A 24-Acre Conway, South Carolina Dream Yard
Want to experience a 24-acre family dream yard and farm just a stone’s throw from Myrtle Beach? Join landscape architect, author, and Dream Yards host Bill Slack as he travels to one of the oldest towns in the state for a visit with Andrew and Jamie Ridge and their Conway, South Carolina dream yard.
Family Comes First
Andrew says that the inspiration for their dream yard can be found all around the property: from the man-made inlet that flows into the local river, to the 157 pecan trees they maintain and harvest—an orchard which he plans to add 125 peach trees to, so he can have a crop in both the spring and fall. However, the ultimate inspiration behind their dream yard is their desire to have land for their boys to be able to play, grow up, and live on as they grow older. He says that, one day, he dreams of his boys taking over the farm, building houses, and raising their own families on the same land—turning this dream yard into a multigenerational endeavor.
Talking to their boys, Andrew asks them what they both enjoy most about living on so much land. Their eldest, Layton, says that he enjoys being able to ride on his boat with his friends in the inlet and connected river. With it, he’s able to ride around to get lunch and come home at the end of the day to enjoy the beauty of the orchard. Their youngest, Joseph, loves to ride his dirt bike all around the property and fish with his family.
Weathering the Storm
Two years ago, downtown Conway was flooded during one of the frequent—and nasty—hurricanes that the east coast has experienced over the last few years, and this flooding included the Ridge family’s property. During this time, they had to live with Jamie’s father for two weeks and check on their property once or twice a day to make sure everything was alright—a testament to the dedication the Ridges have to their dream yard.
Because of this experience, they built the Morton Building—a home away from home on their property—giving them another place to stay and monitor their primary residence in case Mother Nature decides to be at her worst again. It also provides them another avenue of enjoying the outdoors, giving their kids a great space to hang out with their friends, while providing even more space for cookouts with friends and family.
Acres By The Dozen
Between raising two boys, working full time, and having to care for an orchard full of pecan—and soon to be peach—trees, the Ridges definitely have their work cut out for them. That’s why they use their Exmark zero-turn mower to help maintain their land. And, when they don’t have the time to mow it themselves, they enlist the help of Mr. O’Brien at Apex Landscaping—and their own fleet of Exmark zero-turns—to help get the job done and keep their dream yard pristine.
Wild About Wildlife
When asked about what their biggest draw was to become rural landowners, Jamie attributes it to their love for wildlife. And, with so much land, there’s certainty plenty of flora and fauna to be found. At the end of the day, however, the entire Ridge family loves to be outside. From boating to fishing, dirt biking to archery, or caring for their expansive orchard, they like to live their backyard life outdoors and to the fullest.
Now that you’ve had a taste of an ultimate dream yard, what will yours look like?