In 101, the Charleston gardener accepts Palmeto’s order

On July 31, Charleston gardener Lucil McLean received an unexpected and invaluable gift on her 101st birthday.

As Ashley celebrated the holiday at her home in West Ashley with relatives and friends, she was surprised by another event – her acceptance of Palmeto’s orders. South Carolina’s highest civilian honor is recognized for its outstanding achievements, services, and contributions at the national or state level. The recipients of the Palmeto order were chosen for his honor.

She won the award on behalf of Governor Henry McMaster, and was nominated by the state Senate Chip Campson. Charleston Mayor John Teklenberg was also present.

“He is one of the best minds I have ever met at the age of 101,” Campson told the Post and Courier. She is a genius in horticulture and theology, born with a love for nature and the God who created it. Sound reader, Lucil is often on the spot analyzing our cultural time and current events. She worked with Billy Graham’s organization, and was harassed by my counselor Chuck Colson and the prison union. She is a role model for my wife, Lala Lee, and many others.

McLean’s fascination with the natural world began when she planted the first marigold seeds when she was 7 years old. She studied botany at Agnes Scott College.

When she moved to Charleston in the late 1950’s with her late husband, Murdock, her love for gardening ended. She became uneducated to the famous gardener Elizabeth Horlbeck and joined the Charleston Garden Club, where she was a member for almost 50 years.

A highly respected horticulturist has long supported the use of native plants in lottery gardens. She has been featured in show programs and publications. She In 2010, she was awarded the 1830 Charleston Horticulture Association Award, “recognizing her commitment to plant research that enriches the largest Charleston horticultural community.” Charleston’s annual “Lucyl McLean Day” is recognized on April 12.

For the past 53 years, her intellectual and aspirations for the care of such plants have been reflected in the magnificent West Ashley Christian Quarter in the backyard of the magnificent garden, which includes traditional garden design, mementos from many of your world travels and deserts.



Lucile McLean celebrated her 101st birthday at Palmeto. Photo by Jack Cremble / Presented


There, she worked tirelessly and happily in the soil, especially to care for species such as the Pitcher plant. Many were the discoveries of the Lowe’s wild trails, carrying McLean and other brave colleagues from the swamp or for development.

McLean has also served as president of the Charleston Century Club and president of the Charleston for the Blind for decades.

A.D. In an interview with Post and Courier in 2020, he noted that McLean had dedicated her life to gardening.

“The influence of natural calm rejuvenates the brain,” she says.

In the second century, the friendly, inquisitive McLean could still be found in her garden by performing miracles in the garden, sharing with visitors, or agreeing to discuss a wide range of ice cream cones. Of course, her garden is filled with fresh mint.

Follow Maura Hogan on Twitter at @msmaurahogan.

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