Tastebuds: A Feast
For the Flowers
While wandering downtown,
one cannot help but delight in the bountiful flowers that frame
the streets, hibiscus, marigolds and petunias, just a few of the
botanical varieties that command our attention. As they wave gracefully
in the wind, their vibrant color and fresh fragrance add their
own dimension to our well-manicured city.
So just where do all of those flowers come from and how do they
stay so well maintained? The answer to that question in a single
Tastebuds is an annual event organized by the Annapolis Business
Association to provide funding for all of the hanging baskets
and flower pots along Main Street, Maryland Avenue, Church Circle
and Duke of Gloucester Street. "It's the largest fundraiser held
by the ABA," says Rusty Romo, president of the Annapolis Business
Association. "We receive no outside funding for the flowers and
their maintenance which, including Christmas decorations, costs
about $70,000 a year. The flowers are supplied by Homestead Gardens,
and the entire expense is covered through fundraising efforts,
dues and private contributions from business owners."
According to Romo, "Homestead Gardens takes good care of us."
And their responsibility does not just include selecting, providing
and planting the blooms that we all enjoy. They also manage the
daily upkeep and TLC that keeps the flowers so robust and aesthetically
pleasing. Additionally, the Tastebuds program fills our downtown
with cheer for Yuletide by arranging for the magnificent Christmas
tree at City Dock, as well as all of the lights and decorations
that dazzle the city during the holiday season.
This year, the 5th annual Tastebuds will take place on Tuesday,
Sept. 24, at the Loews Annapolis Hotel on West Street. It is "a
culinary and cultural fundraiser for the beautification of downtown
Annapolis" and, as Romo describes it, "Tastebuds is the best cocktail
party ever." More than 25 local restaurants provide food for the
evening, while beverages are compliments of Mill's Wine and Spirits.
is basically a private 'Taste of Annapolis,'" says Jim Hobson,
owner of Hobson's Choice on Maryland Avenue. This year Jim and
wife Bobbi are co-chairmen of Tastebuds. When asked how long it
takes to plan the fiesta, Hobson responds, "We started planning
back in January and held meetings with the Tastebuds committee.
Then we gradually increased the meetings to every other week."
Spectacular food and tasty beverages are not the only featured
items for the evening. On a musical note, Meg Murray, Brian Ewald
and High Tide will provide the night's entertainment and there
will also be silent auctions and raffles.
For all the travel enthusiasts, there's something for you, too.
"We are also raffling off a trip to Paris," says Hobson. "We sell
only a limited number of raffle tickets, so the odds are really
That old familiar Annapolis generosity plays a large role in the
success of this fundraiser. "Almost everything for this event
is donated," Hobson says. "The food, refreshments and decorations
are all gifted from local business owners. Homestead Gardens provides
the floral decorations and, if all goes as planned, the ladies
will receive a flower upon arrival. It's truly a big event and
everyone has a great time."
Only 500 tickets are sold for Tastebuds and you can receive more
information by contacting Jim or Bobbi Hobson at 410-280-2206
or by visiting them at their store, Hobson's Choice on Maryland