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Citadel News Service

8th annual garden tour just around the corner

The eighth annual Emily Whaley Memorial Garden Tour will feature 11 beautiful gardens on East Bay, Water, Church and Meetings streets in downtown Charleston. Sponsored by The Citadel’s Daniel Library Friends, the tour raises money to support the library.

The tour is from 1 to 5 p.m. March 12, 2006 and begins at Alkyon Arts at 120 Meeting St. The self-guided tour costs $60 and reservations are required. Call 843- 953-7691. For a group of four or more people a $50 rate is available. The tour provides transportation from The Calhoun Mansion garden back to 120 Meeting St. where a gala reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

Roses in bloom at 58 Church St.

On this year’s tour are:

101 East Bay St., Dorothy Porcher Legge House Garden
This 1740 house built by Col. Othniel Beale was restored by Legge in 1932 and has a marvelous courtyard garden designed by Loutrel Briggs. A microclimate created by the walled enclosure permits lavish displays of camellias, azaleas and loquats.

83 East Bay St., William Stone House Garden
This 1784 house was built by William Stone, a Tory merchant. The house and garden were restored in 1941 by Susan Pringle Frost. Landscape designer Loutrel Briggs incorporated the walls of an old brick warehouse as part of a lovely courtyard garden.

78 East Bay St., Vanderhorst Row House Garden
Built circa 1800 by Gov. Arnoldus Vanderhorst, this triple tenement fronts on East Bay Playground and has views to the water. Number 78 has a superb garden that complements the house. Within the walled enclosure are bright yellow and orange citrus trees.

53 D East Bay Street House Garden
Once a girls’ boarding school, and today a series of five houses, this allee of gardens explodes into a delightful and fanciful garden enclosure with a wonderful fountain and reflecting pool.

43 East Bay St., George Sommers House Garden
Built in 1755 this single house was restored by Elizabeth Hanahan in 1935. The elegant green garden contains shrubs and trees indigenous to the Lowcountry. A statue provides the perfect foil for plants reminiscent of the present owner’s Virginia heritage.

The water parterre, the fountain with Giambologna Mercury, and the small circular box parterre at 16 Meeting St.

39 East Bay St., George Chisolm House Garden
Constructed circa 1810, this Federal style dwelling follows the bend in the peninsula. Its exquisite formal gardens are newly designed by Sheila Wertimer. This garden makes a dramatic statement. Using a green and white palette there are two small private gardens: a rose garden by the gatehouse and a secret garden behind the dependency guest room. Old crepe myrtles and live oak trees give an air of age to this newly refurbished garden.

31 East Bay St., Henry Porter Williams House Garden
Built in 1837 and remodeled by Henry Porter Williams in 1903, the garden is entered through a gate on Water Street. This is a romantic garden with curves and raised beds. It is lush with peppermint peach, grapefruit, kumquat and tangerines. There is a pittosporum hedge framing the harbor view and a whimsical child’s playhouse.

5 Water Street, Joseph Righton House Garden
Built beginning in 1800, the garden is entered through an open arch in a brick wall. The garden is large and inviting with multiple focal points, a delightful swimming pool that reflects the sky and a central velvety green sward.

58 Church St., James Veree House Garden
Designed by Loutrel Briggs, and amplified by both Emily Whaley and her daughter Marty, this 30 x 90 garden has three garden rooms: a small courtyard for dining, an ample green lawn with a reflecting pool, and a sunken garden for camellias and azaleas.

37 Church St., George Matthews House Garden
Wonderfully redesigned by new owners, this vintage 1743 house and garden are fronted by a white picket fence. Inside is a green and white classic garden with elegant box edged parterres. White flowering plants include white pentas, white iceberg floribunda roses, white antique roses, and a white Lady Bank’s rose. The two back garden rooms have pruned box surrounding a central green lawn.

16 Meeting St., The Calhoun Mansion
Completed in 1876, this 24,000-square-foot private residence was built by George Walton Williams who had made a large fortune in sugar in the years before and during the Civil War. The Italianate garden echoes the elegance of the house. The water parterre, the fountain with Giambologna Mercury, and the small circular box parterre make this one of Charleston’s most beautiful gardens.

For more information about the garden tour, contact Angie Leclercq at 843-953-7691.
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