Peridot Gardens is inspired by the owner's Great Aunt, Elizabeth O'Neil Verner, a renowned lithograph artist from Charleston, South Carolina. The owner is named after her.
This gem of a garden started with the purchase of the book, "The Private Gardens of Charleston." In reading the recommended readings in the back of the book, the owner learned of the accomplished landscape architect Loutrell Briggs, and was excited to learn that he considered Elizabeth O'Neil Verner as one of the Renaissance artists of the time and was influenced by her beautiful prints of the architecture of Charleston. He wrote about her own private garden as shady, crooked and small, characteristics that created difficulty because all her plants were gifts.
The owner began compiling information for a dream garden and before long had amassed a large green binder to hand to landscape designer Eric Gomez of Valle de Verde Garden Design. He transformed the garden to a cross of California living with a Charleston influence of formality and tradition. The Botanicals of Charleston discovered by 18th Century botanists and sent back to the King of England became very important to the landscape of Charleston…and just happen to be plantings seen in California gardens: magnolia trees, gardenias, roses, boxwood topiaries, and the South Carolina State Plant, the Palmetto Palm.
As a birthday gift, the owner invested in a Master Plan that is still a labor of love today. Phase I in the front yard is almost complete and the back yard begins construction soon.
A fence of espaliered Apple trees is the favorite planting, already bearing many apples. The owner smells an apple pie in her vintage oven!
The house is painted a very bright Granny Smith Apple green that is fresh and alive. Behind the apple fence, there's a meadow of wild grasses with succulents, a bedding of Strawberry Fragaria, and large topiary boxwood globes. Eric did a beautiful job of respecting the California landscape blended with the influence of the traditional Charleston Landscape.
A brick carport with a compass of inlaid bricks and a beautiful hand crafted fence with large finials sets off the garden and provides a focal point, accomplishing a grander vision than ever imagined.