A frequent breeze wafts the scent of jasmine and a native fringe tree across Jimmie and Wayne Hall's terraced hillside.
Each pathway lined with rhododendron, camellia and other trees leads to another splash of color, a fragrant bouquet, the tinkle of a fountain or the song of a bird at a feeder.
Jimmie Hall surveys the garden from the deck of her home each morning, then wanders down to the terraced patio beside the koi pond.
"This is my own little getaway," she said of the patio. "It's one of my favorite spots. First thing in the morning, I'm always down here feeding the fish and doing little things for an hour, maybe two."
She is fretting about how the drought will affect the blooms when at least 100 visitors explore her one-third-acre retreat on Saturday, during the Master Gardeners of York County garden stroll in Tega Cay.
Jimmie and her husband spent 22 years designing the garden, some of the trees planted from seed, so there would be blooms in every part of it year round.
The Hall's garden is one of seven on the tour in Tega Cay. Ticket proceeds go to restoration and improvements at Glencairn Garden in Rock Hill, where the master gardeners became involved just this year, according to president Suzy Redd.
During the stroll, gardeners also will be selling plants to benefit the Plant a Row for the Hungry project, whose harvest goes to the needy.
Training and service
The master gardeners all have completed training through Clemson Extension Service and are required to provide community service. Beginning in June, the master gardeners will hold garden workshops at Glencairn once a month, Redd said.
The Halls honed their gardening skills during two years of horticulture classes at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte before retiring to Tega Cay.
"There was nothing here but trees when we got here," she said as she surveyed the garden from her deck. "Hurricane Hugo took most of them."
The garden since has been carved from seeds and foliage found and planted. Jimmie is 76 and Wayne 82 now.
One find, a native fringe tree they discovered in the woods, flourishes beside their greenhouse. They disassembled the greenhouse from their home in Charlotte, hauled it to Tega Cay and reassembled it.
Inside the greenhouse, tropical orchids prosper.
"That one is a blue vanda," Wayne boasted, pointing to a resplendent purplish orchid in full bloom.
The greenhouse is his pride and joy. It sports a humidifier and a heating and cooling unit.
Outside are bird and squirrel-feeders that provide the Halls with entertainment when they sit on the deck.
"I have little nooks and crannies to walk through," Jimmie said as she led the way under an arbor covered with wisteria, jasmine and clematis.
One little pathway leads to a red maple, a brilliant tree that grows less than waist-high and sprawls with fern-like feathered leaves.
Despite the drought, the Halls are looking forward to displaying the fruits of 22 years of tilling and toiling.
"I think of it as a bird sanctuary," Jimmie said. "The garden keeps me young."
WANT TO GO?
What: A Garden Stroll in Tega Cay hosted by the Master Gardeners of York County
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $10, may be purchased at any of the seven gardens the day of the stroll
Why: Ticket proceeds go to the Glencairn Garden restoration project; plants grown in the gardens will be for sale with proceeds going to Plant a Row for the Hungry project.
Tips: Wear sunscreen, hats and comfortable walking shoes for the steep steps.
• Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Reeves III, 16126 Tana Tea Circle.
• Jimmie and Wayne Hall, 16005 Molokai Drive.
• Mr. and Mrs. Jake Jakiel, 1716 Colville Lane.
• Mr. and Mrs. Dan Stefano-Zynda, 1916 Chestnut Hill.
• Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Berreth, 135 Shoreline Parkway.
• Mr. and Mrs. John Roxburgh, 7115 Topsail Circle.