Carolina Vanilla Leaf

Years ago, my mentor, Bennett Baxley told me of his move to Bluffton, South Carolina. In the 50s, this tiny coastal village on the salty marshes of the May River struggled. A few wealthy folks kept quiet summer houses. Like poor people everywhere, folks looked to the wild for sustenance and income. With gunny sacks…

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Planting Trees. Building Ponds. Listening Fathers.

“We’ll plant the cypress grove over here. See? We’ll curve it this way.” I walk along the muddy bank, swinging my arms in a broad curve.   “Yeah, I like that. Blends the cypress pond into the garden. Dad’s cottage will go over there, on the point, where the lake turns east.” Mac looks to see…

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Farm & Flower Sunset Cruise

Take your shoes off for an end-of-the-day walk through the farm and garden. Join Jenks, Tom, and the farm and flower crews to get connected with the earth. Lots of lilies and lots of veggies will be ready, we’ll learn about them as well as soil building, farming, and connoisseur plants — with a glass…

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Bamboo Privacy Hedge in a Narrow Space

25 years ago, the real estate agents didn’t like it. “Too cheap.” They said, “You can afford more.” “Iffy neighborhood,” they said, “Two young gay guys, y’all should be looking in the happening parts of town.” Ultimately, we got the professionals to understand what we wanted, what we didn’t want — to spend every dime…

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No One Knows Best

On our farm, in our garden design work, we work as a team with a common goal. Everyone chips in for digging, washing, boxing, welcoming guests, and cleaning tools. But everyone gets to explore passions and develop skills.  Sam Engler’s writing talent has awed me since he started here – at 16 years old. Home…

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My Purple Rain Trauma & Gardens Inspired by Classic Album Cover Art

Gardens and music connect us Riverbanks’ horticulture team planted flowers to match iconic album cover art. When Tom and I walked the gardens today, we laughed, talked about our favorite old music, and lingered longer because of this exhibit. He even taught me something; Andy Warhol took the famous zipper-bulging crotch photo for the Rolling…

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Connections Between Plants and People

 A Story by Summer Intern Iris Moore Every person has their own story and plants are no different. As living things, I find plants to be very personal. If I get a plant from someone, I think of it as an extension of them and their relationship with me. Hearing stories from people has helped…

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The Chimney Fire Christmas

In a flash, we went from a cozy evening watching Carol Burnett Show to roaring flames and panic. I knew my job, my place.

Was being tied on top of a 3 story house holding a freezing hose frightening? No, for a 13-year-old country boy, this night was nothing short of exhilarating.

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Lessons from Grass Puppets & Youngsters

The stories we’ll tell….and a brief history of Indonesian shadow puppet theater called Wayang Kulit. . Geoff and I lead a troop of young adventurers down the sand road. We are family friends, unrelated adults, “fun uncles” hoping to inspire wonder in the three young siblings who trail behind. Not so long ago, we all sat…

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