With summer passing way too quickly I feel the need to try to share some of the gardens that I have collected in my summer files. Today I chose this Old South charm in Charleston, one of the many beautiful gardens featured in Traditional Home. I chose the formal parterre to open the post, mainly because of the old brick house and the white climbing roses. It almost looks too good to be true! Next to the brick house is a small garden house seen in the photo below.
This restored house belongs to Ben and Cindy Lenhardt; it's located in Charleston’s historic district and dates back to the year 1743. Ben, now retired, was only ten years old when he planted marigold seeds for the first time and since then gardening has been his passion. In fact, he's the chairman of the national Garden Conservancy and the role of the organisation is to preserve exceptional gardens. They also arrange open days for the public to enjoy private gardens.
Ben’s garden design was under the influence of Loutrel Briggs, a legendary landscape architect in the Charleston area that began his career in the 1930s. His idea was to use different levels to make gardens appear bigger.
Ben is a humble gardener and in the article he speaks with enthusiasm about gardens as living art:
It’s the most difficult art form because it changes. It takes an appreciation of balance, color, and different kinds of plant materials with strong -architectural components—all of which must be coordinated with the changing seasons to create a symphony of color, beauty, and -tranquility.
In the period “Charleston garden” there are these urns with potted petunias, geraniums, violas, and roses that add colour to the garden that mainly has white blossoms. There is also a Lutyens-style bench.
There is a colonial-style fence by the front parterre, which is planted with boxwood, ivy, and dwarf mondo grass.
Do you see the old stone mooring post in the carriageway below? It was discovered during the restoration of the house. Apparently, the house had been at the edge of a creek that lead to the Cooper River and rowboats were tied to the post.
Brie Williams for Traditional Home