If you go
What: Charleston Horticultural Society’s Fall Tour, “Gardens for Gardeners.”
When: 1-5 p.m. Oct. 13.
Where: Daniel Island.
Admission: $30. Purchase online at www.chashortsoc.org or by calling 579-9922. Pick up tour maps at Island Expressions, 162 Seven Farms Drive, Suite 105, Daniel Island.
more information: Self-guided driving tour. Advance reservations recommended. A few tickets will be available on tour day from noon to 2 p.m. at Island Expressions.
Daniel Island, where gardens respect both a community master plan and Charleston traditions, is the focus of “Gardens for Gardeners,” the Charleston Horticultural Society’s Fall Tour.
Gardens on next Sunday’s tour have been developed within the past 20 years. But techniques, including the use of mature plants, ensure these young gardens can take their places alongside many older ones.
“The whole island feels like one big garden,” says Susan Epstein, tours manager for Charleston Horticultural Society. “You have got some formal gardens and you have got some informal gardens.”
While many gardens have aspects that definitely speak to the Lowcountry’s gardening heritage, the architecture of the homes on Daniel Island is part of the influence as well, Epstein says.
“Houses there have had to be built at a higher elevation,” Epstein says. “Some gardens are stepped up almost like a terrace, which is unusual for Charleston.” The change in elevation easily can be five or six feet from the street to the house, she says. Gardeners with a sloping front yard can pick up many design ideas from those.
“One of them has a fantastic window box that goes across five or six windows,” Epstein says. “To have herbaceous plants in it and underneath it adds a lot of depth and color.”
Any plants that attract humming birds are blooming there now, Epstein says. Those touring will see canna lilies, hibiscus, milkweed, salvia and sweet grass. Due to the rainy summer, many tropical plants continue to bloom.
One of the gardens on the tour is that of Larry and Laurie Seese.
“I try to plant things that attract butterflies, humming birds and bees,” says Laurie Seese, whose yard is certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The yard’s immense variety of plants fills it with color pretty much all year long.
The Seese’s pie-shaped yard is little more than half an acre and features an eclectic array of plants, she says. The 10 year-old garden has undergone two major redesigns.
One Joe Pye weed is large, covered with dome-shaped clusters and rich in nectar and pollen. Her salvia include Midnight Blue and Hot Lips. In addition, there is Mexican sunflower and a variety of coneflower growing in a bed surrounding a Confederate Rose tree.
The more familiar plants are camellias, encore azaleas, hydrangeas and roses.
The garden, which Seese describes as eclectic, also attracts deer, raccoons and fox squirrel.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.
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