ACE Garden Center
2012 Garden Descriptions
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Garden #1 Sea Island
This Spanish Colonial, built in
1989 and designed by Frank McCall and John Shackelford who was his apprentice at
the time, is in a pristine setting on the marsh. Whimsically named “Casa del
Pantano,” which means “House of the Swamp” (or marsh), it looks as if it might
have grown here by natural means. Everything planted is chosen to blend with the
interior colors of the house so that the garden reflects an interior palette as
well. Lovely plantings and color guide the eye as well as the feet into the pool
garden. It creates a “wow” factor when entering the area. Continuing on, there
is a cloistered garden which is flanked by columned walkways in which the second
“axis” fountain is spotted. The yard itself is a grand marsh vista where plants
are used for utility providing color and texture, but also for their ability to
catch the breezes and dance in the wind. There is nothing that looks contrived –
everything fits just the way it should. This is a magical spot with a feast for
the eyes. The magic wand has been working overtime.
This Mediterranean inspired villa, provides a lovely backdrop for a series of “pocket gardens” filled with interesting flowering and evergreen plants. Leading to the ocean side of the house, there are spots of color in paired planters tucked into the border. A formal garden focuses on a simple teak bench and extends along the east wall. The foliage ranges from dark to light and green to yellow in the plantings which creates a pleasing variety and shading that gives movement and interest. Pots and planters provide seasonal color on the stone terrace garden path which leads through a heavily shaded fern glade to a hand wrought iron gate to the auto court and garage area. This garden is a delight to visit at any time of day; it is a series of calming, comfortable, uplifting spaces with plant material variety, that makes it always interesting.
This very contemporary house designed by Ed Cheshire and built in 1990 has levels of horizontal planes. Shutters inside give panels of interest which give the house a feeling of strata of rock rising out of the ground. This backdrop of stark white provides a great contrast to the plantings surrounding it as well as the pots used on its entry porch. A unique “wall” of 15 foot tall ligustrum forms the border around the back lot line and continues around to the side lot line. This phenomenon of nature provides an impenetrable screen from the neighbors and is visually impressive to boot. Nature guided by a designing eye has been tamed and conquered here.
Garden #4 Kings Point
This garden is an “operation in progress” by a retired surgeon who admits he is an “old farm boy” at heart. Very much hands-on, this garden has been constructed with the intent of recapturing the feel of the old-time gardens of our collected memory as well as incorporating the delicious aromas and colors which come from a variety of blooming plants during all seasons. It is also a history lesson where there are plants that might have been rejected in other gardens, but are embraced here. This garden will certainly bring back memories and perhaps inspire the visitor to go outside the box a little. Plant things you like – Grandma would approve!
Garden #5 Kings Point
This garden provides a counterpoint
to a very dynamic, angular, contemporary home. Situated on a lagoon bordering
the Sea Island Golf Course, it is an uncluttered space with the focus on its
pristine views. A semi-circle driveway begins the “softening” of the house
angles. A great expanse of grass belies space which could be used for a tennis
court. An upper terrace overlooking a lovely round pool again softens the effect
of sharp lines of the house. With the white house as a constant, and the green
of the grass and plants as a textural and shaded variation, the color splashes
give the “wow” factor to the overall landscape. It is a pleasing use of natural
beauty to complement the house and garden as a unit – straight lines, curves,
and circles all working together to create a pleasing whole. This garden is a
great example of “less is more.”
This marsh-front garden wears many hats. The owners have four green thumbs between them and seem to grow whatever they choose, wherever they choose. They have created a visually interesting site as well as an experimental horticultural station. This is a very hands-on garden where much of the material and plants have been recycled or have been “rescued” from other’s cast-offs. Almost all of the over 60 hydrangeas have been grown from cuttings! To counteract a low setting where too much moisture is a deterrent to growing much of anything, they have created raised “islands” to be able to grow a plethora of varieties of plants. These are almost like the “floating islands” dessert for which the British are famous. The homeowners have kept the back as nature intended as well as providing a natural windbreak and privacy. Many of the plants have been grown from seeds, cuttings, or from grafts. These gardeners are fearless, and they get fabulous results. They have reclaimed that old “daring do” spirit and have succeeded in a very pleasing way. Mother Nature should be very happy!
This lovely estate overlooking the Frederica River (and the intracoastal waterway) is a wonderful blending of a house and garden. The magnificent Italian Tuscan farmhouse villa is the backdrop and inspiration for the garden which follows the Italian garden theme. The garden was planned to be an extension of the house. The car-park/utility entrance to the rear gardens has its own pleasing combination of plants. Even the commonly seen South Georgia “special” palmettos take on an elegant look where they provide texture within a contained effect. The back lawn is separated by a pea gravel expanse where pots of citrus trees show their colors and fruits as well as providing a special effect for viewing from the screened porch. Perennials separated by boxwood give a formal look with a comfortable quality. This is a complete symbiotic experience—an elegant treat!
Garden #8 Gascoigne Bluff
Cassina's Historic Tabby Cabins and Gardens
Since 1932, the care and maintenance of the former Hamilton Plantation slave cabins and grounds located on the banks of the Frederica River have been entrusted to Cassina Garden Club. The cabins are open throughout the year for tour groups and school groups by appointment. In addition they are open to the public each Wednesday from June through August. The gardens provide an opportunity to see a selection of flowers and plants, some of which could have been found in a garden during the historic plantation period. The plantings also reflect the Club’s interest in horticulture and in identifying and working with a variety of plant species.
In addition to an azalea memorial garden, grape arbor and daylily garden, the Cassina Gardens are planted with a variety of plants native to the south as well as ornamentals. There are four garden sections with an eclectic mixture of herbs, native plants, antique roses and colorful flowers and bushes that attract butterflies. The gardens are lovingly tended by Cassina members.
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