It’s hard to believe, but it is time for the annual Columbia Green Festival of Gardens once again. How is it possible that a year has gone by so quickly?!
Last year, I had the good fortune to accompany the Columbia Green festival committee as they previewed the gardens scheduled for the 2011 tour. An email from Ann Holtschlag inviting me to accompany these very knowledgeable gardeners on this year’s preview was just what I needed. Yes, indeed, I would love to participate again!
The first home that we visited is located in The Preserve, a beautifully planned and maintained area of homes that is just under ten years old. Beverly and Joe Mack’s Georgian brick home is classic and elegant in every way. Working with a garden that is quite shaded by numerous Japanese maple trees and a row of crape myrtles, Beverly and Joe have experimented over the seven years they have lived here with a variety of plants that they find interesting and unique.
Approaching the garden from the front yard, the lucky visitor walks through a pretty wrought iron gate flanked by jasmine covered brick columns.
Immediately to the left is a row of crape myrtle trees which, when blooming in the summer, provide a canopy of delicate white flowers. Throughout the garden are numerous varieties of hostas and ferns sharing space with hydrangeas, dwarf viburnums, potted roses, yew, clematis, climbing jasmine, potted hollies, and several Japanese maples.
A cozy covered porch bridges the space between the home’s interior and garden. This comfortable outdoor living room is right in the middle of the garden and almost forms a divider between a more formal garden on one side and more relaxed one on the other.
Elegant black wicker furniture with cushions covered in a soft, lemon yellow is almost like the sun shining down on this shaded area. A painted white mirror is hung just so to reflect the garden beyond because, well, there is no such thing as too much garden, is there?
Looking up, the detail of a coffered ceiling is made intriguing by the soft (haint) blue paint color. According to low country legend, this color will keep the spirits from taking up residence and leave Beverly and Joe in peace.
Joe’s affinity for pigs has created a collection which graces both garden and porch and creates a familiar theme throughout. I love the bespectacled pig peeking out from the bushes as if to capture the scent of the potted roses nearby.
Tending lovingly to their gardens, neither Joe nor Beverly feels that the work is done. Ever evolving, they understand that gardens change over time. Often, plants must be relocated, or simply removed, when they are showing signs of unhappiness in their current location. Unafraid to make these changes and eager to find new varieties with which to experiment, you can be sure this is a garden that will continually delight through the years.