joanne Gichner House, built in the early 1900s, is one of seven historical homes on the Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Oct. 7.Tourgoers on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, will be able to stroll through the Joanne Gichner House — a large, stately Victorian — to see how its owners lovingly renovated a 100-year-old structure in keeping with its origins.

One of the home’s two functioning woodstoves remains in the front living room, very typical of Ocean View houses before electricity and central heating. Gichner and her late husband, Michael, purchased the home in the 1970s, remodeling the house twice by moving walls, modernizing the kitchen and turning the side porch into a full bath, foyer and laundry room, but keeping the original main staircase, front porch and main entry foyer.

Michael Gichner’s father, William Gichner, was the blacksmith at Iron Age Antiques (the building now houses the Salon on Central), and the Gichner living room showcases a one-of-a- kind iron quilt on a stand made by many blacksmiths to honor William Gichner on his 75th birthday. Tourgoers can also admire the rolltop desk in the family office.

‘It’s a community garden’

Delaware Botanic Gardens volunteers sow 17,000 plants

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Piet Oudolf, designer of the meadowlands of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, signs copies of his book during a work day at the Gardens last week.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Piet Oudolf, designer of the meadowlands of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, signs copies of his book during a work day at the Gardens last week.How does a soybean field become a world-class garden? One plant at a time.

Although work has continued quietly at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek for a few years, this week was especially noteworthy, as volunteers planted the first part of the gardens’ meadowlands, designed by world-renowned designer Piet Oudolf.

“It was a huge operation. We have had about 50 volunteers. They came from everywhere … from Boston to Tennessee,” said Executive Director Sheryl Swed. “When Piet comes, he takes a look to see if it’s perfect, or he does tweaking.”

Just outside Dagsboro, some onlookers thrilled to see the Dutch designer pick up a rake to help shape the grass mounds. Others begged an autograph or two.

“My idea was to make a perennial meadow with the use of many natives, but in my own way. I have a very impressionistic style,” Oudolf said while examining the grounds.

The 1.5-acre meadow is a controlled mass of plants, shaped rather like a figure 8 or an ampersand. The thick pathways curve through the meadow, the plants clearly delineated from the walkway.

“The whole layout is so that people can meander and walk through the garden,” Oudolf said. “Every turn is a different perspective. … You want people to feel like they discovered something.”

Festival Hispano will be dancing in the streets

Coastal Point • Submitted: Festival Hispano is set for Sunday, Sept. 17 in Georgetown.Coastal Point • Submitted: Festival Hispano is set for Sunday, Sept. 17 in Georgetown.Good music, food and fun will fill the streets of Georgetown at the 22nd annual Festival Hispano on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Thousands of people will celebrate Hispanic cultural heritage from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival stretches along North Race Street, from Laurel Street to the Pepper Street stage.

People come from near and far to enjoy the Delmarva Peninsula event.

“It’s very much of a family day. That’s probably the biggest thing about it. There’s no alcohol that’s allowed in the festival, so that’s really key,” said Rosalia Velazquez, executive director of non-profit La Esperanza, which benefits from the event. “Like any street fair, there’s a lot of vendors … all different kinds of Hispanic music. It’s just a fun day for people.”

Jayne’s Reliable to host event featuring celebrity DIYers

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : David and Karen Jayne sit at one of Karen Murray’s re-finished pieces of vintage furniture with pots of Debi’s Design Diary paint.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : David and Karen Jayne sit at one of Karen Murray’s re-finished pieces of vintage furniture with pots of Debi’s Design Diary paint.Excitement is building at Jayne’s Reliable in Dagsboro.

In less than two weeks, Karen and David Jayne will be hosting a major DIY (do-it-yourself) event featuring YouTube sensation Debi Beard, known in the DIY world from Debi’s Design Diary.

Also present will be Josie Celio and Sally Griswold, the sisters who own Iron Orchid Designs, and Dionne Woods from Turquoise Iris. These names are celebrities amongst the many people who delight in painting, decorating and repurposing vintage and reclaimed furniture and architectural salvage.

Jayne’s Reliable has been selected from stores around the country that sell Debi’s Design Diary’s paint to hold its second DIY Traveling Show & Marketplace on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are thrilled,” said Karen Jayne. “I attended Debi’s first one at her shop in Solana Beach, Calif. It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much. It’s a huge honor for us, located in small-town Delaware, to have been chosen. We can’t wait for our customers and DIY enthusiasts in our region to come and join in.”

Green thumbs give a boost to South Bethany canals

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Participants in South Bethany’s Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest pose for a photo at one of the canal ends.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Participants in South Bethany’s Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest pose for a photo at one of the canal ends.South Bethany is rewarding green behavior. For seven years now, the Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest has encouraged residents and property owners to help beautify their little corners of town, for the benefit of all.

Canal ends can be pleasant spots to rest and enjoy the water (from the land), so the Community Enhancement Committee encourages people to create small gardens, which then compete in a summertime beauty contest. Although there were only three winners, many volunteers dedicated hundreds of hours of hard work to landscape 34 different canal ends throughout town.

Lord’s Landscaping joined the winners and town officials on Aug. 18 to present gift certificates to the winning three.

Cooks and books have a tasty time at Selbyville library

Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Libraries were never this delicious. But now people are turning on their tastebuds at the Selbyville Public Library.

Every month, the Eat & Greet Cookbook Club tries recipes from a new cookbook. Beforehand, anyone in the community can choose a recipe from a cookbook featured at the library. All the participants prepare a dish, and then they share a potluck dinner on the second Monday of each month. That night, people get to sample everyone’s cooking and take home the recipes.

It’s always a chance to try something new, and the group couldn’t name a recipe that they didn’t like.

In August, they tried “The Whole30 Cookbook,” a low-carb, high-flavor program by Melissa Hartwig. Recipes ranged from a classic slow-cooker chicken salad to an adventurous tomato-coconut curry chicken.

“I’m a basic person. This is my first time having [spaghetti] squash and cauliflower rice,” said librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell, who roasted flavorful chicken thighs that night.

Sometimes it’s an intimate handful of cooks, while other nights are packed with a dozen or more cooks and dishes.

“It’s a nice way to meet people in your community,” said Cathy Martin. “It’s fun to get together and talk—”

“Food!” Dottie Kauffman interjected.

Delaware Federation says ‘it’s not your grandmother’s club’

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Calling all gardeners and wannabe landscapers — the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs is looking for you.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs will be hosting an informational meeting regarding joining or starting a garden club. The membership event will be held at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach from 6 to 7 p.m.

“There are so many new communities here, and I don’t even think they know that we exist down here,” said Lisa Arni, president of the federation. “I am finding through the Master Gardeners and other organizations that people are moving here and saying, ‘OK, I bought this new house and have the builder’s minimal package of plants, and I don’t know what to plant here because I’m new to Delaware.’

“They’d be really good candidates because they just moved here, they don’t know anybody, they would make new friends and learn about what to plant in their communities and in their gardens.”

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 9 — N. Bethany oceanfront home

Coastal Point • Submitted : Sweeping ocean views and clean architectural lines merge in this North Bethany home.Coastal Point • Submitted : Sweeping ocean views and clean architectural lines merge in this North Bethany home.(Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a series of previews of the homes that will be on display during the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 26 and 27 from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.)

After 25 years of shared vacations in their gated North Bethany community, the extended family of the owners of this house had grown to 20, and their 1992 oceanfront beach house was bursting at the seams. At that point, the owners passed the baton to the next generation to tackle the task of rebuilding their beloved beach retreat.

The new 7,100-square-foot home resembles a contemporary two-story farmhouse and is designed to comfortably sleep 28, with 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.

A wide, light-filled vaulted entry, straddled by two guest wings, leads to the main gathering area, where, on any given weekend, all three generations can be found enjoying the kitchen, dining and living room that span the rear of the house. Folding glass doors offer the option to completely open that area to the screened porch, seamlessly expanding the living space and panoramic ocean views dramatically.

Inaugural Coastal Garden Tour shines light on local gardens

Coastal Point photos • Susan Lyons: A glimpse of one of the gardens that will be featured on the inaugural garden tour on Thursday, June 29.Coastal Point photos • Susan Lyons: A glimpse of one of the gardens that will be featured on the inaugural garden tour on Thursday, June 29.Nine private gardens and one local landmark in the Fenwick Island area will be in the spotlight next week, and members of the Barefoot Gardeners Club have been very busy getting those gardens ready for their close-up.

On Thursday, June 29, the club will host its inaugural Coastal Garden Tour, featuring nine homes located on the oceanside, bayside and in between. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse grounds, which the club members have also been tending to for years, will also be a highlight of the tour.

Last Saturday morning, many of the club members attended a “preview” tour, during which Gregory Tepper — director of horticulture for the Delaware Botanic Gardens — provided helpful information on each garden to the Barefoot Gardeners members who will be hosting each of them on tour day.

As Tepper and the gardeners traveled to each garden, he could be heard uttering the scientific names of many of the plants on display and giving tips as to where each grows best. At one stop, Tepper gave advice that could be the theme for all gardens: “It’s trial and error,” he said.

The gardens on the Coastal Garden Tour are a testament to that. Some have been planted, replanted, cultivated and loved for more than 50 years; others have been brought to their present glory after being recreated and reimagined after storms and home renovations have done them harm.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour sneak peek No. 6 — Breezes cool downtown Bethany home

Coastal Point • Submitted: A barrel high-top table is featured in the kitchen of this downtown Bethany home.Coastal Point • Submitted: A barrel high-top table is featured in the kitchen of this downtown Bethany home.(Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of previews of the homes that will be on display during the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 26-27 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

As former proprietors in Sea Colony, the owners of this downtown Bethany home had many fond memories of family vacations in Bethany when their children were young. After several years’ absence, they were ready to return to build new memories in Bethany with their three adult kids.

Their long search for a lot within walking distance of the beach and with enough space for a pool was finally successful. Overlooking the town’s iconic “totem pole,” their new 3,200-square-foot home is close enough to the ocean to be dubbed “Bethany Breeze.”

The heated backyard pool, adjacent to the fully-outfitted family pub, is embellished with custom tile work and is guarded by a friendly mermaid. The interior décor is a blend of traditional and contemporary coastal styles, accented with tropical artistic touches from the wife, a graphic artist. Her goal was to create an oasis of calm with shades of coastal blue to soothe her busy family when they escape the stresses of the family business back in Virginia. They now look forward to creating new memories in the town they loved so long ago.

Gardening group puts down roots with Life Saving Station project

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the Salt Air Gardeners recently began a landscaping project at the Indian River Life Saving Station.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the Salt Air Gardeners recently began a landscaping project at the Indian River Life Saving Station.When Indian River Life Saving Station site manager Laura Scharle got back work recently after a day away, it looked as if garden fairies had made a stop there.

Landscaping around the museum and historic site had been spruced up — plants added, mulch raked in, beds cleaned up.

In reality, the “fairies” were members of the Salt Air Gardeners, a recently formed group of “lifelong learners” who were looking for a community project. In their quest, they contacted the Inland Bays Garden Center in Ocean View, where they learned that the Lifesaving Station’s grounds were in need of some attention.

Based in the Bay Forest community, the group (don’t call them a “club” — they prefer to be referred to as an “organization” or just by their name) is nearly 50 members strong, despite only having been in existence for a few months.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 5 — Bethany home blends custom touches

Coastal Point • Submitted: This teardrop chandelier contrasts with the distressed table that it illuminates in this downtown home.Coastal Point • Submitted: This teardrop chandelier contrasts with the distressed table that it illuminates in this downtown home.(Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of previews of the homes that will be on display during the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 26 and 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Years of vacation visits to the Delaware shore led the owners of this home and their children to Bethany Beach, where they found that the happiness level and ready access to the ocean made for the perfect spot to re-create an updated version of their original California surf shack from years ago. Connecting with a builder and architect who shared the husband’s longtime love of surfing made for a perfect alliance.

They opted for a modest three-bedroom, three-bath home of 2,500 square feet, where the spaces are designed to be functional and efficient, and are distinguished by interesting interior nooks and pleasing exterior roof lines. An open floor plan and plenty of windows are designed to bathe the space in natural light, keeping it bright and airy despite the northern exposure and wooded neighborhood.

Bright green shakes on the chimney hint at the colorful touches that permeate the design and décor inside. Soft gray walls serve as a neutral backdrop for pops of color, seen in the mustard-yellow pocket doors, green kitchen tile and multicolored accessories. Other inventive elements include a fireside hideaway for their beloved yellow Lab and a pair of cozy high-perched lofts that connect their college-age kids’ bedrooms.

The husband is an accomplished amateur woodworker whose creations combine with his wife’s refurbished found treasures, adding a distinctly artistic touch to their décor. She enjoys balancing his rustic wood elements with an occasional bit of “bling,” as seen in the glass teardrop chandelier in the dining room, chosen to contrast with the bulk of the distressed wood table below that he created. Just one year after completion, the family is finding their new home has fulfilled their longing to always be near the water.

Barefoot Gardeners’ Plant Sale sprouting up this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Fenwick Island’s Barefoot Gardeners will hold their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13, kicking off a summertime focus on area homes and gardens — including a very famous “house.”

The proceeds from the plant sale, according to club member Karen Dudley, help the club fund several community projects, including beautification of the town of Fenwick Island, the gardens at the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, participation in Operation Seas the Day, scholarships for area students, and programs at the Brandywine Assisted Living facility west of Fenwick Island.

In addition to many varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables, the sale will also include pre-planted containers. Club members will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on plant combinations that work well in area gardens.

Native Plant Sale to help with ‘Planting for Pollinators’ on Saturday

Anyone who wants to learn how to attract birds and bees and butterflies to their garden and then take home some plants that can help will find all that and more at the Center for the Inland Bays’ Native Plant Sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6.

Bethany Beach Nature Center to celebrate Earth Day this Saturday

While “every day is Earth Day” at the Bethany Beach Nature Center, Saturday, April 15, will be an extra-special day at the former Addy Cottage.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the center will host an early Earth Day celebration that director Nancy Lucy said will bring together entertainment and education in a way that is sure to please all its visitors.

Birdsong looks to preserve local waters, habitat

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Dave Rickards is working to preserve the environment via Birdsong Gardens, a 20-acre working farm.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Dave Rickards is working to preserve the environment via Birdsong Gardens, a 20-acre working farm.Tucked away near Frankford is a non-profit environmental research facility dedicated to restoring “the former grandeur of the Delaware Estuary.”

Birdsong Gardens sits on a 20-acre working farm, which still grows grain, corn and soybeans in cooperation with a larger neighbor farmer. However, the main focus of its owner, Dave Rickards, is to preserve the environment for generations to come.

“I’m just trying to do my part,” said Rickards. “Growing up on a farm, the environment was never that far away from my thoughts. I grew up in this area. My father was a farmer, and over the years I have watched the change in technology eliminate the buffers that used to be. When I was growing up, there was a lot of quail and you could go quail hunting... I don’t even hear quail anymore, because they’ve lost their habitat.”

Rickards first became active in environmental issues in 1999, when he became involved with the Inland Bays advisory group.

Lord’s Landscaping looks ahead to 40th year

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The Lord’s Landscaping team has been serving the community for nearly 40 years, and continuesCoastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The Lord’s Landscaping team has been serving the community for nearly 40 years, and continuesIn 1972, after graduating from college and moving to Sussex County, Bill Lord was not planning to open a landscaping business.

“When I first moved here, I was a teacher. I was just not destined to be a teacher. My wife Donna was. Her teaching job gave me the flexibility to try to do something I really wanted to do.”

Lord left education and answered a want-ad in the paper, and worked for a landscaper in Lewes for two years. He then decided to go out on his own and, with the help of his wife’s grandfather, Amos McCabe, was able to use for his budding business some of the property in Millville that once housed Delaware Quality Feeds.

“Amos let me use a little corner office there and a little patch of ground to store some stuff,” recalled Lord. “I’d watch out after him, do some jobs for him. He never had a son… He loved me right from the get-go. He took me hunting. I had never been hunting before, you know. I’m from Philadelphia.”

Purebred? Mixed-breed? Mutt?

There are some people who only believe in obtaining a rescue dog. Others will only own a registered purebred dog. Is there a right or wrong answer? No. There are different reasons for owning different types of dogs.

Catherine’s Quilting offers modern finish for age-old art form

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Catherine Peterson grins at her family's new Selbyville quilt shop, where she helps finish new quilts and restore old ones.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Catherine Peterson grins at her family's new Selbyville quilt shop, where she helps finish new quilts and restore old ones.Quilting may be an old art, but Catherine’s Quilting uses technology to transform the basic craft into a finished heirloom piece. Catherine and Tim Peterson just recently opened their quilt shop on Church Street in downtown Selbyville.

Quilting can be a very personal craft, whether it’s a long-term labor of love by a group of friends, or maybe one woman, perhaps given for a wedding or baby gift. Whether hand-stitched in centuries past, or by a machine today, each scrap is carefully pieced together for a grander masterpiece.

Catherine’s Quilting helps with the final steps, attaching the thick batting, which transforms a decorative sheet into a cozy blanket for the home.

Birding weekend for all nature lovers

Monthly birding events highlight area wildlife

For the people who love hearing a great horned owl hoot eerily at dusk, or watching a great blue heron chow down on an unlucky fish: Humans and birds are flying toward the Delmarva Peninsula for the same reason — the winter migration.

Winter is a busy season for birdfeeding aficionados

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A cardinal sits at a bird feeder in Camden-Wyoming.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A cardinal sits at a bird feeder in Camden-Wyoming.The other day, my 3-year-old grandson, Samuel, and I were filling our birdfeeders when my son-in-law asked if we really expected birds to come use them at this time of the year. At first I thought, why ask such a silly question? But after I thought a little bit about it, I realized that it wasn’t such a silly question.

Many people remember being taught that birds fly south for the winter. Also, if you don’t have birdfeeders up, you will see fewer birds during the winter months. However, if you have birdfeeders up and keep them cleaned and filled, you will have lots of birds visiting your yard.

Many birds eat bugs and, at this time of year, many bugs go into dormant states. Other birds eat seeds, and plants also go into dormant states at this time of year, resulting in less seeds for the birds to eat.

Bearhole Farms gives a whole new look to farming

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.At the entrance to a greenhouse at Bearhole Farms near Roxana sits a blue tank about the size of a small hot tub. Orange-finned flashes flit around the bottom and a pump emits a constant thrum.

“That’s the engine,” says Bear Hole proprietor Cindy Stevens. The heart of the engine, which produces a perpetual harvest of 3,000 lettuce plants inside the 1,700-square-foot greenhouse, is fish. About 350 koi, common goldfish and channel catfish, to be precise.

In addition to swimming around the tank, the fish eat... and then when that food turns to fish waste, it is released into a system of channels that run under the lettuce plants, watering and feeding the plants. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

Organizers break ground on groundbreaking garden

Coastal Point Photos • Laura Walter: It’s not really a ground-breaking event without dignitaries, officials and volunteers chipping in to get things started, and things got started in a major fashion at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Coastal Point Photos • Laura Walter: It’s not really a ground-breaking event without dignitaries, officials and volunteers chipping in to get things started, and things got started in a major fashion at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.It all started in 2011 with a small cocktail party and a meeting at the library. Now, the governor and Delaware’s First Lady are attending groundbreakings and the endowment is growing for the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

On the cool, sunny morning of Dec. 1, most of the leaves had fallen in Dagsboro, obscuring the ground where flowers will reappear next spring, and where miles of green briar have already been heaved out.

“The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek will be a world-class, inspirational, educational and sustainable public botanic garden in southern Delaware, created for the benefit and enjoyment of all,” their mission promises.

Public welcome to rare look at botanic garden

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: From left, Peggie Ravida, Karen Dudley, Selma Tepper, Greg Tepper, Janet Point and Carol McCloud volunteered last week to get some work done at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: From left, Peggie Ravida, Karen Dudley, Selma Tepper, Greg Tepper, Janet Point and Carol McCloud volunteered last week to get some work done at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Beside a quiet country road, sunny fields stretch toward a leafy forest that hides beauties within. A 37-acre public garden is coming to Dagsboro, and the public is being invited to the groundbreaking of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Public tours will begin at 10 a.m., focusing on the Woodlands pathways down to Pepper Creek. The ceremony will begin sometime between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

It’s been several years since the volunteer group formed to create a “world-class, inspirational, educational” public garden on Piney Neck Road, just outside of Dagsboro.

“It’s a seminal event,” said Ray Sander, board treasurer. It’s perhaps the first public opportunity to witness what’s happening behind the scenes. “They can take a tour there and see what we’ve done. … We’re moving ahead.”

Garden club to unveil Blue Star memorial in Fenwick

In the U.S., blue stars have long honored military service members. Now, Fenwick Island is getting its own Blue Star Byway marker, a plaque being installed at Fenwick Island Town Park.

After years of pursuing the memorial, the Barefoot Gardeners Club will host a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.

Delaware Botanic Gardens lecture series announced

The Delaware Botanic Gardens has selected four expert speakers for its upcoming lecture series, beginning in September 2016 and continuing through April 2017. Admission to all lectures is free.

• Sept. 24 — Donald Pell, “Embracing the Regional Landscape,” 10 a.m. to noon, South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach.

Delaware Botanic Gardens lecture series announced

The Delaware Botanic Gardens has selected four expert speakers for its upcoming lecture series, beginning in September 2016 and continuing through April 2017. Admission to all lectures is free.

• Sept. 24 — Donald Pell, “Embracing the Regional Landscape,” 10 a.m. to noon, South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach.

Beauty contest: Community decorates South Bethany canals

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The top three groups in this year’s contest pose for a photo in front of a South Bethany canal end.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The top three groups in this year’s contest pose for a photo in front of a South Bethany canal end.Inviting residents to decorate public space has given South Bethany a series of miniature parks. With five miles of canals, the town has plenty of canal ends that people have decorated and planted for the 6th Annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest.

The Adopt-A-Canal program lets residents take ownership and beautify their community.

“It just truly makes a difference. We’re seeing — as the years pass — the growth of the canal ends,” said organizer Councilwoman Sue Callaway. “And it still gets the community involved in doing something for the town, and it [gets] people together to work on many of them.”

In a municipality where the primary Town revenue is realty-related taxes, South Bethany’s success depends partly on residents who maintain a pleasant living space.

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