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Oct 12 2020

Visiting The Sanctuary

By Deb Rowland and Martha Zink for The Island Connection

Pictures fail to fully capture the beauty and enjoyment 28 members of the Kiawah Island Garden Club experienced as they toured the Sanctuary’s chapel and surrounding gardens on Sept. 25. Jenna Garrison, the Sanctuary conference service manager, provided information on the beautiful chapel, which was completed last year. It has a capacity for 150 people.

Following the tour of the chapel, Sharon Brackney, landscape supervisor for the Sanctuary, guided the Garden Club on a tour of the Fountain Garden, the Shop Steps Garden, the Grand Lawn Gardens, the Jasmine Walk Gardens and the Butterfly Gardens.

Brief showers and gray skies did not dampen the beauty of the Sanctuary Gardens. The Butterfly Garden was alive with hundreds of butterflies fluttering about the colorful pentas and salvia plants that attracted them. Members admired the chaste trees, sago palms, saw palms and butterfly bushes that lined many of the gardens.   

Along our walk, Brackney answered questions on plant care, choice and maintenance.

After the tours, most of the group gathered for an enjoyable meal at the Jasmine Porch.

On Oct. 16 at 10 a.m., members are invited to a walking tour of Rhett’s Bluff. Six homeowners are opening their gardens, each with a different approach and perspective. Gardeners who have moved from the North soon learn that Kiawah supports different plantings and have explored what landscaping works in their yards. There are also properties with well-established gardens where owners have spent years developing their own visions while adapting to island conditions. This event is free to members who are interested in new plants and ideas.

Attendees will park at the Rhett’s Bluff boat landing, where they will receive a map and descriptions of the gardens and be able to tour at their own pace. They are asked to wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible.

There will be no refreshments due to COVID-19 restrictions, but attendees can bring a beverage. The rain date is Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

On Nov. 19, there will be a workshop at the Night Heron pavilion on creating a flower arrangement for Thanksgiving.

For information on joining the Garden Club, visit

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