Middle South Editor
Greenville, South Carolina
In autumn, the woodland garden glows with the rich hues of golden hickory leaves.
Crinums, such as this nameless variety from a flea market, are summer favorites.
Marian's summer parterre is ringed with red Knockout roses and a formal arrangement of boxwood shrubs.
The foliage and flower-packed cottage garden gives a warm welcome to visitors, as well as butterflies and hummingbirds.
Tracing her roots to thirteen successive generations of farmers, Marian St.Clair is a lifelong gardener, as well as an enthusiastic Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteer, who cultivates an eco-friendly, ornamental landscape in Greenville, South Carolina.
Earliest memories include the bustle and excitement of tobacco and peanut harvests, and quiet times on the lap of her grandfather as he graded chicken eggs. Grandma's front yard birdbath, circled with a spring petticoat of purple iris and pink petunias, nurtured a love of both flowers and wildlife.
Marian's Upstate garden, begun in 2002, features three distinct areas: a flower- and foliage-packed cottage garden and curbside beds at the front of her home; a formal arrangement of parterres, growing beds, and entertainment areas behind the house; and a woodland walk under large oak and hickory trees. With particular interests in garden design, plant combinations, and gardening in harmony with nature, she chooses most plants for decorative effect, multi-seasonal interest, and/or wildlife value.
A popular speaker, Marian offers lectures on a variety of gardening topics. She has promoted public horticulture with presentations at Clemson University, Furman University, Master Gardener symposia, and other special events. She is also an instructor for the Master Gardener Program in her home county.
A garden writer since 2002, Marian writes for several publications including The Greenville News, profiling local gardeners and exploring the sanctuaries they create. In 2004 she began a weekly garden column for the same newspaper, sharing down-to-earth information on garden plants and design, as well as her wondrous curiosity for the natural world. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, she was awarded the organization's Gold Award for Best Newsletter Writing for 2008.