2009 Garden Tour
The 2009 Festival of Gardens was held Thursday, May 14 and Saturday,
May 16 and featured the 12 gardens listed below - ten located in the
Forest Hills neighborhood and two from nearby Tanglewood.
Click on the corresponding links below to view photos of each garden.
Dr. & Mrs. Mark Salley
1666 Tanglewood Road
Beautiful brick walls create privacy and give formality to this garden where the sound of water spilling from a large fountain adds to the serenity of the home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Salley. A large covered patio, beautifully designed and welcoming, looks out over the formal setting where palms, ferns, and boxwoods add layers of green to the landscaping. Bursts of color come from the hanging baskets and lavish container gardens that can be changed throughout the year to accommodate the changing seasons.
47 Mahalo Lane
Welcome to the Lowcountry! Charleston influences are evident in this spectacular home and garden peacefully tucked away in Columbia's Tanglewood neighborhood. A bronze crane spews water into a captivating pool that can be viewed from the den, kitchen, and master bedroom. The garden has lots of room for children to play, and a large, painted Palmetto tree sculpture adds a touch of whimsy to the playground. Bounded in the back by the tall, mature trees of a neighboring community, this home and garden are a quiet retreat within the city.
Ms. Tina Lane
1426 Wellington Drive
"I want it to be charming" was the criteria that Tina Lane set for the elegant brick and wrought iron hardscape and inviting landscape meticulously designed for her Forest Hills home built in the 1930s. The stately oak tree, blue hydrangeas and magnificent camellias are original to the home. For the rest of her landscaping, Lane chose plants and flowers that were prevalent when the house was built. The front garden has no grass, though no visitors will notice when they are carried away by the fragrant and abundant antique roses, dogwoods, white and pink quince, a dwarf Alberta spruce, green velvet boxwoods, snow cap daisies, Japanese Kerria, coral bark maple, and Society Garlic, to name but a few of her interesting plants. Don't miss the delightful herb garden, once an annual bed, near the front door that boasts variegated thyme, pineapple sage, sweet basil, lemon sage, Greek oregano, dill and dark opal parsley - all just waiting to be pinched for dinner! Look over the back gate to the shady garden that Lane designed for Toby, her friendly pet Vizsla.
Ms. Hillary McDonald
1511 Wellington Dr.
It might have been a difficult task to take a city home on a corner lot off Forest Drive and design a garden for entertaining and relaxation, but accomplished gardener Hillary McDonald has created an environment that is private, yet inviting. At the front, mixed beds offer variety in texture and color. Hydrangeas, azaleas, dogwood, Shasta daisies, Japanese maples, and Abelia add color from spring through fall. Follow the driveway around the house to a butterfly garden with lantana, black-eyed Susan, and salvia. A cozy courtyard with a fountain joins ferns, ivy, and herbs and is furher accented with caladiums. At the end of the driveway, wax myrtles provide a screen into a spacious, shady garden perfect for parties and for McDonald's dog Maggie to play.
Ms. Carol DuBose
2723 Stratford Road
A quiet English garden complements the design of this delightful white English cottage. Lush ivy is the signature piece of this peaceful garden, covering topiaries as well as flowing gently over the ground and along fences where Carol DuBose finds joy in digging in the dirt and spending time with her dogs, Max, Reba and Scout. You'll find that camellias, roses and azaleas blend in with container gardens filled with begonias and impatiens that DuBose places in groups. Blue, white and yellow blooms mix well with graceful ferns, as do pink and yellow blooms – all of which reinforce the inviting style of cottage living. An old-fashioned potting station that belonged to DuBose's father showcases containers that are works of art in progress.
Mr. Fred W. Altman
2701 Stratford Road
The front of this white-columned home owned by Fred Altman faces one of Forest Hills lovely islands. Traditional planting beds add to the Southern appeal of the home, but it's the hillside garden at the back of the home that gives this spacious corner lot its appeal. A wooden deck flows into a more formal brick patio where shade from the home's many trees provides cool and quiet respite among azaleas, roses, Sego palms and container gardens. Steps lead the visitor on to walkways throughout a lovely city garden perfect for parties, summer dinners with friends, or quiet time with a book.
Mr. & Mrs. Steven Morrison
2626 Stratford Road
The garden of the English Tudor home of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Morrison has five distinct spaces. The front of the home is designed to resemble a park, and with 40-plus trees, the area is inviting and spacious. At one end, the home's library and formal living room open on to a Charleston-style garden, created to be an "outdoor room". At the opposite end, a sunroom opens to a formal English garden perfect for parties and entertaining. The landscaping is complete with a small orchard and a public space along the street where the driveway features stones in a European fan design. Built in 1936, this home was named an "All-American Home" in a General Electric competition and was the first in Columbia to have air conditioning.
Mr. Michael Mann & Ms. Barbara Rackes
1524 Westminster Drive
Creating an outdoor living space for a home bordering a busy city street would be a challenge for many couples, but Michael Mann and Barbara Rackes as well as their children have added their own special touches to a large yard that is low-maintenance and perfect for their busy lives. A patio for outdoor entertaining opens onto a terrace where container gardens burst with color. Hammocks, purchased on a trip to Costa Rica, provide quiet time among the trees, and a spacious green area provides space for young people to play. A vegetable garden will yield tomatoes, beans, squash and peppers in the summer, and the family enjoys fresh herbs grown in container gardens. The green thumbs of this family are particularly evident in the fruits of their kumquat, lime and lemon trees.
Mr. Mark Cotterill & Mrs. Janna McMahan
1401 Cambridge Lane
The first thing you'll notice in Mr. & Mrs. Mark Cotterill's garden is the magnificent live oak tree spanning the front garden. Secondly, you'll see the broad swath of liriope under the live oak and how the curved lines of the liriope beds and sidewalks create a natural and soft feel. The numerous mature trees make this a shade garden – it is appropriately planted with Japanese fatsias and several varieties of ferns and hostas. A carriage house in the back garden serves as a studio for landscape architect Mark Cotterill, while the raised patio offers an ideal place for outdoor cooking and entertaining.
Dr. & Mrs. Whit Kinder
1410 Cambridge Lane
Looking to design a garden that is traditional and Southern? Then head to the home of Dr. and Mrs. Whit Kinder for inspiration. This garden, which is lovely in all seasons, is simply splendid in May. The home was built in the 1940s, but the Kinders redesigned the landscaping and garden. The graceful, evergreen live oaks found throughout the South are at home with the elegant blooms of Formosa azaleas, rhododendron and camellias in the garden. You'll simply want to linger in the shade of the live oaks and "stay a spell".
Mr. & Mrs. Sam Clarke, Jr.
1215 Westminster Drive
This new home and garden for Sam and Cynthia Clarke has a "Charleston country" design, with landscaping and plants that reflect the traditional South. Facing east, the base of the elevated front porch is softened with a garden of cast iron plants, glossy dwarf pittosporum, gardenias and perennial bulbs. A Japanese boxwood in a mounded shape adds formality while seasonal annuals and prostrate rosemary grace the walkway entrance. Visible from the street, the long south side of the house features crepe myrtles to blend with neighboring trees across Westminster Drive. Facing west, a boxwood lined circular slate patio defines the walled courtyard. The delight of the back garden is a bronze sculpture sitting in a fountain pool. The figure, "Turtle Child," is reminiscent of American sculptor Edith Barretto Stevens Parson's well-known piece "Frog Baby." Note how the Italian cypress and sweet bay magnolias screen neighboring roof lines and add privacy. The Charleston country theme is completed with a wrought iron arched trellis and garden gate.
Dr. & Mrs. James Reynolds
1318 Westminster Drive: Festival of Gardens Tea Party, 2 – 5 p.m. May 14 and 16
The front of this 1939 home is lovely and welcoming with its massive magnolia tree and traditional Southern plants, but it is Dr. and Mrs. James Reynolds' back garden, which appears divided into a series of outdoor "rooms," that screams "Wow!" Wander from the front to "the little house" that serves as a guest retreat next to a pool, bordered by a wall of boxwoods. You'll want to check out the Backyard Wildlife Habitat where smart gardening practices have created a city haven where wildlife can raise their young. This secluded area and the expansive garden have provided the backdrop for weddings, Easter egg hunts, children's birthday parties, engagement and debutante parties, and picnics for decades.
Columbia Green is indebted to local author Karen Petit for her narrative sketch of the gardens. Karen Petit is the creator of "Shandon's Ivy League" Mystery series for young readers and pet lovers of all ages. She has published four books in this series.