Garden Gnome: Sacred Heart Garden Festival

The Sacred Heart Garden Festival is just a few weeks away, and the folks who graciously agreed to be on the garden tour have been busy for months getting ready.


Julie and Mike Lirette have been making magic at their Kings Way home. When I had the chance as a festival volunteer to visit recently, they had dug out a huge planting area by hand that most people wouldn’t attempt without hiring heavy-equipment operators.

You will be amazed at the living artwork. The view from the street is incredible. Marvel over the sweeping and perfectly shaped hedge of variegated private and the fabulous topiaries. You will never see better behaved boxwoods.

Once you can identify the surprise shape in the center of the front garden, follow the path around the side of their home where limequats and tightly trimmed boxwoods show you the way.

The Lirettes turned an overgrown pond area into a curved, brick-paved picnic area with a view of the lower garden area.

There’s a massive ladybanks softening the glass-enclosed corner of the home’s sun room.

The lower backyard features a fire pit and a regulation-sized horseshoe pit. It’s beautifully landscaped without crowding the fun areas.

In the upper level of the backyard you’ll find a gardener’s path lined with handmade gravel stones, a beautiful, covered planting bench and a greenhouse. The central beauty is a gorgeous palm that Mike Lirette gave the star-treatment to by building up a bed with a border of brick. Underneath the palm hydrangeas are planted.

Before leaving be sure to check out the cottage garden you’ll find just off the side of the old carriage house.



The North Augusta Council of Garden Clubs will be holding a plant sale in conjunction with North Augusta’s 6th Annual Yellow Jessamine Festival on April 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown North Augusta. All plants will be locally grown and propagated by North Augusta Garden Club members. All plants have been state inspected.

Woodlanders in Aiken have their open house from April 21 to 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Sacred Hearth Garden Festival is April 25 through 29. For more information go to




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