Joyce Moore would like folks to know that, despite the resistant cliché, there’s more to “women who garden” than just snipping roses. “We are not just a bunch of ladies arranging flowers, as many think,” says Moore, this year’s chair for the annual private-garden tour sponsored by the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs.
Moore talks about the Council’s civic-beautification efforts, its urban environmental programs — now embedded in the county elementary schools’ regular curriculum — and its work with Scout troops. Council members also maintain the historic-register status of their headquarters, the 1838 Kilgore-Lewis estate, a Palladian-style home with a metal roof that shelters 20 garden clubs. The site’s five acres of grounds are certified as both an arboretum and a Natural Wildlife Habitat.
Greenville’s East Side is the focus of the spring garden tour, a two-day annual event with an educational bent: master gardeners on site will dispense mulch musings, sunflower secrets, and freesia 411. This year’s stops include a whimsical, snugly laid out cottage garden (packed full of common and native species) and a lake-accented Italianate garden that recreates Tuscany with a bocce-ball court situated among plentiful exotic fruit trees — kiwi, persimmon, and fig. At another home, owned by avid plant collectors, a woodland garden contains a pond and whimsically creative garden furniture, including a swing carved like a butterfly.
With so much emphasis these days on outdoor living, “the garden becomes an extension of one’s home,” notes Moore, naming important features such as benches, fountains — even a fine-craft birdbath.
“This tour contains great examples of homeowners who take accessories to an art form.”
The annual garden tour happens Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, 10am-5pm. Tickets, printed with the homes’ addresses, are $25 ($22/advance). Proceeds benefit the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs’ community programs. Call 864-232-3020 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.