Naturally Kiawah Demonstration Garden

Naturally Kiawah Demonstration Garden in Night Heron Park

The Naturally Kiawah Demonstration Garden serves as a demonstration area for the Kiawah Conservancy’s Naturally Kiawah Recognition Program, displaying a variety of plants that together create a structure building habitat for wildlife. The Garden serves as an important resource for property owners, visitors and landscapers alike. It is located within Night Heron Park, adjacent to the bicycle path, near the soccer field.

The importance of the understory

  • The garden showcases a variety of understory plants: medium to small shrubs and groundcovers. These plants provide necessary cover for many of Kiawah’s wildlife, from songbirds to bobcats.

  • Property owners are encouraged to create understory habitat within their landscapes. The garden shows several groupings of plants that provide cover all the way to the ground, this layering is an important characteristic for providing habitat for as many species as possible.

  • Instead of having open areas of turf, understory plants can be used to create natural areas and boost the quality of vegetated buffers in property owners’ yards.


  • The garden displays a variety of material that grows well in the conditions found on Kiawah.

  • Native plants, indigenous species that grow naturally on Kiawah and/or throughout the southeast coastal plain, are labeled throughout the garden. These plants play an invaluable role in Kiawah’s ecology.


  • Not only does the structure of the garden provide opportunities for cover and nesting, but many of the plants provide important functions for wildlife.

  • passionflower is used as the larval host plant by several butterflies

  • sweetgrass provides a seed source for small birds

  • yaupon holly berries are a food source for a host of migratory and resident songbirds

  • coral honeysuckle provides nectar for hummingbirds

The Kiawah Conservancy thanks Bill Maneri for his time dedicated to the garden’s design and to the Kiawah Island Golf Resort for devoting the garden’s space within Night Heron Park and providing its maintenance.

Several naming opportunities within the garden are available for donors. Please contact the Kiawah Conservancy's Office Systems Administrator, Beverly Kline, at 843-768-2029 or if you are interested in making a donation or purchasing a named brick in the Garden.