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Campobello -- Forty Oaks Garden

Object Details

The 12-acre property, formerly farm pasture and woodland, was a blank slate for the gardens that have been designed and installed since 2002, following the building of a house that overlooks both a lake and North Carolina mountains. The site was subject to strong wind so the first camellias were planted in the shelter of the woodlands. Planting continued with a camellia garden, a boxwood hedge, azaleas, trees and many small specimens that were collected and dispersed. The gardens needed coherence and a water feature: in 2005-2006 a spring in a gully was channeled into a 1.5-acre pond. There was another hard scape project every year after that, including walkways, brick stairs to a formal entrance garden with a central fountain, more brick stairs, a brick walkway to the driveway, and a retaining wall on the steep side of the pond. Land moving equipment was used for major projects. Two ditches were channeled into a rock lined stream that flows into the pond; a bridge over the stream and steppingstones across part of the pond also were added followed by the addition of a gazebo and a small formal garden with a statue. Weather events have changed aspects of the gardens. In 2008 an ice storm killed 18 pines in the woodlands, clearing some land and providing better light for the camellia garden. The tornado on October 29, 2020 did more damage: five mature oaks, nine loblolly pines and smaller trees were lost and part of the stream had to be rebuilt. The large trees that had been focal points were replaced with Japanese maples and beeches for fall color. The gardens were designed for four seasons of color but since the owners are away in summer (when hydrangeas bloom) the concentration of color from shrubs and trees has been from October to May. More recent plantings include perennials, ferns and bulbs. Persons associated with the garden's design: Richard Webel (1982-1085) George Betsill (2002-2015), Terry Hudson (water features) (2005-2006, 2020).
Montgomery, Betty
Landscape architect
Webel, Richard K.
Betsill, George
The Palmetto Garden Club of South Carolina
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Woodland gardens
Montgomery, Betty
Landscape architect
Webel, Richard K.
Betsill, George
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The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / South Carolina
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Custodial History
The Palmetto Garden Club of South Carolina facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
AAG.GCA, File SC152
Archival materials
Digital images
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
This property is featured in "A Four-Season Southern Garden" by Betty Montgomery, published by James-Richards, 2013; "Hydrangeas: How to Grow, Cultivate & Enjoy by Betty Montgomery," published by James-Richards, 2017.
Digital images
Scope and Contents
8 digital images (2002-2021) and 1 file folder
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Large EAD
Record ID
Campobello -- Forty Oaks Garden
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