In 2021, The Friends of the Waccamaw Library (FOWL) hosted their first-ever Blossoms for Books Garden Tour. This fundraiser was created as a safe and Covid-friendly way to raise money that specifically benefits the Waccamaw Library, as many of FOWL’s funding events were canceled due to the pandemic. As a lifetime gardener and vice-president of FOWL’s board, Deborah (Dee) Phillips suggested a garden tour idea and then became the co-chair of the committee along with Debbie Edgar. Nine months and seventy volunteers later, they shared a beautiful, tranquil day with a sold-out crowd.
FOWL is a non-profit organization founded in 1988, whose mission is to increase awareness of the Waccamaw Neck Branch Library and to provide funding for books, technology, and adult and children’s programming. Last year, they used the proceeds raised to add over 1000 books and DVDs to the library. The funds also supported 100 adult programs and 153 youth programs. Their Summer Reading Program also had its largest participation to date. Luckily, their Friends Center at the library is now back open and due to the success of last year’s Garden Tour, FOWL has decided to host the Blossoms for Books fundraiser again this year.
On the day of the event, all of the patrons meet at the library in the morning to pick up their wristbands and booklets that lists each garden on the tour along with a one-page description about each stop. While at the library, a few pop-up shops are offered such as a gift shop, a book shop, and a plant shop. The plants for sale are donated by Anita Lampley from her personal garden that she has propagated herself over the last year. Afterward, all of the patrons are welcome to proceed on their way making their own timeline for their tour as long as they do so from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Carpooling is encouraged to minimize traffic and as an incentive, there will be a very nice raffle prize given to one of the lucky winners who carpool with three or more people.
Last year, the tour included eight gardens: Anita and Randy Lampley’s Cottage Garden, Peter and Randi Lipkin’s Garden, Karen Glendinning and Sam Mersimi’s Eclectic Garden, Sharon and Joey Turner’s Beach Cottage, The Brockington-Shehan family’s Blue Whale Farm, Tanya Ackerman’s Friendship Garden at Gray Man’s Cottage, Bill and Karen Kahn’s Rookery, and John and Jean Cross’ Garden. As far as this year, Dee said, “We will still have eight gardens again, but we thought it would be fun to feature new homes. The only one that will return this year is the Blue Whale Farm because the large property provides the opportunity to purchase lunch as well as plenty of space to enjoy your meal outside at the picnic tables.” The garden search committee is always looking for new garden suggestions for future tours, and FOWL is always open to new members who would like to join and volunteer their time towards a great cause.
2022’s Blossoms for Books Garden Tour will be held on May 21st with a rain date of May 22nd. The tickets go on sale the first week of April and only 250 total tickets will be sold for the event. Purchase your tickets before they are sold out again by visiting the Friends Center inside the Waccamaw Library or by visiting www.thefowl.org.