Peachy the Magazine June July 2014 - Page 45

GARDENS Mixing Old and New Transforming a Historic Garden Blair Farris PHOTOGRAPHY BY Thien La and Terrance Antonio WRITTEN BY J James Cothran, author of Gardens of Historic Charleston, writes: “Charleston has a rich garden heritage dating from colonial times. In 1682, only two years after the city was established, English settlers were already securing plants from the old world for both practical and ornamental use.” Charleston’s gardens have evolved in the last 300 years but the attention to detail and design has continued. Charlestonians are proud of their beautiful gardens and it is a treat to walk up and down the historic streets to peek into them. Most are small courtyard gardens, but they are well designed into garden rooms to maximize the space. Original hand wrought iron gates, antique urns and ornamentation are prevalent. When the owners of the William Elliott House, built in the 1730s, wanted to refurbish their garden they called on Sheila Wertimer Landscape Architects. They collaborated to respect the original design of the garden while making it more functional and beautiful. The front of the garden maintained its original state the original but improvements were made that included resetting some of the paving and reworking the parterres In the back of the garden, the paving was completely redone and a new fountain was added next to the dining terrace. The owners wanted a traditional Charleston garden in form and in planting palette. In keeping with this palette, all of the paving areas are old tumbled brick and bluestone. JUNE JULY 2014 43