Christ Church Episcopal was the first of Greenville’s downtown churches and is one of the five original downtown churches started through land grants made by Vardry McBee in the 1800’s. The church is entered in the National Register of Historic Places, and the church buildings and churchyard offer a unique assembly of history, Gothic Revival architecture and beauty. Christ Church Episcopal Preschool is housed on the city center campus and was established as a ministry of the Church in 1986. Since then the Preschool has become a reputable learning community synonymous with excellence.
In recent months a new multi-phased plan was designed to care for, re-establish and develop the grounds of the Church and Preschool campus so the grounds will complement and enhance the beautiful, historic church buildings in the heart of Greenville. These beautification efforts will take several years to complete and are ably led by the Grounds Committee chaired by Beth Croft.
Many of the trees and other landscaping on the urban campus and playgrounds are aging, troubled or dying. Because trees are a significant component of the landscape and future grounds plans, Christ Church recently requested support from TreesGreenville, a 501 c (3) nonprofit corporation, whose mission is to plant, promote, and protect trees in Greenville County. The grant application was approved, and the Church and Preschool have been awarded a Tree Level Partnership.
Report on the Multi-Phased Beautification Plan for the Historic Grounds at Christ Church
In March 2011, I was asked by Harrison to begin the beautification project. Since there was no significant budget for purchasing plants, I requested a loan for a significant amount of money for a fall planting to be repaid from the proceeds of a garden tour.
Fountain outside Markley Chapel
In the spring of 2011, Tim Hughes planted approximately 90 wintergreen boxwoods in a geometric pattern, leaving spaces for seasonal color.
Drainage issue in Sloan Courtyard
In the summer of 2011, the 2 sidewalks were removed from the courtyard and a drain installed beside the red tip photinia in the corner of the courtyard.
In November 2011, ten trees were planted on the CCEP upper playground that borders Broadus. The planting included:
6 forest pansy redbuds
3 trident maples
1 nuttall oak
In addition, 3 october glory maples were planted in the Sloan Courtyard and one (1) october glory in the lower playground.
Washington Street Parking Lot
Five serviceberries were given by an anonymous donor and planted by Durant Ashmore against the low brick wall. Three serviceberries were given by an anonymous donor and planted by the Greenville Tree Foundation in the city’s right-of-way. Inappropriate trees had to be removed for the planting of the serviceberries.
Fountain in Sloan Courtyard
The fountain was in need of repair. Ellis Pearce was contacted to have the work done.
Inappropriate plant material was removed and in December of 2011 the following was planted by Durant Ashmore:
6 american boxwood
11 rose creek abelia
Espaliered 2 existing lady banks white rose on wrought iron fence
Reworked existing lawn zone
Added new spray zones
Installed new Rainbird time clock expandable to 13 zones
Special thanks to Millie Leaphart who has adopted this courtyard and works in it weekly. Inappropriate plant material was removed and the following was planted by Durant Ashmore:
15 prostrate yew
3 frost proof gardenia
There being no plant material to remove, the following was planted by Durant Ashmore:
8 american boxwood
2 espaliered yellow jessamine
Large Water Oak
In January 2012, we unfortunately had to remove the large water oak by the south transept. This tree had lived many years beyond its life expectancy and had become a safety concern.
In the spring of 2012, a contract was signed with Mr. Harold Guthrie to spray the boxwoods and camellias on the campus; many of our plants were badly infested. It will take two sprayings at a considerable expense this year to eradicate the bugs and control the disease.
Schneider Tree Service
In March 2012, five (5) of our water oaks on the Church Street side of the campus had dead branches and mistletoe removed. The canopy of one of the water oaks by Markley Chapel had to be reduced as it was overhanging Church Street.
Parking Lot behind the Leprosy Center
All the river birches from the parking lot islands were removed as they were destroying the pavement.
In October of 2012, Reichert Engineering will be contracted to locate any underground utilities in preparation for Phase 2. At that time we will prepare an up-to-date “as built” plan.
Begin Phase 2.
Special thanks to Josh Hakala who maintains our grounds. He has done an outstanding job with a budget of only $7,000 from our endowment funds.
Prepared and submitted by Beth Croft, Grounds Committee Chair