United States of America, South Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston
McGee Garden (Charleston, South Carolina)
The garden is located in the heart of Charleston's first suburb, Ansonborough. The present house was completed circa 1846, and reflects the Greek Revival architecture popular among Charleston's merchant class at that time. In 1969, the house was renovated; and the owner commissioned well-known Charleston landscape architect, Loutrel Briggs, to design the garden. Changes in the garden after 1992 included deepening the flower beds, the creation of a square lawn, and the addition of two square pools. In order to reduce the impact of the large driveway, double-paired parterre beds were created. The emphasis on an axial focus was achieved by large planters in line with the entrance from the loggia and the path connecting the front and rear gardens. The present owners use their garden as an extension of their house. The large plant inventory reflects the owners' interest in southern shrubs, which provide year-round color and texture.
Persons associated with the garden include: Elizabeth Kohne (former owner, 1846); Charles Leslie (former owner, 1904); Mrs. Amalia Walker (former owner, 1962); Rodney and Barbara Williams (former owners 1969-1992); Loutrel W. Briggs (landscape architect, 1969); Richard Hartledge (garden designer, 1992); Shelia Werlimer (landscape architect, 1996); Beverly Rivers (garden designer, 1992-present); Philip Simmons (iron worker, 1960s); and Rich Avert (iron worker, 1992).
The folder includes a work sheet, a plant list, garden plans, copies of photographs, newspaper articles, copied material from books, and narrative descriptions of the property and its development.
Garden has been published in The Charleston Gardener, by Louisa Pringle Cameron, Wyrick & Company, 2001, pp. 36-43. Also in Keeper of the Gate: Designs in Wrought Iron by Philip Simmons, by Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc., 1993, p. 26