WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Westminster Cares held its 16th annual Westminster Garden Tour on July 22-23. This year the weather cooperated for a fabulous weekend, setting records for attendance. An estimated 400-500 people attended the tour. Many were from Westminster and surrounding towns who support the event each; many were visitors from out of state including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New York, North Carolina and Florida. Participants enjoyed touring our town and strolling through the lovely gardens.
Westminster Cares board members and Donna Dawson, director, wish to thank the many volunteers and sponsors who helped out, and all those who attended the event. Special thanks go to all the volunteers and board members who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend, served on the garden tour committee and donated their energy, time and effort in planning and executing the garden tour.
Sincere appreciation goes to Gordon and Mary Hayward for 16 years of support and without whom this event would not be possible. Every year several additional hosts open their private gardens to the public. This year’s hosts were Cyndy Fine; Genius Loci, who has opened her gardens many times throughout the years; Lily and Eugene Walsh; Sharon and Ingrid Boccelli; and Toby Young. This event would not be possible without their gardening talents and generosity.
On Sunday, fine furniture designer and maker, master woodworker and multi-media artist from Bellows Falls, Mark Ragonese, demonstrated sapling bending, weaving and simple constructions for the garden. (Perhaps you’ve noticed the lovely sapling archway when passing the Institute?) Through Mark’s generosity we were able to offer this demo free of charge to tour participants.
The following contributors helped make the tour a success:
Our sponsors help to defray costs so that all of the funds raised at the event can go directly to programs and services. Sponsors: Durand Toyota/Ford, Chroma Technology Corporation, Silver Forest of Vermont, Vermont Country Store, Savings Bank of Walpole, People’s United Bank, and C& S Wholesale Grocers.
Raffle prize donations: Ann Ashcroft for creating the beautiful garden-themed quilt, won by Karen Astley; Gardener’s Supply mobile planter stand donated by the Lanatas, won by Penelope Simpson; large hanging plant donated by Harlow’s Farmstand, won by Jeanette White; garden themed basket with Gordon Hayward Book, won by Sandy Pagniucci; infinity arbor donated by the Ryea family, won by Karen Walter; sandcast garden leaf donated by Raine Kane, won by Pat Goodell; set of matching aprons created and donated by Barbara Sherrod, won by Maura Varone; garden consultation donated by Genius Loci, won by Eliza Sherrod; gift certificate for an overnight stay donated by the Grafton Inn, won by Susan Harlow; Morning Star Perennial Gift Certificate, won by Claire Gilman.
Food and beverages: Westminster Cares board members; Emma’s Market and Deli/Catering; Old Athens Farm; Bellows House Bakery; BJ’s Club and Lisai’s Market.
Donations of equipment and services: Walpole Rent-A-Center, Best Septic, Westminster Fire and Rescue and Kurn Hattin Homes.
Printing and graphics: C & S Wholesale Grocers for printing garden tour materials, the local businesses who purchased ads in the program, and Amie Walter of Amie Walter Design for design of all promotional materials.
Music: Daron Tansley and Martha Mitchell.
Photographers: Lori Larue and Ira Wilner.
Plant sales and flower arrangements: MorningStar Perennials; Johnson’s Greenhouse, Harlow’s Farmstand; Allen Bros.; Judi Petry, Raine Kane and Melinda Underwood.
Proceeds from the tour support the services and programs of Westminster Cares, a volunteer organization whose purpose is to create opportunities for seniors and adults with disabilities to live with independence and dignity in the community.