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Welcome to the Charleston Horticultural Society

Contact us at (843) 579-9922 or info@chashortsoc.org

The Charleston Horticultural Society (CHS), founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization with membership open to all. The Society offers a wide array of horticultural information and involvement to its more than 1,300 individual and business members through lectures, educational workshops, garden tours, special events, and publications.


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About Us

Our Vision

To become the preeminent horticulture resource of the Carolina Lowcountry.

Our Mission

The Charleston Horticultural Society seeks to inspire excellence in Lowcountry horticulture.

The Charleston Horticultural Society (CHS) was organized in December 1999 by Charlestonians who recognized a need for a horticultural resource center. CHS is an outgrowth of the Charleston Garden Festivals that were held from 1994 through 1998. The Horticultural Society was granted 501 (c)3 status in 2001.

A separate and unrelated organization by the name of The Horticultural Society of Charleston was previously established in 1830. That group awarded medals of excellence to leaders in the horticulture field and held meetings and lectures. Records show that it operated in Charleston until the outbreak of the Civil War. Our Founders Day 1830 award is based on that group's traditions and spirit. The award honors exemplary horticultural service and creative vision in the Lowcountry.

The Charleston Horticultural Society seeks to inspire excellence in Lowcountry horticulture.  With membership open to all, CHS has grown to more than 1,300 individual and business/organization members.  CHS holds monthly lectures from September through May, publishes "The Vine," our member newsletter; presents distinctive garden tours, produces PLANTASIA, a green market for plant lovers each spring; and offers the "Looking at the Layers of the Landscape" program, a history of Charleston's horticultural and landscape traditions. Please see our Projects and Programs for more details.


Executive Director: Kyle Barnette

Kyle W. Barnette Kyle Barnette was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Horticultural Society in April 2012. A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Kyle has had a long career in the non-profit arts, including working as the Charleston Ballet Theatre's  Administrative and Marketing Director. In 2010, he was honored as one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal's prestigious "40 Under 40" Lowcountry business leaders for his contributions to the arts as well as local business. He has demonstrated expertise in marketing, social media and special-events planning, working with Patrick Properties and the King Street Marketing Group, among others. His innovative thinking has resulted in the now-annual Bastille Day celebration at Fish restaurant and multiple collaborations with the Upper King Design District.

Kyle is active in the Charleston arts community. He is the Founding Artistic Director of local theatre company What If? Productions (winner Best Play 2013 Charleston City Paper) and frequently collaborates with the Charleston Stage Company, directing the acclaimed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and starring in productions such as The 39 Steps, The Underpants and Young Frankenstein at the Dock Street Theatre. Before coming to Charleston Kyle worked in Atlanta as national sales director for Ford Smith, a contemporary landscape artist. He has worked as well as a tour manager, operations manager and artistic director for several professional companies across the country.

Events Coordinator: Debbie Davis

ebbie Davis The daughter of a gardener, and granddaughter of Carolina farmers, Debbie Davis is a natural fit at the Charleston Horticultural Society. A Charlestonian for some 35 years, Debbie has been lending a helping hand since she began volunteering for Plantasia eight years ago.

An art major in college, and a sculptor and ceramicist, Debbie taught art for several years -- and also worked as a banker while raising her daughter, Jennifer. Her work and life experiences have made her an indispensable addition to CHS, now that she has joined the staff. Hardworking, creative, and ever cheerful, she combines a flair for organization with her love of education and the arts. Those who have been working with her know that she has a way with people as well.

Debbie will be taking on the role of Events Coordinator for CHS, overseeing planning of our Fall Tour and brand our new Plantasia event in 2016.

Office Manager: Sharon Pence

Sharon Pence – Office Administrator Sharon has spent many years working in a non-profit office setting, most recently as the Office Administrator for the Charleston Ballet Theatre. Sharon worked as a paralegal at local prestigious law firms Trask & Howell as well as Rosen, Rosen & Haygood as well as served as an insurance adjustor for Employers Mutual Insurance Company. SHe is a garden hobbyist who upon moving to her new condo has developed an interest in container gardening.


2015-2016 Lecture Series

Next lecture:

Feb 8th






2016 Workshops

Coming soon ...




Garden Docent Training

We invite you to join us on this horticultural journey as we learn to interpret the gardens of the Lowcountry and what makes them so unique. It is coordinated and taught by horticulturalist, certified nurseryman, and CHS Plantasia and Tours Manger, Susan McLeod Epstein along with community experts in the field of horticulture and design.


Groups and Committees


Since its inception in 2011, the Mobile Gardeners adaptive horticultural program has touched the lives of a variety of special needs children and adults in the Lowcountry area, offering the opportunity to learn about the many facets of gardening.


Former Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. proposed the planting of 10,000 new trees in Charleston during his 2012 State of the City address.  Shortly thereafter the 10,000 Trees for Charleston Commission formed under the leadership of Chairman Jimmy Bailey.


Sometime around 1802, John Champneys, a Charleston planter, crossed Rosa Chinensis (Old Blush) and Rosa Moschata, a white musk rose to create Champneys'Pink Cluster. This created America's first hybridized rose. It was given to his friend and neighbor, Philippe Noisette, a French botanist, and a more refined rose was hybridized, eventually named Blush Noisette.


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Help Grow the Next Generation of Gardeners!

Your contribution will help CHS present our educational programs; The Vine, our newsletter; PLANTASIA, our annual green market for plant lovers; "Layers of the Landscape" program which brings to life Charleston's changing landscape and horticultural history; The 1830 Award which honors exemplary horticultural service and creative vision in the Lowcountry; and other educational programs and projects. All contributions are appreciated and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


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Contact us:


(843) 579-9922