Verdant vistas

Beaufort River breezes, live oak canopies and a trickling fountain bring cool and calm to the garden at 500 Port Republic St. in Beaufort.

The first garden on the Beaufort Garden Club's 17th annual Garden-A-Day tour, which begins Monday, features many varieties of plants. The diversity of annuals and perennials are what many gardeners find attractive about this site.

"There are things here that you don't find in other gardens," said Holly Karnath, who was inspired to join the Beaufort Garden Club after attending a previous tour. Karnath points out the delicate pink and purple torenia (wish bone flower) seems to drip from the edges of the cast iron, three-tiered fountain, a centerpiece of the garden.

The garden combines formal and informal styles. Geometric shapes were designed by one of the homeowners, Scott Sonoc, an architect. Intricate Old Savannah brickwork frames various beds guarded by formal hedged boxwoods. Edward Marchetti, co-owner of Buds & Blooms, selected and planted about 1,000 varieties of flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables.

"It is more of an English and French-like Williamsburg type of look," Marchetti said.

This was Marchetti's third time renewing the almost acre-size garden on Port Republic Street. The live oak tree planted 25 years ago in the front side yard by Marchetti now offers a full canopy of shade. The west garden features a live oak estimated to be 300 years old.

From the east garden's variegated Confederate jasmine growing along obelisks to the oranges hanging from trees in the kitchen garden, variety rules. The 7-by-10-foot kitchen garden plot next to the Federal-style home also contains the traditional eggplant, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, basil, lavender and rosemary.

Closer to the waterfront, koi swim in the circular water garden, from which rise water lilies and blooming water lotus. Endless summer hydrangeas offer shades of pink and blue violet overlooking a new bricked patio that offers a breathtaking scene from the seawall. The stately garden also offers a surreal view of the Richard V. Woods Bridge.

"I think what makes this garden unique is the many different vistas and everywhere you stand is another lovely view," said Sandra Educate, tour publicity chairwoman, Master Gardener and member of the garden club.