Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps,
Perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvest reaps.
– Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)
The Eden Keepers gather once a month to maintain the “organized chaos” of our lush and beautiful historic churchyard. (We often hear from tourists passing through, “My, you certainly have a big job ahead of you!”) We do have differing opinions about what to leave and what to trim, but we lean towards natural and overgrown. All are welcome and no gardening experience is required – simply a love of plants and an appreciation of this wonderful green space we share with our forbears.
We meet for a work party in the churchyard the first Saturday of every month from 9 am to 12 noon (8 to 11 in summer), followed by a potluck lunch in Gage Hall. Please join us! For more information, please contact Laura Moses at 843-364-1976 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of the committee members.
The churchyard was designed as a garden cemetery by Caroline Howard Gilman (1794-1888), writer and wife of longtime Charleston UU minister Samuel Gilman (1791-1858). A monument to the Gilmans can be found in the churchyard. You may enter from Archdale Street, or the rear of Gage Hall, or from King Street between Clifford and Queen streets on the Gateway Walk, a project of the Garden Club of Charleston.
The Unitarian Church in Charleston is grateful to botanist Dr. Mary Maxine Larisey (1909-2000), who in 1947 was the first female professor in School of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Larisey left a generous bequest to the Churchyard which has been used to pay for the expert restoration of more than 50 stone monuments.