You may mistake this article as an interior design feature given the variety of rooms and staging throughout this garden located in Greenville, SC. Designed by Dabney Peeples, the garden hosts a traditional Southern planting palette with English undertones.
The clients were looking for large garden rooms that provided areas for entertaining but also separation of public and private space, and a special spot for the family dogs. There are many rooms, but the views and transitions flow; axial lines draw you in as spaces are continually revealed the deeper you enter the garden.
Everywhere the eye travels it is rewarded—the layers of plant material elevate what could have been a simple stroll to a spectator sport, where the details are always the winner.
Out front, a mixture of perennials rotated with boxwoods ensures seasonal interest. “Endless summer” hydrangeas run the side lawn panel, while “amethyst falls” wisteria climbs the pergola…a victory for all.
Dabney says, “There are so many spots that resonate in the garden: morning coffee on the private brick terrace outside the master bedroom, Saturday afternoons sitting on the back porch watching the children play in the pool, or reading a book on the swing while the dog runs in the back lawn.”
The hardscaping palette is bluestone and brick. As Dabney says, “Using traditional materials like brick and bluestone but in different ways helps separate outdoor rooms, like using area rugs inside the home.”
A 12 x 34-foot pool was added with a dark Pebble Tec finish. Beautiful bullnose bluestone coping, with a brick header band and brick herringbone terrace, complete the look. The brown crab-orchard fireplace with granite mantel and hearth is in the back yard. The granite was aged with an oil-based stain to remove the new quarried stone look.
A family heirloom cast iron fountain creates atmosphere when relaxing on the side terrace. The team designed another water feature, visible from the pool, which showcases a cherub that was repurposed from the fountain.
The ironwork and gates were all custom designed by Dabney and built by local craftsmen. “There are gates all through the garden that lead into different spaces to allow convenient circulation patterns,” Dabney says.
Dabney also collaborated with Berry Bate, a NC-based artist and iron worker, to create a bench that represents the roots of the family holding strong. The stone is a reclaimed piece of granite curbing from the City of Greenville. Once installed, the clients’ children even got out of school early for a christening of the bench.
A bright yellow custom bench swing was also part of the install. Dabney enjoys designing a signature piece of furniture and collaborating with clients to ensure the color is fun and meaningful.
The attention to detail and pruning throughout is fabulous. Most of the garden is evergreen, making it enjoyable and party-ready all year round. Dabney says, “Greenville is an amazing climate that allows Rhododendron and palm trees to be planted in the same garden. There are very few places on Earth that allow for this broad spectrum of plant variety.”
And, if you ask us at Peachy, we think Dabney and his team have managed to design a little slice of heaven on Earth.