Garden at Timothy Ford House

Charleston, SC

This house was built by Timothy Ford, a New Jersey native who moved to Charleston after graduating from Princeton and qualifying as an attorney. Ford bought the site in 1800 for 500 pounds sterling and proceeded to build a substantial brick single house, three-and-a-half stories high, on a high basement with a two-story piazza. The house remained in the Ford family for more than a century. Dr. Edmund Ravenel, Timothy Ford’s son-in-law, lived in the house in the early nineteenth century. His medical office stands today in the southwest corner of the garden.

On the double piazzas hanging baskets of ferns greet the visitor. The swirls of brick surrounding three planting beds are striking as you enter the garden from the piazza. To the west is an oval lawn surrounded by camellias and hydrangeas. On the iron fence an old wisteria vine blooms profusely in early spring and provides one of the most photographed backgrounds in Charleston.

A pathway to the south, lined with boxwood, leads toward a confederate jasmine-covered folly designed by noted English landscape designer Russell Page. As the path continues deeper within the garden, one passes the family pet cemetery. Beyond this is the formal patterned garden designed by Loutrel Briggs and restored by the present owners. Agapanthus is surrounded by five circles and four concave and convex patterns of boxwood. Adjoining the parterre garden is another oval lawn ringed by azaleas. The periphery of the garden contains many camellias, several of which were propagated in Charleston by the low country gardener, Mr. Sam Borum.

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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