UPSTATE SC RHODO GARDEN TOURS
Saturday, APRIL 23
( or Sunday, APRIL 17)
We’re invited to visit John Kendall's garden from 10 until 12 on Saturday, April 23. John lives at 107 Fillery Drive in Greenville, SC. John has graciously invited us to enjoy his two-acre lot which he has been working on since the late 1970's when they built their home. The original lot has many hardwood trees. When he started gardening there, it seemed like a good place to grow azaleas. His love of azaleas evolved into an appreciation of hybrid rhododendrons, which now comprise the majority of plants on the property. He loves his Dexters, but really likes all of the hybrids. John's favorite activity is being in the yard and working with the plants. His latest project is growing his plants from seeds. On the day of the visit, we should find a wonderful display of plants in their full blooming splendor.
Our second part of the April 23rd Garden Tour will take us to Glenn O'Sheal and Victor Watts' garden at 1409 Saluda Dam Rd. in Easley, SC. It’s a little more than a half hour’s drive from John’s garden, so plan on having lunch on the way and tour Glenn’s garden from 1:30 to 3:30. Glenn and Victor have been developing this one-acre garden since 1989. Glenn was already interested in rhodos and decided to focus on them, along with deciduous and evergreen azaleas. However, the garden has evolved since then. He started out with Dexter hybrids, but now he has added others. Glenn said he also has " quite a collection of companion plants: i.e. ferns, hostas, Iris cristata, camellias, a dwarf collection of conifers and a few other dwarf specimens. There is sort of an eclectic collection of a lot of things that we like. There is a boxwood that I rooted from one at Mount Vernon that George Washington had planted." When asked about an unusual feature of his garden, Glenn was quick to answer, " I suppose the most unusual thing is a true redwood brought from California in a zip-loc bag hidden away in my suitcase. I did not steal it, but hid it to bring it out of the state. I had a friend who lived on the edge of the Muir Woods near Santa Rosa, and he had trees growing in his yard. A seedling came up and he asked if I'd like to have it, and of course I said yes. It was planted in 1989 and is approximately 70 feet tall with a circumference that I cannot reach around. We also have a fish pond. When asked what is his favorite part of his garden, Glenn’s response was, “Everything!!"
by Judy Van Rens, Blue Ridge Review, April-May 2016.