Thursday, August 2, 2018

Magnolia Gardens in Charleston

When we went to Charleston back in April of this year, we tried to see some new (to us) places on this trip.  On one of the days there, we visited Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  For us, the highlight of this spot was the gardens, more so than the house.
For a very brief bit of history, Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1696 by the Drayton family.  It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest public garden in America.  Magnolia Plantation and Gardens opened its doors to the public in 1860 and is still open today 365 days a year, including major holidays. 
John Drayton, a great, great grandson of the original owner, Thomas Drayton, eventually inherited the property and is credited with creating these beautiful gardens.  They were laid out and maintained as a series of romantic gardens for John's wife, Julia.  John Grimké Drayton was more interested in embellishing the soft natural beauty of the site with informal gardens, rather than the formal style of some European gardens.
I love, love this red bridge -- isn't it beautiful?  We saw two wooden bridges in these gardens, but  there are seven bridges in all.  The gardens are pretty extensive, and we didn't get to see nearly all of them.
These were yellow irises -- so pretty.
A mix of yellow and white irises gaze dreamily at their reflection in the water.
John Drayton created a quiet, serene place to enjoy nature's beauty.
This white bridge above is known as the Long Bridge.  I think it's used in a lot of the brochures, post cards, etc., for Magnolia Gardens.  I visited here with my family when I was very young, but I recognized this bridge as soon as I saw it again.  It makes quite the romantic picture, doesn't it?  
The knobby-looking brown things above are called cypress knees.  They are part of the roots of the cypress trees that grow throughout the swamps in this region.
This next group of pictures was taken by Hal with his film camera.  This is Magnolia Plantation house.  We toured the house, as well as a part of the gardens.  Our guide told us that this was the third house built on this spot.  I believe the second house was burned during the Civil War by Union troops.
This house was built in the style of a West Indies cottage, designed to make the most of the fresh breezes to cool the house during hot summers.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside; however, it was a cozy house, not overly formal, but obviously the home of a well-to-do family.  We enjoyed the tour.
Hal was standing pretty close to this statue to take pictures, when he noticed the fairly small alligator lying in front of the statue.  The alligator was so still, it could have been a statue, but we're pretty sure it was the real thing.  Eeeek!
Here's a closeup of the gator.  Can you spot him?
Another view of the red bridge,
Some of Hal's film pictures had these light spots like the one in the lower, left-hand corner.  The spots were caused by a light leak in the camera.
There was so much more to see in these gardens, and we just ran out of time.  I hope we can pay a return visit someday. 
 We also saw some interesting wildlife here.  In Part 2 of this post, I'll tell you about the peacock mating dance.  It was quite entertaining.  😉  Have you ever been to Magnolia Gardens?  If you're ever in the area, I do recommend a visit.  
Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  1. We were there the last time we were in Charleston. It's a beautiful place and I loved the porches--and the gardens. We even went on the little tour trolley, or whatever it was, and saw the gators, etc.

  2. As always you have wonderful photos. One day I'd like to visit Charleston. Thank you!

  3. Those gators are hard to spot. Always on the lookout. Eeeek! is right. Lovely pictures.

  4. Such beautiful grounds. Great photos.

  5. What an interesting and beautiful place to visit. I enjoyed the photos and the history. I'd like to go there.

  6. This is all so pretty! Charleston is on our bucket list.



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