Columbia Home & Garden - Spring 2011

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Table of Contents Spring 2011 On the Cover a hand made and hand painted ceramic Tozai Home Temple Jar with Lid in a traditional koi design. Courtesy of The Blossom Shop. Cover Photography by John Wrightenberry

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Features Here to Help: Master Gardeners Dig Dishing the Dirt How a special group of local residents share their love of gardening.

Columbia Cooks Ristorante Divino – Columbia Dining Par Excellence Fulvio Valsecci shares one of his specialties, a Northern Italian dinner.

Junior Master Gardener Program The Riverbanks Zoo & Garden encourages children to develop a life-long love of gardening.



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Spring Hill Woodworking and The Mercantile Doug Williams combines a charming work environment with his love of music to create a unique lifestyle.

Columbia’s Good Life

8 Nature and the Grand American Vision:Hudson River School Masterpieces • 14 Ikebana Annual Exhibition 10 Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden 12 Kershaw County Spring Home Tour


32 Profile of a Custom Job: Rosetta Hunter’s Kitchen A patio home now has a dream kitchen with hand-crafted quality.

6 Staff • 24 Artist Notes • 36 Planting Points • 48 Wine Corner • 50 Advertiser Index 4 | Columbia Home & Garden

Growing Pains!

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Check out our website

Publisher Lorri-Ann Carter










Editor Jennifer Soliday


Creative Director Matt Hudson Graphic Artists

Jane Carter Katie Jones Advertising Consultants Dana Kelly Alicia Morgan Ben Plyler Cynthia South Photography Director

John Wrightenberry Contributing Writers

Rachel Haynie Ricky Mollohan Sam Morton Marc Rapport William Thrift Staff Assistants Courtney Pierson Katherine H. Venuto Cover Photography

John Wrightenberry Visit us on the Internet for additional information, including links to our advertisers, subscription information, writers’ guidelines, and advertising opportunities. ŠMMXI Columbia Home & Garden, LLC. All rights reserved. No part may be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. Columbia Home & Garden is published quarterly for Columbia Home & Garden, LLC by CarterTodd & Associates, Inc., 1233 Washington Street, Suite 101, Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 779-4005. Subscribe to Columbia Home & Garden magazine at the introductory price of $12 for a one-year subscription. Each issue will be mailed to your home or office. Send check to Columbia Home & Garden, PO Box 50145, Columbia, SC 29250, or visit us online at to use credit card. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please visit us online at for submission guidelines, or e-mail us at

6 | Columbia Home & Garden



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Nature and the Grand Masterpieces of the Hudson AmericanVision: River School Painters

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Desolation, 1836. Oil on canvas. Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: The Consummation of Empire, 1836. Oil on canvas. Sanford Robinson Gifford, Lake Maggiore, Italy, 1858. Oil on canvas. Frederic Edwin Church, Cayambe, 1858. Oil on Canvas.

All photographs were provided by the Columbia Museum of Art.

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orty-five magnificent paintings from the rich collection of the New-York Historical Society will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art next fall, in a major traveling exhibition Nature and the Grand American Vision: Masterpieces of the Hudson River School Painters. Though individual works are very seldom loaned, these iconic works of 19th century landscape painting are traveling on a national tour for the first time and are circulating to four museums around the country as part of the Historical Society’s traveling exhibitions program Sharing a National Treasure. The Columbia Museum of Art is the only stop in the Southeast. The exhibition will run from November 17 through April 1, 2012. The Hudson River School emerged during the second quarter of the 19th century in New York City. There, a loosely knit group of artists and writers forged the first American landscape vision and literary voice. That American visionstill widely influential today-was grounded in a view of the natural world as a source of spiritual renewal and an expression of national identity. This vision was first expressed through the magnificent scenery of the Hudson River Valley region, including the Catskills, which was accessible to writers, artists, and sightseers via traffic on the great river that gave the school its name. The exhibition tells this story in four grand thematic sections. Within these broad groupings, the paintings show how American artists embodied powerful ideas about nature, culture, and history. The American Grand Tour features paintings of the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountain regions celebrated for their scenic beauty and historic sites, as well as views of Lake George, Niagara Falls, and the New England countryside. These were the destinations that most powerfully attracted both artists and travelers. The American Grand Tour also includes paintings that memorialize the Hudson River itself as the gateway to the touring destinations and primary sketching grounds for American landscape painters. American Artists Afield includes works by

Hudson River School artists who after 1850 sought inspiration further from home. The paintings of Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill, and Martin Johnson Heade show how these globe-trotting painters embraced the role of artist-explorer and thrilled audiences with images of the landscape wonders of such far-flung places as the American frontier, Yosemite Valley, and South America. Dreams of Arcadia: Americans in Italy features wonderful paintings by Thomas Cole, Jasper F. Cropsey, Sanford R. Gifford, and others celebrating Italy as the center of the Old World and the principal destination for Americans on the European Grand Tour. Viewed as the storehouse of Western culture, Italy was a living laboratory of the past, with its cities, galleries, and countryside offering a survey of the artistic heritage from antiquity, as well as a striking contrast to the wilderness vistas of North America portrayed by these same artists.

James Francis Cropsey, Sunset, Lake George, New York, 1867. Oil on canvas.

In the final section of the exhibition, Grand Landscape Narratives, all of these ideas converge in Thomas Cole’s five painting series The Course of Empire (c. 1834-36), imagining the rise of a great civilization from an unspoiled landscape, and the ultimate decay of that civilization into ruins. These celebrated paintings explore the tension between Americans’ deep veneration of the wilderness and their equally ardent celebration of progress. Nature and the Grand American Vision allows audiences to enjoy and study superb examples of the Historical Society’s unsurpassed collection of Hudson River School paintings while the galleries of the New-York Historic Society are closed for a transformative $65 million renovation project. H&G | 9

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Guest receiving a sample of red wine Guests sampling food and wine near the Rose Garden Pavilion

Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden All photos provided by Robin Vondrak of Vondrak Photography.

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niff, swirl, sip…. Now in its eighth year, the Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden provides novices and aficionados alike the opportunity to explore the fruit of the vine in one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring public gardens. This year’s event will be held on April 15. Guests can pick from a wide variety of domestic and imported wines, gab about grapes with wine experts, listen to live jazz, sample light bites from local restaurants, and catch a stunning sunset. Advance tickets are $40 for Riverbanks members and $50 for the general public. Tickets purchased the day of the event will be $60. For more information, visit or call (803) 779-8717. H&G

Looking down the fountain toward the Rose Garden Pavilion at night Guests making their way to wine stations on the upper terrace | 11

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The house belonging to Al and Sara Reed will be one of the kitchens on the tour. Photo by Robert Wright. Courtesy of Carolina Sports Inc., Camden, SC

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Camden Kitchen Tour h e 2011 Camden Kitchen Tour and Pottery & Garden Sale Show, presented by the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, will take place on March 19. Always a favorite by all who attend, the popular Kitchen Tour costs $25 per person, and the tour program, available in the Douglas-Reed House on the Fine Arts Center campus, serves as the ticket for the day. The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County is located at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden. Visitors who tour the kitchens in the gorgeous homes of Camden, South Carolina’s oldest inland city, can also explore the historic town. View several homes, have lunch at one of the many fabulous dining establishments, then continue your tour. “The Kitchen Tour is an exciting opportunity to visit some of Historic Camden’s homes and get ideas for your own kitchen,” said Jane Peterson, Director of Marketing for the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County. “In addition to the tour, guests can shop for functional and beautiful ceramic wares and garden accessories in our Pottery & Garden Sale Show.” This year there are eight kitchens on the tour. The tour continues

through historic Camden, including the homes of the Cantey, Chafin, Kinard, Myers, Reed, Shull, Tetterton, and Stevenson families. The event will go on, rain or shine. There will also be time to browse beautiful functional art and garden accessories at the Pottery & Garden Show and Sale, which runs from March 17-19. Hours are Thursday & Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Kitchen Tour is Saturday only from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 803-425-7676 ext. 300 or visit the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County online at This year’s event is sponsored by Columbia Home & Garden magazine and Roy’s Wood Products. The Fine Arts Center is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals. H&G | 13

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Ikebana Annual Exhibition he Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 182 of Ikebana International will host the Annual Exhibition/ Tea at the Garden Club Council building in Maxcy Gregg Park on Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Renowned Ohara teacher Judy Melton of Tryon, North Carolina, will be guest demonstrator; and the demonstration will be followed by a tea. The theme of this year’s Exhibition/Tea is “Spring Time in Columbia.” The Exhibition Chairman is Betsy Kaemmerlen and the Tea Chairman is Doris Kahn. Ikebana International was started in Tokyo, Japan by American Ellen Gordon Allen (wife of General Frank A. Allen, Jr.) who felt the art of Japan, including Ikebana, would bring people together. The Ikebana motto “Friendship Through Flowers” has accomplished this, as there are now chapters that circle the globe. For more information contact Betsy Kaemmerlen, or call (803)779-6752. Photos were provided by the local chapter of Ikebana International. H&G 14 | Columbia Home & Garden

Flowering dogwood, azalea buds, ferns and other materials in a natural clay container on a wood base.

Roses, evergreens and lichen covered twigs in a foot bath container make up this



Asparagus fern, aspidistra, freesia, goldenrod and roses in a wooden vase.

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The home gardener can purchase a variety of plants

Richland County Master Gardeners. Photo by Judy Gaskin.




Dishing the Dirt By Marc Rapport

Flummoxed by phlox? Lusting for lilacs? Guilty of rhubarbicide? And what’s eating these tomatoes, anyway?

16 | Columbia Home & Garden


uestions like this are what make Master Gardeners tick. For a couple of decades now, the volunteer program has been providing invaluable assistance to newcomers and natives alike as they take on the challenges presented by lawns and gardens in the Midlands. Not just anyone can be a Master Gardener. Part of a nationwide program, the hundreds of volunteers who have been through the Clemson Extension’s Midlands Master Gardener training were first interviewed before being selected and then sat through weeks of

classes before happily volunteering in a range of venues around the area. Their Columbia headquarters is the Sandhills Research and Education Center, still known to many by its long-time moniker, the Sandhills Station. Long a rural experimental station for the Clemson University Extension Service, the Sandhills Station is now a green haven in the Northeast Columbia exurbs. Among the many activities, there are the Master Gardener classes themselves and the help desk where Master Gardeners answer phone calls and greet

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Winter vegetables in Mr. McGregor’s Garden. Note Peter Rabbit’s coat and shoes! Photo by April Kelley. The Sandhills Farmer’s Market is held at the Clemson Extension Sandhills Station, now called Sandhills Research and Education Center. Photo by Judy Gaskin. 18 | Columbia Home & Garden

visitors who bring in plants and pose questions. Many of them are about just what can grow around here, says Amelia Cotty, a Spring Valley resident and president of the Richland County Master Gardeners. “Gardening has taken off like a bullet here in the past several years, and especially out here in the Northeast, and we get a lot of first-time Southern gardeners who’ve moved down here from up North,” Cotty says, “so we get a lot of questions like why can’t I get lilacs to grow?” Or luxuriate in a lush fescue lawn? Or get peonies to prosper? Or even keep rhubarb, an easy-to-grow favorite in the Upper Midwest, alive? The problem, of course, is the pressure of heat, humidity and insect infestation that are part and parcel to summer in central South Carolina. While experienced gardeners can work with microclimates and move plants around in pots, and use other methods to stretch and shrink seasons, others find it far more practical to learn what does work here, so they can take advantage of the Midlands’ long growing season. And the Master Gardeners are able to help sort it out, identifying bugs and plant diseases, encouraging homeowners to get that all-important soil test, and just generally offering the benefit of their own experience as well as access the vast knowledge of the Clemson Extension Service. Here’s how Clemson describes the Master Gardener program on its web-

Master Gardener Mary Alice Williams volunteers her time to ready the

Growing Healthy Garden. Photo by Chanda Cooper. site: “The Clemson Extension Master Gardener Program trains, selects, and utilizes knowledgeable volunteers to facilitate the educational work of the local Consumer Horticulture Agent, by delivering researched-based information to citizens of the state.” But because of several years of sharp cutbacks, according to one particularly active volunteer, “there’s barely an Extension Service. We get the brunt of the whole thing now and we provide a valuable public service,” said Bryce Haywood, a Woodlands resident who logs more than 200 hours a year in volunteer service for the Richland County Master Gardeners. Haywood, a retired engineer with a degree in agriculture from N.C. State, was one of the founding volunteers

In the Alphabet Garden, children can find a plant for each letter and a letter for each plant.

Photo by Chanda Cooper. Specialized information is available on a wide variety of topics. Photo by Judy Gaskin. | 19

803-788-6966 Serving lunch again Tuesday-Friday from 11:30-2:00 pm

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2001 A Greene St 803-254-7828 20 | Columbia Home & Garden

of the Sandhills Farmers Market, a mainstay now at the Sandhills Station. There, he and other volunteers dispense answer questions from experienced and novice gardeners alike, armed with reference books and their own trials and errors. “We get a lot of questions about what types of flowers to plant and when to plant vegetables and what kind of bug this is eating my tomatoes,” Haywood said. “We get a lot of questions about azaleas and hydrangeas and how early can you plant your tomatoes.” Haywood recommends starting plants as early as possible outside, protecting them at night through March if necessary, and thus reaping most of the benefits before the summer takes its toll. Cotty, meanwhile, is also a fan of fall plantings, taking advantage of our mild winters to let perennials take solid root. That the Sandhills Station is even still here is a tribute in no small part to the Master Gardeners, whose efforts to stop its sale during the early years of the Sanford Administration included a much-publicized Statehouse rally. Since then, despite limited state funding, the Master Gardeners have helped the Extension service add such things as a compost demonstration garden, classes and workshops and perhaps a central achievement, the Carolina Children’s Garden. “The Carolina Children’s Garden is the result of the vision of the Master Gardeners, and they still do a good bit of the work in it,” said Chanda Cooper, a USC graduate in environmental education who now works part-time at the garden under a grant the group helped secure. The garden covers two acres and has a dozen themed areas such as a bird and butterfly garden, a Winnie-the-Pooh garden, and other areas perfect for playing and learning in structured and unstructured settings. The organization provides speakers on topics ranging from bedding annuals to lawn care to herb gardens. Other good places to find Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners at their booth are ready to answer consumer questions.

Photo by Judy Gaskin.

are at plant and flower shows at the State Farmers Market and at the Midlands’ largest formal public garden. “The Master Gardeners have been an integral part of our horticulture operation here since we began it more than 15 years ago,” said Satch Krantz, director of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. “The Urban Horticulture Center is just one example. And while they’re not of-

Families participate in the Autumnal Equinox program in the Children’s Garden. Photo by Chanda Cooper.

fering information and advice in the Visitors Center station, some of the Master Gardeners are working in our gardens as volunteers, providing labor we could never afford and a passion for what they’re doing that makes them a perfect fit for what we do here at Riverbanks.” So what is their motivation? “They care about their community and about gardening, and they’re just nice people,” Cotty says. “I love gardening and really enjoy teaching others and helping them get the knowledge they need to be successful out there. Now if I can just find time to get to my own garden!” For more information about the Midlands Master Gardeners Association, go to, or contact Richland County Extension Office at the Sandhills at (803) 8651216, or Lexington County Extension Service at (803) 359-8515. H&G

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Marc Rapport is a Columbia-based freelance writer and a 2002 Richland County graduate of the Master Gardener class. | 21

r o i Jun

Master Gardener Program As an important part of the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden program schedule for the past seven years, the Junior Master Gardener experience is designed to help kids develop a love of nature. Designed for children 8 to 13,

A student scrapes the inside of an aloe leaf to make aloe lotion.

Junior Master Gardener students planting for a community service project. Participants examine bugs in the soil.

Turn an ordinary space into an

y r a n i d r o a r t x E Place!

this program helps participants learn through classroom activities, community events, and hands-on gardening. On a parcel of land in the Discovery Garden, they design, plant, and help maintain a variety of plants. They also learn about propagation, composting, harvesting, and weeding. Their experi-

ence is further enhanced through nature walks in the woods, where they learn about birds, insects, and native plants. Get more information on this and other programs at or call (803) 978-1131. All photos are courtesy of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. H&G

803.794.7993 | 23

Artist Notes

Alicia Leeke, Quinine Hill at Dusk Acrylic on Canvas (40” X 60”)

rom as early as she can remember, Alicia Leeke grew up looking at books filled with scenes of Baroque art and French Impressionism and listening to the sounds of classical music. “I used to daydream for hours after school, wondering what the artists were thinking when they painted a piece,” Leeke recalls. In college, she studied French, took drawing and painting classes, and learned of her own favorite composer Vivaldi. Though she started painting in college, it wasn’t until 2005 that she really picked up the brush again while also working in outside sales. All that time spent working seven days a week paid off, however, as her art has since been exhibited in New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. Leeke’s body of work consists of abstracts, cityscapes, and landscape paintings. She describes her style as Fabaism which blends French Impressionism with Color Field painting. 24 | Columbia Home & Garden

Her current body of abstract landscapes is inspired by both Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and images from her time spent watching the seasons change from the window in her studio on Quinine Hill Lake. Leeke often wonders if her collectors think the same thing about her work, though some actually ask the inspiration behind the painting, noting that most patrons say that it is peaceful and relaxing. “I don’t always give full disclosure behind a piece, because I don’t want to change their perception,” adds Leeke. In South Carolina, her originals can be found in Columbia at the Gallery at Nonnah’s, in Lexington at M. Gallery, and in Charleston at Michael Mitchell Gallery. Worth Repeating in West Columbia carries her limited-edition prints. She looks forward to the official announcement of representation by two other galleries outside the state in the spring. You may view her work online at www. H&G | 25


omewhere off state road 176, amid a community of old homesteads perched on rolling acres and newer homes wedged on smaller plots, stands a curious complex of handmade buildings behind the home of Doug and Bunny Williams.



and The Mercantile By William Thrift Photography by John Wrightenberry

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The speed limit sign posted on their gravel driveway advises visitors that they may not exceed an impossible forty-five miles per hour - for if they did, perhaps they may miss the irony of what lies ahead. On the right hand, a visitor is greeted by a modern brick home, much of which was designed, amended, and crafted by Doug. From the rear of the house, an archipelago of wood buildings (also built by Doug) extends around Spring Hill Woodwork-

ing and what Doug proudly refers to as “The Mercantile.” But what stands today at the complex in Spring Hill, wasn’t always so. After spending eight years as a Marine during the Vietnam War, Doug was ready to switch gears. He attended USC in Columbia where he majored in English and minored in Art. His love of woodworking emerged soon thereafter, taking shape in the garage of his and Bunny’s home in St. Andrews. He took

Steve checks the measurement of a current project.

A few of the wood buildings built by Doug Williams. The Doug & Bunny’s Place sign “The Mercantile” building.


on small projects building custom furniture such as tables and small cabinets. As word got around about his skill as a craftsman, Doug took on enough jobs to keep him busy. Eventually the furniture business segued into other similar crafts, and Doug and Bunny opened an art gallery and frame shop in Irmo. One day, one of their hip artist customers browsed through wearing a pair of Birkenstock sandals. Doug tried them out and was | 27

A myriad of tools stand ready for use.

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hooked. The shop soon began carrying an entire line of Birkenstocks. Being the sole outlet in South Carolina (and way before the internet enabled worldwide commerce from the comfort of one’s home), people came from all over the state for the unique cork and leather

sandals. Subsequently, Doug and Bunny opened Footloose on Green Street in Five Points, purveying practical and funky footwear there for fifteen years. Meanwhile, Doug and Bunny had purchased a homestead in Spring Hill. The small brick house came with a twocar garage, which Doug used to expand his woodworking operation. For a time, the family lived in the space above it. Eventually conditions were right to enable expansion. Doug used some spare lumber to build a real shop - the first of his outbuildings - just behind the home. Hindsight’s 20/20. Since Doug had more room dedicated to building furniture, cabinetry and other items, he took on more projects. But it soon became clear that the first building didn’t match his lofty ambitions - he had designed it with too low of a ceiling. That led him to build the second of his outbuildings with a high-pitched roof and no ceiling inside to constrain the construction of whatever projects he wished. This shop has since been dubbed the equipment room, and houses, among many hand

SHOP proud SHOP COLUMBIA Doug and Steve review plans for a new project.

and power tools, a 10” table saw and a 12” radial arm saw. The other half of this building is referred to as the “clean room,” where finishing touches are put on pieces just prior to installation at the customer’s site. Which came first – the planer or the planing room? While he is no doubt familiar with the process of planing wood, Doug said he prefers to “buy stuff and then learn it.” Thus, in order to further customize some of the fine wood stock he was getting from places like German-owned Wurth Wood Group, Doug installed an industrial-sized Delta planer in a new building he built beside his shop (now known as the Planing Room). The new “toy” enables Doug to smooth and re-size entire planks of his favorite raw materials: maple, red oak, cherry, mahogany, and poplar. Every master needs an apprentice. Through a mutual acquaintance, Doug was presented with the possibility of hiring fellow-wood worker, Steve Fear. Initially, Doug didn’t think he needed someone to help him, but the idea grew and Doug began to visualize the future of his business with Steve. As fate | 29

Doug’s favorite guitar is a custom Comins Chester Avenue model. Steve uses the planer to hand craft smooth boards.

One of the custom Spring Hill Woodworking.

tables created at

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would have it, he couldn’t have asked for a more qualified wood worker dedicated to his craft than Steve. Steve hails from Bristol, England, and attended Brunel College where he studied the art of woodworking. He did a requisite apprenticeship and then worked for a few different companies in England and the U.S. He designed and built all types of wood items from cabinetry to staircases and furniture in contemporary and traditional styles. Among many clients, he worked on such major projects as Arthur Blank’s offices, Ralph Lauren’s London flagship store, and certain unnamed media moguls’ homes (blueprints were destroyed for security purposes). Unfortunately, Steve found himself the victim of corporate absorption and liquidation, eventually landing in South Carolina and looking for work in his field. Steve is now a partner with Doug at Spring Hill Woodworking. Together,

they see the entire process through: from meeting clients and evaluating projects, to design, fabrication, and installation. They personally ensure that their clientele are satisfied, if not elated, with each project. Indeed, many clients are repeat customers who have asked Doug to design and build one thing or another for them over the years. Steve enjoys visiting with clients and studying the exact conditions under which a piece will be used. Extra detailing such as scribing a cabinet to the plaster wall of an older home (rather than just using trim to hide gaps and imperfections) is second nature for Steve. He likens the process to the tailoring of a suit - the piece ends up fitting perfectly in place. While Doug has spent years crafting wood with his hands, he’s also been busy with another of his passions – music. Although he sang and played the guitar from an early age, Doug decided to take lessons from one of his friends, Jerry Sims (of Sims Music). This brought his talent to a new level and he decided that he needed accompaniment. Naturally, Bunny learned to play the bass guitar. After playing together for a time, they decided they needed a gig. So they turned to another of their friends who ran a new restaurant called Harper’s in Five Points. They learned their chops in part by taking requests on Harper’s patio. They started with a handful of songs and wound up with over 300 in their repertoire. As with everything else in their lives,

music seemed to spill out into the complex of buildings on their property. They began hosting afternoon jam sessions (initially to honor fiddler Pappy Sherrill). Doug would pick and play with various musicians, and everyone would enjoy barbeque and other refreshments. Year after year, new “islands” appeared in his chain of buildings accommodating the growing crowds and increasingly professional performances. A multi-bay garage housed restrooms and a sno-cone bar. A cement-floor pavilion gave guests a nice place to relax and eat. The performances were taking the shape of old-time radio broadcasts similar to those on “The Prairie Home Companion.” So Doug eventually built “The Mercantile” – modeled after an old country store, and decorated with all manner of tin signage and rusting farm implements. The wide wraparound porch is outfitted with colored stage lights and power for PA systems, amplifiers, and keyboards. Visitors now enjoy full bands, as was recently the case when Dick Goodwin arrived

with his musical entourage. Eventually, Debra Smith, Executive Director of the Newberry Opera House, heard about Doug and Bunny’s “picking sessions,” and showed up to take a look. This encounter blossomed into the Carolina Jubilee, a staged performance with various artists to subsidize the Opera House’s park concerts series. Doug (along with Bunny) can be seen playing his favorite axe, a custom Comins Chester Avenue, at various venues around town, recently at an event at the City Art gallery in the Vista. Among the “island chain” of home and outbuildings, Doug, Bunny, and Steve have achieved a nearly perfect blend of family life, entrepreneurial woodworking vision, and creative musical expression. Graciously, they share their passions with everyone they meet. Whether you like a fine piece of wood furniture (crafted to be an antique for a future generation), or the tonal nuances of a jazz classic, the Midlands is lucky to have a class act like Doug Williams. H&G | 31

Glass in the cabinet door defines the kitchen space and accents the cherry cabinetry.

The workspace is configured in a very convient


Rosetta Hunter’s K

Profile Of A Custom Job: By William Thrift Photography by John Wrightenberry

The multi-level granite counters add interesting dimensions to the space.

32 | Columbia Home & Garden

After retiring in Asheville, Rosetta and Harry Hunter decided to get back to their roots and downsize along the way. While searching for the right house around Columbia, a cousin living in Spring Valley introduced them to a section of the neighborhood being built near the Two Notch entrance. They fell in love and bought one of the new patio homes. For a while, Rosetta made do in the kitchen’s narrow corridor with it’s stock white cabinets, countertops, and appliances. But eventually she wanted something that better fit her style. She

loves to bake and entertain friends and family and the kitchen’s arrangement only enabled her to do one or the other. While reviving activities at College Place Methodist in Eau Claire where she grew up, Rosetta met Doug Williams’ in-laws through the church’s leisure club. They told her that their sonin-law did some woodworking. So Rosetta called him. She had a rough idea of what she wanted: easily accessible cabinets and a workstation where she could make cookies, bread, and cakes without having her back to


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Custom-built cabinets offer many options, such as the pull out shelving in this photo.

LED lighting under the cabinets gives an interesting reflection to the counters.

The cabinetry is stamped with the Spring Hill Woodworking logo.

34 | Columbia Home & Garden

family and friends. Doug and Steve began the process of discussing her specific needs and tastes in décor. They assessed the kitchen’s layout and measured spaces, making suggestions that they thought would enhance Rosetta’s design. They moved the refrigerator to an adjacent wall and installed a pantry cabinet with pull-out shelving. The central island was removed and a raised bar was added overlooking the breakfast area and patio doors. Finally, a workstation was added to the end of the bar creating a J-shaped counter nook where Rosetta could prepare her baked goods. Details make all the difference. Doug and Steve added a set of cabinet drawers on the outside of the bar to utilize the dead space created when Rosetta’s workstation was added. Decorative glass was added to select upper cabinet doors to further define the kitchen space and accent the cherry cabinetry. All edges were sanded to soften the overall look of the cabinets (as well as making them safer to use). Shelves were installed beside Rosetta’s workstation to hold her recipe books and other items she frequently uses. With her input, Doug and Steve custom-created all of the molding.

Rosetta wasn’t done there. Doug and Steve’s cabinets and design are a major part of her kitchen upgrade, but there were a few more things she wanted. Rosetta upgraded her range to include a convection oven – a must for any seri-

Edges of the cabinets and doors are finished with a

ous baker. She picked out ivory chiffon granite for the counter tops (a perfect match to the stained cherry cabinets and ceramic tile floor), and she found slim LED light strips for under-the-counter illumination. Finally, a plumber installed a new sink and faucet to make the kitchen functional. With Doug and Steve’s help, she’d gotten down to one of the final aspects - picking just the right tile for her backsplash. But with the arrival of the holiday season, that didn’t stop her from breaking in the new cabinets, counters and appliances. Before the renovation, one of the constraints that she gave to Doug was that she needed a working kitchen in time for Thanksgiving. So Rosetta thought it was especially nice for Doug to call on Thanksgiving Day to make sure that everything was going well with the kitchen built just for her! H&G Detail of custom trim at top of cabinets.

soft, rounded effect. | 35

annuals Planting Points By William Thrift

Whether you like zinnias, petunias, begonias, or any of a host of others, annuals are a quick way to add color in your garden or yard. Since they don’t usually last more than about a year (hence the name), annuals also make it easy to follow ever-changing color and style trends. Most varieties are easy on the wallet, and you don’t necessarily need a green thumb to grow them from seeds or transplants.

36 | Columbia Home & Garden

Choosing your annuals. Color is the easy part. If you choose to buy your annuals as transplants (as do most gardeners), you’ll be able to see the colors and match them with each other or with swatches from your home. Contemporary designs match plant colors to complement the home’s color scheme. But you may want to try a wild mix of random colors – it depends on your style and taste.


Conditions for your annuals Sun or Shade? Annuals like Pentas love Columbia’s sun and heat, but it can be harsh on others. Refer to the tag or ask for help when buying annuals to ensure you’ve got the right ones for the right places in your yard. How big will it get? Height is an important factor when choosing where to plant your annuals. In a container, you may want to plant a tall coleus in the middle and surround it with shorter impatiens or succulents. In a traditional bed, you place the tall plants in the back and shorter plants in the front. Tips for annuals. Every type of annual is different and some require more water than others depending upon the conditions. Plants in containers generally need to be watered more frequently than plants in the ground. The smaller the

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container, the more you’ll need to water, especially under Columbia’s sun. Try adding water retention particles to container soil to help plants thrive. Generally, soil rich in organic matter or clay particles holds water better than coarse, sandy soil. There are a number of products and solutions specific to different soil types, so it’s best to consult with a nursery or grower before you tamper with it.

bees. For instance, while bees may try just about any flower, certain strains of petunias can be more alluring to them, and butterflies find many varieties of lantana particularly exciting. Do some research before you select your annuals if you want these visitors in your yard. Mulch your beds to help reduce weeds and keep soil moist. But be careful not to let the mulch touch the plants because it may damage them or introduce disease. Some gardeners actually plant a separate cutting garden enabling them to bring some of the beauty inside throughout the growing season without disturbing the home’s decorative beds or containers. Salvia makes a wonderful accent to any cut flower arrangement.

Deadheading. Throughout the growing season, some plants require the dying blooms to be pinched off in order to foster more blooms, otherwise flowering might cause the plant to set seed. If the plants you’ve just selected are root bound, you will want to remove the flowers right away to give them renewed energy to grow roots and recuperate. Some modern plant breeds are self-cleaning – they deadhead themselves, which means less work for you!

Trends. Add some drama to your garden. Ball Horticultural has developed an exclusive black petunia dubbed “Black Velvet.” Black works well with virtually any other color so it makes a great addition to any combination, and it’s compatible with other sun-lovers. Since annuals offer an endless vari-

Butterflies and Bees. Some plants are more attractive than others (i.e. tastier) for butterflies and

Thanks to Joan Binns of the Midlands Master Gardeners Association and Rebekah Cline of Rebekah’s Garden

ety of colors, you may want to watch upcoming fashion trends to determine the colors you want to display in and around your home. Some hot colors this spring include: Honeysuckle – a pinkish-red, Beeswax – a warm honeyed yellow, Blue Curacao – a light, Caribbean turquoise, and Russet – a soft brown reminiscent of Spanish clay. H&G

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One day... Nine fabulous kitchens!

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o n i Div Columbia Cooks By William Thrift Photography by John Wrightenberry


Columbia Dining Par

Excellence Fulvio Valsecci, owner of Ristorante Divino, decides the daily menu.

40 | Columbia Home & Garden


ulvio Valsecci is a man driven by two talents. Fortunate Columbians have experienced one of them: his superb culinary achievement known as Ristorante Divino. Fewer of us know that Valsecci easily may have been one of the names, along with Palmer, Nicklaus, or Player, you’d have seen on a Sunday afternoon PGA broadcast back in the ‘70’s. Indeed, Fulvio has a

remarkable aptitude for golf. But luckily for thousands of his restaurant patrons, creating fine cuisine proved to be the dominant talent. Fulvio’s story begins in Dervio, a small town on the eastern shore of Italy’s Lake Como. The Valsecci family had restaurants, supermarkets, and butcher shops and young Fulvio grew up helping in those businesses. When his schooling ended and it was time for him to set out on his own in life, he stuck to the familiar and began a self-guided apprenticeship working in restaurants across the region including the cities of Milan, Genoa, and St. Moritz. Good chefs mentor others. Through the Chef’s Association in Milan, Fulvio met a chef who recommended that he go to work for the Genoa-based Home Lines cruise company, whose fleet included the SS Oceanic, MS Italia, and SS Homeric. Under their Executive Chef Mario Ratto, Fulvio perfected his skills, working among sixty other chefs on each cruise. He recalls that in those days the restaurants on the large ocean liners were comparable to any of the finest on earth. The cuisine was mostly Italian and cruises included a formal gala dinner for the passengers before final docking. Fulvio sailed throughout the Mediterranean and Atlantic, voyaging to locales as varied as South America and Scandinavia. After three years at sea, Fulvio took another offer from a chef at a port of call in the Bahamas. For a time, he worked at top tier restaurants including the Café Martinique and the Nassau Beach Hotel. But it was at the Supper Club in West End, Grand Bahama that he met a Canadian co-worker who made incessant, often irritating invitations for Fulvio to join him on the golf course for a round. Eventually Fulvio acceded, and from his first stroke he was hooked. Having never played the game before, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that he had a natural talent for it. He soon found the driving range to be a respite from the heat and bustle of the kitchen. Eventually he met local pro, Bob Rogers, who worked with him for three months to fine-tune his game. Bob rewarded Fulvio with a bag and set of clubs, setting him up as a zero handicap scratch player. Being so close to the U.S., Fulvio decided to make a go of it on the mainland. With fine cuisine and golf on his mind, he applied to, and was offered jobs at Greenbrier, Homestead, Wigwam, and

A 1964 bottle of Petrus is one of the choices for the wine patrons.

The restaurant is widely known for its variety of fine wines. | 41

Sea Pines. Sea Pines, on Hilton Head Island, won out because they offered him all the golf he could play while employed as their chef. Thus began Fulvio’s twenty-five year golf outing on the island. Of course when he wasn’t hitting the links, he was building a set of stateside culinary fans. As the island began to grow in the early ‘70’s, Fulvio recognized the need for fine dining outside the handful of exclusive resorts. The opening of his first restaurant, La Pentola, began a period of entrepreneurship during which he owned and operated four restaurants including the successful, Fulvio’s, which many of his current clients remember. Time on the resort island was marked by the busy tourist season from about March through October, and the relative calm during the coldest months. Eventually Fulvio longed for a market where his business didn’t have to hibernate for a third of a year. At the same time, his family was growing and he wanted to ensure that his daughters were exposed to more than the frenetic and dormant extremes that the Low Country island had to offer. When there is an important decision 42 | Columbia Home & Garden

Ristorante Divino offers primarily Northern Italian cuisine.

to make, the pastoral game of golf often serves to clear the mind. So Fulvio took six months off, ostensibly to play as much golf as he possibly could, but also to find a place to relocate. His wife, D’Ann, was from Falls Church, VA, so naturally Fulvio considered Washington D.C. On a trip up there from Hilton Head, he stopped to visit old friend Franz Meier at a place called Columbia’s in our capital city’s AT&T building. A three-week visit helping out at the restaurant turned into a nine-month stint. Visions of D.C. faded, and Fulvio considered settling in Columbia. Some old customers from Hilton Head tipped the scale by suggesting that he open a restaurant in Columbia. As fate would have it, the space occupied by La Petit Chateau on Devine Street became available, so Fulvio leased it and named his new venture Ristorante Divino after the street on which it was located. Although the restaurant was a

hit, Fulvio was never completely satisfied with only sixty seats and no bar. After a few years, he decided to move his operation to a Gervias Street warehouse in the up-and-coming Vista area. He kept the name, but redesigned the interior to streamline the kitchen and accommodate more diners. He added a bar for ambiance and to give people a comfortable place to wait if they happened to have late reservations. Having now been in the new space for thirteen years, Fulvio has had time to perfect the primarily Northern Italian cuisine, featuring dishes such as gnocchi di patate and costoletta di vitello piemontese. In the past, he has tried swapping out items on the menu to give his clients some variety, but he received so many requests for the missing dishes that he now rarely changes the menu. However, he does develop numerous daily specials that enable him to offer seasonal fare and specialties such as Di-

vino’s rack of lamb. Thirteen years has also been plenty of time for Fulvio to give back to the profession he loves by mentoring other aspiring chefs. Such noted local chefs as Ryan Kerr, Henry Griffin, Mike Davis of Terra, and Mike Deevy (formerly of the Governor’s Mansion, and currently back at Divino’s), have made their way through Fulvio’s kitchen, gaining valuable experience from a culinary and entrepreneurial master. “The profession chooses you.” If Fulvio had it his way, be may have spent his days chasing a dimpled white ball down some manicured fairway. Indeed, he hits the links whenever he can find the time. But like Ulysses, Fulvio has always been lured by the Sirens’ call, his Siren emanating from the kitchen. Golf, with all it’s pleasures, has been a mere companion on his journey. It can be said that a chef’s nature is to give comfort and joy to others by preparing the best possible meal for them. In Fulvio’s case, he is destined to serve the dishes that brought him comfort and joy as a child on the shores of Lake Como.

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For the home chef who wants to experience the joy of purely Northern Italian cooking, Fulvio offers these special recipes: COZZE (Steamed Mussels Mariniere) Serves 4 Ingredients 3/4 cup butter 6 chopped shallots 6 chopped garlic cloves Cook these 3 ingredients in a heavy skillet for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup dry white wine 44 | Columbia Home & Garden

4 bay leaves 2 cups clam juice 60 bearded mussels (post-cooking) 4 pieces toasted garlic bread 1/2 cup chopped parsley Directions Cook with a tightly covered lid over high heat about 6-7 minutes. Shake the skillet enough during this time to cook the mussels evenly. Promptly remove from heat when the shells are open. Divide the mussels and sauce into 4 heated bowls. Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley and garlic toast. Don’t forget to sop up the sauce with the toast!

Ingredients for the topping 4 cups spring greens (mesclun) 4 tbsp sour cream 2 tbsp “dry” capers 6 chives, minced

Fulvio demonstrates filleting the salmon. Forming the crust on the salmon prior to searing it.

A drizzle of olive oil completes the salmon dish.

POTATO AND ONION ENCRUSTED COLUMBIA RIVER KING SALMON Serves 4 Ingredients for the Salmon 4 Salmon steaks (7oz each) 2 medium Idaho potatoes, shredded 1 medium yellow onion, shredded 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley 1 lemon, halved 4 tbsp Canola oil

Directions 1. Peel and shred the potatoes and onion. Season both with salt and pepper and the juice from one half of the lemon. Add the chopped parsley. 2. Mix the sour cream, capers, and chives. Reserve. 3. On a plate large enough to hold all of the salmon steaks, salt and pepper the salmon, and squeeze the other half of the lemon onto them. Divide the shredded potatoes and onion into four portions, squeeze out excess water, and place each portion on a salmon steak to form a crust. Using a non-stick frying pan, apply oil to the pan and allow it to become hot. Put one piece of salmon in at a time (potato-side down) and let the potato sear to a golden brown. Remove the salmon and place into a baking pan – repeat until all of the salmon is seared. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake | 45

Fulvio adds berries. The gelato provides the bottom layer in the glass.

46 | Columbia Home & Garden

the salmon for 10-12 minutes. 4. While the salmon cooks, divide the mesclun on four serving plates. Drizzle some olive oil over the mix. Put one piece of salmon on each plate and place a dollop of sour cream mix on top. Serve. ZABAGLIONE Serves 4 Ingredients 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine 4 lady finger cookies 4 sprigs of fresh mint 1/2 cup sugar 4 scoops of vanilla gelato 2 cups of mixed berries Directions

Put the eggs and sugar into a mediumsized stainless-steel bowl, then using a large whisk, beat until thick and pale yellow (about 3 minutes). Over medium heat, bring a mediumsized pot of water to a simmer. Set the bowl with sugar and eggs over the simmering water to make a double boiler. While whisking the eggs and sugar, drizzle the Marsala wine into the bowl. Continue whisking until the mixture is light and foamy and holding a soft peak. Do not let the mixture cook around the bowl. Place one scoop of gelato each into 4 large martini glasses, then divide the berries evenly into each glass and spoon the zabaglione over them. Garnish with lady fingers and mint sprigs. Serve and enjoy at room temperature. H&G

The zabaglione is drizzled over the berries and gelato.

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Wine Corner Wines to get “Sprung” in the Spring


t’s almost here! The hands-down, no-doubt-about-it, best time of the year...spring! Granted I’m not convinced that spring is the best season, but since most of us agree that winter is the worst, well, you get my drift. But this isn’t a “seasons” discussion. No matter which season we’re talking about, the fact is that they are all more enjoyable with the proper wine selections. With that in mind, here are a few “can’t miss” and “must drink” suggestions. Torrontes. The flagship white varietal from Argentina, this beautiful grape produces as close as it gets to virtual spring in a glass! Ricky And although there is always going to be a slight difference from Mollohan one bottling to another, standard Torrontes generally features a is owner and floral, bright, crisp wine with delicate notes ranging from apricot executive chef at and peach to apple and orange. Two of my favorites are Crios Mr. Friendly’s New and Colome both of which can be found for around $15 a bottle Southern Café, at your favorite wine shop. Soltice Kitchen & Picpoul de Pinet. It’s easier to just call this one Picpoul. Wine Bar, and It is lean, slightly chalky, and lingers with pretty notes of Cellar on Greene. citrus, slate, limestone, and gooseberry. And the best part about this Languedoc secret is that it is no more than $12-$13 a bottle. Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. I could have said Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, or I could also have included California, Bordeaux, and Sancerre. But all of those would have cost you much more than it would for what you can get from Chile. As for what you will find in a good bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (see Casa Lapostolle or Chono), you will find subtle hints of the grapefruit-lime notes that make New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc so popular; but you will also find a great balance of gentle spice along with notes of grassy citrus, tangerine, lychee, and orange. There are many great Chilean Sauvignon Blancs out there, and rarely will you have to spend more than $15 for a great one. What about red wine, you ask? Well, in all honesty, when I think spring, I think about zesty, clean, “fun” white wines like those mentioned above before I even consider red wines. But spring doesn’t always mean sunshiny days of 78 degree temperatures. So for your cooler spring days, and for red wine lovers, here are a few. Pinot Noir. This one can be enjoyed all four seasons with ease. But perhaps I can suggest a few “new” Pinot Noirs that might have passed you by one way or another. From California’s sunny-bright Carneros appellation comes one of the greatest values in Pinot Noir in the world from Sean Minor. It is balanced: not too big, not too light, offers long, generous black cherry notes, and is a no-brainer for the $15-$16 range. As for an “Oregon Sleeper,” the ‘09 Siduri Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley is a great choice. Not only is this the most affordable of all Siduri Pinot Noirs on the market at somewhere in the $22-$26 range, but it’s also very drinkable in its youth with long, ripe, tangy notes of dried cranberry, tea leaf, and pomegranate. Monastrell. Red wine selections would not be complete without a “Big Red”, so I am including one that is still considered by many to be Spain’s best-kept secret. In its purest form, Monastrell (known more popularly as Mourvedre in many regions) is rich, refined, and long on the finish, with aromas ranging from black raspberry and peppered herbs to chewy cherry and sweet mocha. Depending on the winery and the quality of their crop, Monastrell can range from a wine that seems like a light, brambly Red Zinfandel, all the way up to a massive, inky Red from Napa Valley or Australia’s Barossa Valley. You can experience dozens of great Monastrells for under $20! Try selections from Castano, Juan Gil, and Campos de Risca, and you’ll be happy. No matter what kind you choose this spring, just be happy that winter is over and enjoy your wine. 48 | Columbia Home & Garden

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| 49

ADVERTISER INDEX Columbia Home & Garden advertisers provide the economic resources that make it possible to produce a publication that adheres to superior standards of quality in writing, photography, design, and printing. The advertising itself adheres to these same standards and is just as entertaining, informative, and engaging as the rest of the content. Please thank these businesses by supporting them when you need a service or product they can provide. 2nd Wind Heating & Air Conditioning ..35 Adesso .........................................................6 Agnew Lake Service ............................... 33 Atlantic Pools & Water Features ........... 47 Bouknight Pumps . .................................. 11 Byron Lawson Builders .............................9 California Closets .................................... 38 CarterTodd & Associates . ...................... 49 Cellar on Greene ..................................... 20 Chariot Ironworks . ................................. 28 CHW Cabinetry ...................................... 37 City Center Partnership . .................. 33, 50 Design & Remodeling Solutions ............ 23 Design Center, The ................................. 19 Edisto Kitchens & Baths . ....................... 13 Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County . .. 39 Hemlock Inn ............................................ 15 John Wrightenberry Photography ........ 25 Lexington Medical Center . .................... 52 Marvin Window & Door Showplace .... 15 Midlands Orthopaedics .............................5 Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe ....... 20 Providence Hospital . .................................2 Rogers Townsend & Thomas ....................3 Rosewood Hills ....................................... 37 Russell & Jeffcoat ............................. 29, 50 SCE & G .................................................. 17 Service Printing ....................................... 51 Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel . . 11 Shop Columbia ........................................ 29 Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar ................. 20 South Company, The .............................. 43 Southern Vistas Landscape & Garden Center .................................................. 33 Strobler Home Furnishings . .................. 31 Studio Marshall ....................................... 21 SunTrust Mortgage . ..................................7 Terratec .................................................... 21 Urban Tour . ............................................ 45 Villa Tronco ................................................9 von Ahn Design . ..................................... 43 50 | Columbia Home & Garden

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Women’s Services at Lexington Medical Center was created for all the women you are.

When it comes to breast cancer, Kelly Jeffcoat has an interesting perspective. Not long after coming to work at Lexington Medical Center as a breast cancer advocate, she was diagnosed herself. With her extensive oncology nursing background, she had long held a passion for helping patients. You’ll find many people like Kelly here, where Women’s Services at Lexington Medical Center offers women the finest care available. Anywhere.

Lexington Medical Center has recently been awarded accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). 52 | Columbia Home & Garden