Garden at John Blake House

Charleston, SC

Revolutionary War patriot John Blake built circa 1800 the L-shaped house of cypress and heart pine on a lot he obtained from his father.  This restored garden by landscape architects Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan in 1985 is an outstanding example of an 18th century parterre garden.  The early parterre outlines had disappeared over time but were found under the soil during the renovation.  Four elliptical beds contain large wood tuteurs covered with Confederate jasmine and encircle an early 19th century bronze Mercury-like statue surrounded by dusty miller.  Beds of holly ferns, aspidistra, azaleas and seasonal plantings hug the vintage brick walls while old crape myrtles tower over each corner.  Parterre gardens such as this were meant to be enjoyed looking down on their design, and guests may walk up onto the piazza for a better view.
Large urns filled with cone-shaped boxwoods mark the opening in a podocarpus hedge into an arbor, which is planned for restoration by the owners, separating the parterre garden from the second garden room.  Large azaleas fill either side of the arbor.  White caladiums, agapanthus, vincas, and coral roses fill beds beneath arched fig ivy covered brick walls surrounding the grass carpet and terrace used for dining and entertainment.  Five columnar cypresses surround a stone fountain at one end of the garden while old wisteria winds its way over a pergola being reconstructed.  A small herb planting hugs the rear brick wall upon departure from this enchanting garden.

Open Days 2022: Saturday, May 28
Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission: Please register for this "Behind the Garden Gate" Open Day here.

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