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Restoring The Soul: The Gardens Of I`On

I once read that beauty is the most powerful thing in the world, able to heal, soothe and restore the hearts of those in its presence. Homeowners in I-On, located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, understand the power of beauty in its truest sense. Behind the gates of the neighborhood-s Charleston-inspired houses, the gardens of I-On are as diverse as their owners. In a single afternoon, visitors to I-On-s gardens can be transported from an Italian hideaway to a creek-side retreat, from a magical courtyard to the tropical West Indies.

Creek-side Retreat Brooke

Niznik-s creek-side retreat is stunning. Stepping through the door onto the side porch is like walking into a wardrobe and finding Narnia. The lush garden is reminiscent of a flourishing creek-side habitat. A magnificent oak sweeps across the span of the garden, blessing it with cooling shade. Beneath it, hibiscus, begonias and impatiens thrive around a small fountain in the center of the garden, providing the sound of a bubbling creek. Bright pink stargazer lilies infuse the garden with their refreshing aroma. A bench at the gate invites visitors, and, at night, tiny white flowers throughout the garden glow and light the way. Toward the back, banana trees and ferns surround a small sitting area. Another world waits through a small gate at the back of the garden. A small spot of grass with a bench creates a park-like atmosphere beneath the pine trees, perfect for Brooke-s playful dog. Wild plants and exquisite purple flowers reach for the sky as they border the area a beautiful Narnian meadow.

Italian Afternoon Retreat

When planning her garden, Mary Hewlette wished for an afternoon retreat. Her back porch sits on the I-On walking path, where visitors regularly stop for a cold glass of water on a hot Carolina afternoon. But since the sun is simply too warm there, the garden was created on the other side of the house. As you enter the scrolled iron gate, you are greeted by pink salvia mixed with white angelonia in pots along the path and creeping fig lining the steps. To the right sits a fountain, bubbling happily, while four crepe myrtles tower over each corner of the garden, providing afternoon shade. To the left, an apricot antique climbing rose drapes over a wooden pergola. Beneath the pergola is the afternoon retreat—on the wall, an ancient Italian frieze overlooks a cozy iron table and four chairs. Italian Afternoon Retreat When planning her garden, Mary Hewlette wished for an afternoon retreat. Her back porch sits on the I-On walking path, where visitors regularly stop for a cold glass of water on a hot Carolina afternoon. But since the sun is simply too warm there, the garden was created on the other side of the house. As you enter the scrolled iron gate,you are greeted by pink salvia mixed with white angelonia in pots along the path and creeping fig lining the steps. To the right sits a fountain, bubbling happily, while four crepe myrtles tower over each corner of the garden, providing afternoon shade. To the left, an apricot antique climbing rose drapes over a wooden pergola. Beneath the pergola is the afternoon retreat—on the wall, an ancient Italian frieze overlooks a cozy iron table and four chairs.

West Indies Oasis

Gail Summars- home, white with bright teal shutters, draws its inspiration from the West Indies. Unlike other gardens, hers is surrounded by a white concrete wall with a gate next to a fountain set into the back wall. Palm trees, with hidden lights to brighten the garden in the evening, proudly line the walls, while banana trees provide cover for the ferns that mark the path. Purple yuccas stand tall in pots along the central path, as vivid blue plumbagos brighten the way throughout the summer.

Garden Courtyard

Heidi Woody has created her own world behind the white wooden fence covered in Lord Banks rose and plumbago. The gate swings open on a garden courtyard with a classic fountain as the centerpiece. Four white crepe myrtles surround the fountain, providing shade for the area. Grassy spots next to the fence receive shade from corner trees and provide a lovely spot for Heidi-s children to play

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