Eva Mae Gailliard has vivid memories of the night her grandmother Tina Gilliard, a revered employee at Magnolia in the early 1900s, died at her home in Charleston.
Winners announced in 2nd Annual
Tripp Odom (right) pictured with past intern and current Magnolia Garden Designer and Volunteer Coordinator, Katherine Reeves White (left)
John W. "Tripp" Odom III, a second-year horticulture science student at Trident Technical College, has been selected for a garden internship in France sponsored by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the French Heritage Society.
Odom will intern at Chateau de Brécy near Bayeux in June, Jardin Botanique de Vauville near Cherbourg in July and Château de la Bourdaisière near Tours in August.
"I am going into this with an open mind to absorb as much information as possible and broaden my understanding of garden design," Odom said. "There will be something to learn from each of the gardens."
This will not be Odom's first overseas educational experience. As a high school student, he was a Rotary International exchange student to Brazil.
"Studying in Brazil holds a special place in my heart and has given me a desire to travel and learn about other countries and cultures," said Odom, who speaks French, Portuguese and Spanish.
"I have always been fascinated and in awe of the wonderful things France has to offer," he said. "The people. The language. The architecture. The music. The arts and the amazing food. But I especially love their gardens. I love the formal designs that are symmetrical and have perfect balance. I also admire the romance gardens where everything is lush and overflowing."
Tom Johnson, Magnolia's executive director, said, "Each year we are excited to see a young person who loves gardens leave for France to experience the joy of gardens and garden design. Tripp's understanding of gardening embodies what sets Magnolia's romantic style of garden apart from a formal garden. At Magnolia we attempt to cooperate with nature instead of trying to control nature."
The internship is open to American college students enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year horticulture or landscape architecture program. Magnolia sponsors the internship with the French Heritage Society.
Odom is the second Trident Tech student selected for the internship. Katherine Reeves White was the first in 2011 followed by Caroline Broder, University of Georgia, 2012, Dana Reynolds, North Carolina State University, 2013, and Ruth Morgan, Alamance Community College in Graham, N.C., 2014.
Katherine Reeves White has been named the garden designer and volunteer coordinator at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
White, a graduate of the horticulture department at Trident Technical College, is filling the newly created position of garden designer.
As garden designer she will select plants for containers and flower beds throughout the gardens and grow plants in the greenhouse.
Reeves will supervise 130 volunteers who provide administrative and garden support and help with special events. Nikki Cabrera, former volunteer coordinator, has been promoted to assistant manager at the ticket booth.
In the summer of 2011 White participated in a horticultural internship in France sponsored by Magnolia and the French Heritage Society in Paris.
"Magnolia is giving me yet another amazing opportunity," she said. "I am so excited to work with and learn from executive director Tom Johnson and camellia collection director Miles Beach."
The following is an excerpt from Paul Porwoll's book Against All Odds: History of Saint Andrew's Parish Church, Charleston, 1706-2013, published in 2014 by WestBow Press. Copies are available at the Magnolia Plantation Gift Shop, St. Andrew's Parish Church, and online through WestBow Press and Amazon.
John Grimke Drayton
John Grimke Drayton is renowned for his vision that transformed Magnolia-on-the-Ashley into one of the world's horticultural masterpieces. Less known, but as remarkable, is Drayton's ministry to his "black roses," as he called the African Americans under his care, as an Episcopal priest.
In 1851 Drayton became rector of St. Andrew's Parish Church, established and built in 1706 just a few miles south of Magnolia. St. Andrew's was one of the earliest Episcopal churches that ministered to enslaved Africans. In 1845 two chapels in the parish were opened, one at Simon J. Magwood's plantation and the other on Nathaniel Russell Middleton's Bolton-on-the-Stono. Five years later a third chapel was begun at Magnolia.
Drayton had actually started his slave ministry much earlier, in the 1830s. He spent Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings in religious instruction with the adults and two evenings a week and Sunday mornings with the children. CONTINUE READING...
The Magnolia Plantation Foundation, the non-profit arm of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, has awarded $90,000 in grants to 21 local and national organizations that support a variety of causes.
The foundation gave grants to selected non-profit groups involved with animal welfare, nature conservation, history, youth activities, education, horticulture and the arts.
This year's list of 21 grant recipients is the largest number of grants given to local and national non-profit groups since the foundation was established in 1988 by Magnolia's former owner the late John Drayton Hastie Sr., who wanted a way to give back to the Tri-county community.
Today, seven trustees, consisting of Hastie's children and grandchildren, direct the foundation. Grants for 2015 were recently approved during the trustees' annual meeting. The foundation was reorganized in 2004, two years after Hastie's death. Since then its giving has totaled about $90,000 annually.
"The foundation is delighted to carry on our father's legacy," said. J.D. Hastie Jr. "We expect that in the future, as Magnolia Gardens continues to grow, we will continue to support worthy causes that benefit our community."
Richard Hendry, a program officer with the Coastal Community Foundation in Charleston, said he was aware of Magnolia's foundation. He was surprised, however, at the amount of the contributions. "It is impressive," he added. "I thought the Magnolia Foundation supported the Magnolia property."
Hastie said the Magnolia Foundation's mission sets it apart from foundations like those that support Middleton Place and Drayton Hall, two other historic properties that flank Magnolia. "We hope more people will come to understand the differences between us and them."
"The Magnolia Foundation gives to the community and does not support the Magnolia property," Hastie said, "but the foundations at Drayton Hall and Middleton only support their properties, and they do not make gifts to the community."
Berkeley County First Steps, based in Hanahan, is a newcomer to the Magnolia Foundation's list of recipients. The foundation gave the state-funded, early childhood education program a grant for its literacy program. The Magnolia Foundation this year also awarded grants to the Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston, Francis R. Willis Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Summerville and Pet Helpers on James Island.
This year, the Slave Dwelling Project, founded by historic preservationist Joseph McGill, was awarded its second grant in two years. McGill said the grant will be combined with other contributions to match a $50,000 grant the project received from the S.C. Department of Archives and History.
"This donation puts us closer to matching the funds necessary for assessing slave dwellings in South Carolina," said McGill, who launched the slave dwelling project four years ago at Magnolia. "I am often asked how many extant slave dwellings exist in South Carolina," he said. "Four years into the slave dwelling project, that's a question I still can't answer. But this assessment will help us to begin to answer that question."
Recipients of Magnolia Foundation grants are:
Atlanta artist and weaver Ken Weaver, whose work is among hundreds of private and public collections across the country, donated an oil painting Monday to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens of the first three camellias named at Magnolia.
The painting features the blooms of camellias named for Julia Drayton, Sara Hastie and the Rev. John Drayton, who develop the gardens at Magnolia beginning in 1840 and three decades later opened them to the public as a tourist attraction. Julia Drayton was Rev. John Drayton's wife. Sara Hastie was the wife of C. Norwood Hastie, a 20th century owner of Magnolia.
Weaver presented the painting to Magnolia's executive director Tom Johnson, who first became aware of Weaver's work while he was the chief horticulturist for the American Camellia Society in Fort Valley, Ga. Weaver's painting of a camellia hangs in the lobby of the main building at the Massee Lane Gardens.
Weaver, a life-long artist who has worked in a variety of mediums, has chosen in recent years to paint in watercolors. "I used to work in oil," Weaver said. "Maybe I'll go back to oil. People apply more value to oil." He is currently the financial officer for the Georgia Watercolor Society.
Weaver's wall hangings have been on display in prestigious galleries and venues around the United States, including the Lincoln Center in Dallas and the Renaissance Center in Detroit.
Weaver is easily bored if he's not fully engaged in a project. In January, while he was in a lull, Coca-Cola chemist Harry Waldrop, aware of Weaver's Massee Lane camellia painting, suggested he paint a camellia for Magnolia.
A phone call to Johnson set the stage for Weaver's next project that was completed in two weeks.
Johnson said, "We are honored that an artist of Ken Weaver's stature has chosen to contribute his time and talents to memorialize three important camellias in Magnolia's camellia collection. Visitors to Magnolia each fall and winter view our camellia garden, which is one of only five gardens in the United States designated as a Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society."
Johnson said Weaver's 22" by 28" framed painting, will be displayed in a prominent place at Magnolia.
For more information about Weaver, visit his website at: www.kenweaverweavingsandpaintings.net