If you haven’t been to the Delaware Botanic Gardens yet, now is your chance!

Join Director of Horticulture, Stephen Pryce Lea for a special “Fall Gardening for Wildlife ” tour of the famous Piet Oudolf meadow just for Chesapeake Forum at the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro, DE.

Listening to Stephen Pryce Lea describe flourishing plants and the wonder of nature, brings to mind Henry David Thoreau’s journal entry from August 1851: “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”  The director of horticulture at Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro sees enchantment and beauty on the former soybean farm that is being developed into a masterpiece.

The tour will take place in the world-renowned Piet Oudolf two-acre meadow with nearly 170,000 spring-flowering bulbs and 70,000 perennial plants and grasses. The grasses and autumn perennials are especially gorgeous from the end of September through October.  Stephen’s tour will focus on garden maintenance and will feature plants essential for providing wildlife with a food source and habitat over winter.

The other areas to explore during your visit:

  • The Folly Garden features the original homestead of the farm with 40,000 flowering bulbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees as well as our new reflecting pool.
  • Endangered and restored habitats such as the non-tidal freshwater wetland and learning garden, vernal ponds, and a re-created ancient inland dune biome.
  • Abundant butterflies, birds, and other pollinators in the bright and prolifically blooming Rhyne Garden, a part of a package of environmentally sustainable initiatives that also features an award-winning living shoreline, a rain garden, and green technology bathrooms.
  • The Charles Anderson Family Holly Tree Collection and the Azalea Collection.

DETAILS:  The tour will last approximately 1.5 hours. It is a walking tour with ADA-compliant pathways. If you need a golf cart, we can reserve one that holds three guests plus the driver.  Registration includes park admission and tour charges.  If heavy rain/high winds or thunder and lightning cause cancellation, we will reschedule to another date.

Meet us there at 10 am, or meet us at the carpool staging area at the vacant bank parking lot in front of the Easton Target, leaving the carpool staging area at 8 am.  Our tour is from 10 to 11:30 am.  It takes approximately 1.5 hrs to drive there.  If carpooling, plan on getting to the staging area early enough to determine whether your carmates are wanting to stay and have lunch there (bring your own lunch) so you can see more of the gardens, or go somewhere else for lunch, or head straight home.  NOTE:  There are a number of fun restaurants in Millsboro that pop up when checking Google Maps.  Park Entry and Tour fees are included in the charge for this field trip.

IN PERSON field trip by carpool | 1 session | Friday | Oct 13 | 8 am to 4:30 pm (depart carpool area at 8 am to arrive at 30220 Piney Neck Rd, Dagsboro, DE around 9:30 am. Return to Easton as late as 4:30 pm) | $35

Stephen Lea Pryce 2

Stephen Pryce Lea, Ph.D.

A native of Wales, Stephen Pryce Lea was born on a small livestock farm. Realizing agriculture wasn’t capturing his interest, he developed an interest in horticulture and completed an apprenticeship with the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom and earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Lancaster University in northern England. He took over as horticulturist at the Delaware Botanic Gardens in 2021 and was quickly promoted to director of horticulture.

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