It's nearly impossible to drive through downtown Milton these days without noticing the flowers, the plants and the long-term beautification project that's now several years in the making.
It's yet another aspect of Milton's unique small town charm, and it's all thanks to a committed group of volunteers who have made it their mission since 1998 to make the town a more beautiful place to live.
Now nearly 70 members strong, the (mostly) ladies of the Milton Garden Club work tirelessly throughout the year maintaining gardens and garden boxes throughout the small coastal Delaware town that they call home.
In all, the club today maintains more than 50 planters and 10 in-ground gardens that are located on town property. They refresh the planters four times a year with seasonal plants and flowers.
"We really enjoy what we do and it makes for a lot of friendships within the club," says Kathryn Greig, former president of the Milton Garden Club and it's current treasurer. "We really don't do it to get praise, it's just the satisfaction that we get when the people in town tell us that they love what we do."
The club works on a $7,000 to $10,000 annual budget, much of which is donated by the community. The money is almost entirely spent on flowers and plants, used to "beautify Milton."
The Town of Milton contributes $3,000 a year to the group and Dogfish Head Brewery chips in around $3,000 more, which comes from tip money received at the brewery's tasting room.
Kathryn Greig, pictured above a few years ago near the Broadkill River, has been involved with the Milton Garden Club since 2002. She's a former president and is the current treasurer of the nearly 70-member strong organization.
But the club's main fundraiser is the annual garden tour, which will be taking place this year on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year featuring a walking tour along historic Union Street, there are seven unique gardens on the tour that the club is excited to show off.
Tickets the day of the event can be purchased at a booth in front of the Milton Historical Society on Union Street, where there will also be a food tent and a plant sale going on.
Tickets are $15 the day of the event, but they can be purchased in advance for $10 at Salon Milton, Hillside Flowers, Pepper's Greenhouses and at the historical society in Milton, as well as in Lewes at Lewes Printing.
This is the 19th year for the annual fundraiser, with all proceeds going to fund the ongoing work of the Milton Garden Club. That includes two annual scholarships the group awards to graduating seniors of Cape Henlopen High School.
"This tour is very popular because you can walk the whole thing without having to park your car at every stop," says Greig. "People are always surprised by how much room we have in the backs of these homes for gardens, and they usually like what they see."
Tours are self-guided, with a rain date tentatively on the books for Sunday, Sept. 29.