Meet Christy Anouilh

By Leslie Moore

Meet Christy Anouilh

Even if you don’t visit Brookgreen Gardens regularly, just driving by the spectacular entrance on Hwy. 17 just south of Murrells Inlet gives all of us a chance to experience a little of the beauty that is Brookgreen Gardens. Christy Anouilh, Manager of Horticulture, is one of those hard working “green thumbs” responsible for this incredible place. And, while she does have an office, this talented horticulturist would much rather be outside planning the next needed task to keep the garden beds in top shape.

Christy, tell us a little about how the entrance area is maintained.

All of our horticulturists have assigned areas of the gardens to maintain. They work with our volunteers to keep the beds looking their best year round. Currently, we have our winter plantings in place. The yellow and white narcissuses you see as you drive by are Ice Folly narcissus, one of the best for our area. There are more than 13 classifications of narcissus, but they all don’t do well in our climate. We also have winter annuals in place – pansies, heuchera, commonly known as coral bells, kale, red mustard and even beets. They all do well through our mild winter and are so beautiful. Heuchera does well here in a shaded bed in the summer and has a lovely bloom. Sometime near the end of April, after our plant sale, we will begin changing the beds to their warm season plantings. We also have beautiful Knockout roses planted at the entrance. These bushes get pruned once a year, in February.

I supervise a staff of nine horticulturists, but without our volunteers we could not keep up. There are between 30 and 40 regular volunteers who work every week. We also have a landscaping staff of five. Currently, we’re doing a lot of pruning. I really enjoy pruning – it is like a good haircut – it looks much better, but you’re not supposed to be able to tell anything has been done! We do compost the plant material and use some organic soil conditioners. Brookgreen is moving more and more toward organic gardening practices.

Here, we can plant trees and shrubs all winter, so there’s always a lot to do in the gardens. We are fortunate to have such a huge scope of interesting plant material available to use.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have worked for Brookgreen Gardens for eleven years, but I was just promoted to Manager of Horticulture last year. I am originally from Martinsville, Virginia, but I came to Murrells Inlet every summer growing up. Even as a child, I loved plants, but I originally wanted to be an interior designer – it’s not that different though, I just changed from indoors to out! I have a degree in Horticulture from J. Sargent Reynolds in Richmond, Virginia.

My husband, Brian Hundley, and I live in Murrells Inlet and have been married for sixteen years. We have two children – a girl, 8, and a boy, 4. We also have three dogs and a constantly changing number of cats. We seem to attract the ones who need a home. Brian is a server at Carrabba’s in Murrells Inlet.

What is your favorite thing about working for Brookgreen Gardens?

That’s hard, I really love it all. The people are probably the best part. Brookgreen attracts a lot of kind and generous people who volunteer their time to help keep the gardens running smoothly. I like being outside every day. When I walk through the gardens, all my problems just melt away. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Editor’s note: Brookgreen Gardens is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Locals can buy very reasonable family and individual memberships that will allow you to experience the gardens in all seasons. Spring in Brookgreen is an experience you will never forget! For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6000.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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