GARDEN PARTY: Ever the hostess, Patti entertains (from left) Charles Wadsworth, Gian Carlo Menotti, Jim Kearney, Ted Stern, and Scott Nickrenz in the McGee family sunroom overlooking the garden, after a Spoleto Festival USA chamber music concert in 1979.
Patti McGee among the Mexican bush sage, butterfly weed, and Alpinia in her Ansonborough garden in 2003; photo by Virginia Weiler
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The McGees’ courtyard garden on Church Street as featured in Southern Living’s Spring/Summer 1991 Garden Guide
MORE DIRT: In the 1990s, Patti got her wish for more “dirt” and garden space when she and Peter moved to Ansonborough, just in time to host her daughter Evie’s wedding reception.
NATURE’S PATH: Patti revitalized the Ansonborough garden, originally designed in 1968 by renowned landscape architect Loutrel Briggs, and layered in many new varietals in a range of textures. Here, a stone path leads to one of its shaded seating areas; photo by Virginia Weiler
ROOMS TO GO: Patti’s Ansonborough garden, as photographed by Virginia Weiler for the September/October 2003 issue of Horticulture, featured three garden “rooms,” two ponds, and bordered beds planted for interest every month of the year.
STUDY ABROAD: During the summer of 2000, Patti and Peter rented an English cottage that served as home base for a tour of gardens in Britain, including one in West Sussex
McGee with British garden writer and designer Penelope Hobhouse in Dorset
With friends Kitty and Tom Washburn
FOUNDER’S FAME: In 2009, Charleston Horticultural Society honored its cofounder Patti (pictured with Edward Crawford and Peter) with its esteemed 1830 Award.
TEAM EFFORT: Peter with a dolly full of plants—always there to cheer and support his wife’s passion for gardening
EVERGREEN THUMB: Patti at the Charleston Garden Festival, which predated Charleston Horticultural Society and its annual Plantasia event
Last April, renowned flutist and Spoleto Festival Chamber Music alum Paula Robison presented the Mary Ramsay Civic Award to Peter and Patti.
Peter and Patti at the Spoleto luncheon with their daughters and sons-in-law, Evelyn (“Evie”) and Stephen Colbert and Madeleine and Bunky Wichmann
BEACH BABY: Though still an infant by garden standards, Patti’s Sullivan’s Island garden was featured during the Charleston Horticultural Society’s Fall 2017 Garden Tour; (below) the complementary colors and textures of butterfly weed and Mexican bush sage.
Many of these will be available for sale at Plantasia, the Charleston Horticultural Society’s annual gardening extravaganza, on April 13 (Friday evening party) and April 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Old Towne Creek County Park. For tickets and more information, visit www.chashortsoc.org.