This year the Spring Garden Tour sponsored by the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs in located in downtown Greenville. “The Petite Cottage Garden of North Main” features 9 gardens with distinctive behavior- its Cottage Garden style!
What is a Cottage Garden?
The Cottage Garden style is all about an abundance of careless and casual beauty. These gardens can be large or tiny but offer a distinct style using traditional and local plants with a mix of edible and ornamentals with an informal layout. Abundant and rambling plantings grow right up the houses and self-sowers and perennials abound. EXUBERANCE is the buzz word! The earliest cottage gardens were more practical with emphasis on vegetables and herbs, fruit trees, perhaps a beehive, and even chickens.
“The Petite Cottage Garden of North Main The Gardens & Arboretum of The Kilgore-Lewis House 560 N Academy Street”
This historic 1838 house and its gardens are a jewel in the heart of downtown Greenville. With 5+ acres of arboretum and a botanical garden, it is fitting that this location honors National Public Gardens Day on May 10. Here you will enjoy exploring the individual gardens tended to by various garden clubs in the Council- several perennial gardens, a Carolina Fence Garden and a shady moss garden. See the original water source for the City of Greenville, used by native peoples and located in the lower garden.
The newly accredited Level I Arboretum has over 70 labeled trees with natives and specimen trees, including Cypress knees, False Larch, Cherry Bark Oak, and a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. These gardens and the historic house are available for weddings and events.
** The Arboretum has recently been awarded a Level 1 Accreditation by the Morton Registry and Abnet. We now join a community of tree-focused public gardens that help to educate the public on the importance of trees in our environment.
What is an Arboretum?
It’s a living tree museum and a collection for display, education and scientific research. Saturday, May 11 is Family Day at KLH Gardens & Arboretum Free to the public. All gardens are open 10am to 4pm Friday & Saturday, May 10 & 11
Gardens on the tour
Karen LaFleur-Stewart, 216 East Park Avenue
This is a legacy garden dating from 1913, nurtured back to life by the owner over many years. Assisted by designer Dianne Nodine, the owners goal is the preserve remnants of the original plantings as well as the add texture and integrate a growing collection of new and native cultivars. Many heirloom plants adorn the garden as well as whimsical sculptures to keep the mood light. A new native plant creek side garden includes milkweed and goldenrod, with an under planting of sprint bulb and spider lilies. Favorites includes ferns, heuchera, farfugium, peonies, quince. This 3 level garden offers a variety of visual perspectives, seasonal changes and evolution over time.
Lisa Shanks, 9 Poinsett Avenue
In keeping with the Mission/Arts & Crafts style of this 100 year old house, this organic garden offers visitors a delightful stroll under an alee of crepe myrtles and a path winding thru alpines and rockery plantings in the front garden. Native plantings around the pond soften the area in the back garden while hardscape and raised beds provide additional interest in this garden brimming with color and style. A habitat purpose-made for birds, butterflies and bees, and for enjoying nature just steps from the city. Favorites include Tree Peonies, a hardy orchid tree, American Wisteria and Weeping Lilac.
Vanessa Peterson, 101 Vannoy Street
A front pocket garden in the rambling cottage style is enhanced by a lush vine draped above the entire front porch. This tiny front garden is charming and cosy, with pops of sunny color from baskets of flowers. It brings to mind cracked sidewalks and front yards of so many years ago.
Millie Wilson, 129 Bennett Street
A small but exuberant front garden filled with color and texture, this looks to be a true cottage garden of textbook style. The owner layers the garden using the fence for vines and a backdrop for the perennials and annuals that color the beds inside the fence and out. Baskets full of blossoms and herbs greet you on the sunny front porch and birdhouses peek from beneath the trees.
The Cridland-Hughes family 125 Bennett Street
This small front yard garden is a family project. The owners and their small children love to plant vegetables and herbs in their front raised beds. Pots of basil, thyme, and dill grow tall in the sunny yard. Neighbors stop to see their progress and the children are learning to love to garden!
Rebecca & Mitchell Lehde 103 Vannoy Street
This fenced front garden is modern in style and affords the owners a place to unwind and say hello to the neighbors. Pots of lush annuals and shrubs lend style to this pocket garden while functioning as an outdoor room on a friendly urban street. It’s called making a small space work for you!
Jan Bailey & Billy Payne, 111 Gallivan Street
This southern garden a short way from downtown was designed by J. Dabney Peeples many years ago. It provides an oasis of shady rooms joined by reclaimed brick terraces and wandering walkways, designed to lead the eye forward to a new experience- a fountain, birdbath or bench. A large hedge of Fortune’s Osmanthus hide the garden from the street. The over 25 species of trees and shrubs enclose the garden including Admiral Semmes Azalea and Edgeworthia chrysantha. Pots of annuals lend a pop of color to this shady sanctuary.
Brian Such, 23 Garreau Street
North Main may be city living but this owner brings a farm-life attitude to the garden. With organic veggies, persimmon trees and fresh eggs, this plot is more than just flowers! The yard is framed by permanent plantings and evergreens along with terraced vegetable beds. The free-flowing year to year movement of the wildflowers gives the space a concentration of color, with sunflowers and cone-flowers the most dramatic. Rain chains, trellises, and stone paths add to the charm of this exuberant garden. Included are plants the produce winter berries for the birds. There’s a lot going on in this small terraced garden.! Don’t forget to visit the chickens! ♦