Marie Everidge, owner of Soil and Soul Nursery Exotic Plant Shop on Short Central in Summerville, recognizes that plants are the life force for our clean air and oxygen.Entering her nursery, one immediately lets their guard down and relaxes. The environment is thriving with native and exotic plants constantly replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen. In this lush indoor secret garden, plants-whisper healing vibes literally giving a breath of fresh air to all who enter. Everidge believes, “Everybody was made to be tenders of a garden,” but somewhere along the way, we forgot, and it’s her calling to remind people the importance of taking care of plants.
Everidge is a self-taught horticulturist and collector of vintage garden and plant books. She is an active member of the Charleston Horticultural Society and helps local garden clubs. Prior to opening Soil and Soul, Everidge was a dental hygienist who dabbled with owning a nursery. She had a garden and greenhouse that she nurtured in her backyard. She sold her plants at the Johns Island Farmers Market on weekends. Supported by her husband, she opened a small plant shop in Hannahan. After his death in October 2021, to honor him and his willingness to support her endeavors, she left her job and opened Soil and Soul in Summerville. Everidge does little advertising, most of her business has been through word of mouth. She aims to be the person that is always available to help you buy and take care of your plants—a person you can trust to call with questions. “Whether you buy something from me or not, I will always help with your plant questions. That’s what I love to do.” Overwatering and under-watering or not enough light are the typical problems. She focuses on the environment where her plants originally grow and explains to customers exactly what a specific plant needs to thrive based on their indigenous habitat. Most of her plants are from subtropical regions. When placing them in your house, it is important to mimic a subtropical environment indoors.“Air plants, for example, live in trees in Costa Rica.Their roots are in their leaves. Air plants are used to getting mist from the ocean and gathering the water in their leaves. To have a successful indoor garden that encompasses air plants, these things must be taken into consideration.”
Twenty percent of her inventory is “homegrown” in her greenhouse, including bonsai’s, the rest she outsources from local farms and nurseries. When looking to purchase plants, she searches for the unusual. She will be expanding the store to include and upstairs space. Here she plans to hold “how to” classes including how to take care of bonsai plants, as well as how to make succulent baskets, boxes, and terrariums. Upstairs, she will also be able to house large exotic plants. The space downstairs is reserved for small groups of six and under for specially tailored classes upon request. AM
Follow Soil and Soul on Facebook at @soulandsoulnurseryplantshop and on instagram at @soilandsoulplantshop. Or stop by 143 Central Avenue and experience the indoor garden for yourself. It’s truly a breath of fresh air.