WESTMINSTER, Vt. – After a pandemic-induced hiatus of nearly three years, Westminster Cares held their 19th Annual Garden Tour on July 9 and 10, 2022. The weather was spectacular, and attendees were encouraged to take their time strolling through the lovely gardens, taking photos of plants and flowers, having lunch at the garden café, and enjoying the demonstrations offered throughout the weekend. Westminster Cares set an attendance record with about 400 people coming through the gardens over the weekend. Many were residents of Westminster and the surrounding towns who support the even each year; many were visitors and garden club members from out of state, including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine.
Westminster Cares’ board and president Lori Larue wish to thank everyone who came out and attended the event. “We spent the last two years planning and then having to cancel events due to safety concerns. The Garden Tour Committee spent much of this year planning this fundraising event, never sure what the turnout would be. We are thrilled to have such a wonderful turnout. It is not possible to pull it off without the help of those who support us, our garden hosts, sponsors, local businesses, prize donors, volunteers, board members, committee members, and our director Donna Dawson. This small community has such a big heart. We are truly grateful to everyone who made this even successful and we thank you for supporting our mission.”
Sincere appreciation goes to Gordon and Mary Hayward for all the years of support and without whom this event would not be possible. Every year, several additional hosts open their private gardens to the public. In addition to the Haywards, this year’s hosts were Cheryl Charles and family, Obe and Lonnie Lisai, Kathy Leo and Tom Goldschmidt, and Garden Coordinator Mandy Walsh and Emily Lisai of the Westminster Center School’s garden. Mark Ragonese, furniture maker, artist, and sculptor, gave a talk and demonstration titled, “Saplings: Sculpting, Bending, and Weaving,” and master gardener Peg Solon gave a talk and demonstration on, “Container Gardening for Pollinators.” This event would not be possible without their design talents, expertise, and generosity to Westminster Cares.
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 this year’s Garden Tour.
Proceeds from the tour support the services and programs of Westminster Cares, a volunteer organization whose mission is to create opportunities for seniors and adults with disabilities to live with independence and dignity in the community.