One of the oldest and most beautiful historic homes in Cheraw is featured as the Four Seasons Garden Club’s Yard of the Month for September. As you walk up to the house, the porch is adorned with large graceful Kimberly Queen Ferns that greet you at the home of Craig and Anna Watson, 143 McIver. This variety of fern is loved by many since it can take some sun. Inside the semicircular drive is a very lush lawn, with crisp edges. A large live oak frames the house on the left side and underneath is a large sprawling bed of various hydrangeas, Anna’s favorite flower. This oak as well a few other street oaks on McIver were planted early in Cheraw’s history to highlight McIver Street.
Off to the left side of the house is another large graceful live oak that gives shade to the side wing of the house which was once the law office of South Carolina Chief Justice Henry McIver, and was moved to its current site after Captain McIver returned from the war, where he served as a Captain in the Confederate Calvary. The small entry porch for the office is also graced with very healthy Kimberly Queen Ferns, as well as gardenia trees in pots and some dark coleus. Underneath this live oak is a large mass, approximately 75, of the large old-fashioned white azalea, G. G. Gerbing. The outer edge of the azalea bed is accented with roses.
Lush boxwoods are used as foundation plantings for the house. The corners are accented with taller tea olive bushes. A former owner of this property spent considerable resources on improving the soil conditions for the landscaping materials. It is delightful to see how healthy the landscaping plants are as well as their thick lawn. In the shady areas around the place there are more hydrangeas. Some of the newer varieties used are: Lacecaps, Endless Summer, Annabelle, Baby Lace and others. There is a large cluster of Holly Fern that stays evergreen all winter. In one special shade spot, is a grouping of Encore Azaleas that are in their full glory. They bloomed in the spring, were in bloom in September and had so many buds on them that it looked like will bloom until frost. It’s a low and compact variety with large soft pink blossoms, Autumn Debutante.
Located behind the house are a smokehouse and outbuilding, thought to be original to the property. The house has had several major additions over the years and the farm lands were developed into homes for Cheraw. The smokehouse has its original weathered siding and square nails and it is beautifully accented with a bed of red blooming cannas. As you look over a low pierced brick wall at the back of the main yard, there is a lovely vista with a vast green lawn and after that there are woods that lead down to a creek.
One the back side of the house and to the left, Anna and Craig have cleared a large area and have put in a large mass of red, Knockout Roses, and have accented them with perennials. They hope to clear more areas in the future for additional flower beds but that is a big vision when you are sitting on 4.5 acres.
Many Cheravians have had the pleasure to enjoy these beautiful grounds at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, the ‘Taste of Cheraw’. Thank you, Anna and Craig for sharing your lovely historic home with the public.