Thursday, February 18, 2016

Charleston's Magnolia Plantation

Charleston, South Carolina has 4 major plantations to visit - Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, Boone Hall and Magnolia. My goal is to visit all four - and I've made it to two, Boone Hall and now, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Known for their gardens, Magnolia is the only garden in South Carolina voted one of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens" by Travel &Leisure. Even though I was there "off-season", it was still quite a treat to visit.





I visited Magnolia because I had a groupon to visit the gardens. Yes, a groupon. (A groupon is a group coupon purchased online offering daily deals for different services)  It was for the gardens only and the day I picked to visit was "cut the air with a knife" humid. Like " hair curling, clothes stick to you" humid. But it was a chance to visit their beautiful gardens, so I did.



According to their website, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is the oldest public gardens in America opening to the public in 1870. Founded by the Drayton family in 1676, the gardens have survived through the American Revolution and the Civil War. The gardens are "Romantic Style" meaning they are not formal and do not seek to control nature, but rather cooperate with it. And there is a calendar of what is blooming each month so you can schedule your visit with your favorite blooms.



Dripping in Spanish Moss, the gardens weren't in full bloom during my visit (hence the groupon) but they were still beautiful. Birds, a few blooms, and history all rolled into one made for an interesting afternoon.














Like many gardens, the plantation is divided into different areas with meandering walkways to take you through them. There is a family crypt, a dock area where the goods produced at the plantation were floated to market, a bamboo forest, a couple different ponds with bridges (the white bridge and the red bridge) and the oldest part of the garden, which is being redone.























If you're a history buff, you're gonna want to visit. The plantation has been around a long time surviving a coupla wars -  there is even a photograph of Abraham Lincoln visiting here. 







Then there are the camellias. Magnolia Plantation is an International Camellia Garden of Excellence. Native to Asia, camellias are perfect for the Carolinas. And Magnolia is apparently the place to go to see them as they have the "oldest and largest collection of camellias in America." They hold a winter camellia walk everyday from November to March. (Unfortunately, they were not blooming when I visited.) It's a pretty big deal here.










My ticket was only for the gardens but you can purchase tickets for the historic house (be prepared: it does not look like Tara), the nature train, the nature boat and the Slavery to Freedom tour which includes the original slave cabins. There is a cafe, a swamp garden and a gift shop. And peacocks. Lots and lots of peacocks wandering the grounds.




The main house
The nature boat leaving for a tour.

Those peacocks!



So there you have it. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in all their Romantic style finery. I'm going to have to return for azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas. The color should be amazing!


I'm linking up with Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!














12 comments:

  1. How very beautiful! I can just picture ladies in wide hooped skirts wandering this gorgeous garden :-)

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    1. Me too - it definitely is what we picture "The South" to be, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I am totally fascinated by this garden. It is like nothing I have seen before. I will make a note so I have it in mind for when I visit the South. And, I will check Groupon for deals!

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    1. Both the plantations I have visited are definitely worth a visit if you're heading to South Carolina - and I also want to visit the other two still. Thanks for visiting Ruth!

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  3. That's just beautiful!! Really stunning and your pics have done great job!

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    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for visiting!

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  4. We are planning a trip to Charleston next year and we love gardens. Magnolia is definitely going on my 'must visit' list.

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    1. Charleston is one of my favorite cities! I hope you enjoy your trip and Magnolia.

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  5. oh the picture over looking the water, with the bridge - that is the best photo ever :)
    Love the idea of walking through Charlestons Magnolia Plantation, the heat sounds like here at the moment {down under in Australia!!}

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    1. Thanks so much! And yes, the heat - and especially the humidity - can be quite unbearable!

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  6. How pretty are the southern plantations...love that moss!

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    1. Love that moss, too! Thanks for visiting Corinne!

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