A Visit to Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, June 2018


I recently visited Brookgreen Gardens, a public garden and much more, located between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, S.C.  If you are visiting Charleston, S. C. or one of the South Carolina beaches, a trip to Brookgreen Gardens is an enjoyable place to visit and explore the relationship of art and nature. There are over 9100 acres in the garden, sculpture galleries, and historical and wildlife preserve. The gardens were founded in 1931 as the first public sculpture garden in the United States by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntingdon. The gardens display about 500 figurative sculptures in natural settings.

There are also three sculpture galleries, the historical preserve (which contains historical sites of the colonial period through the civil war including evidence of the rice plantations from which the preserve property was aggregated) and the wildlife preserve (which showcases animals native to the Low Country such as river otters, owls, alligators and butterflies (in the new butterfly house.)

The sculpture at the top of the first page of the spirited horses can be seen at the entrance to the gardens. It is a powerful sculpture and more so because of the colorful natural framing of Japanese red maples and other shrubbery.

Below is a photograph of the pool and the entranceway behind the pool to the lovely live oak allee garden. Several of the live oaks in this garden are 250 years old - dating from the colonial period.


The flowers in the garden are beautiful and placed in settings that entice you to take a photograph. As you can see, I could not resist taking close-up photographs of the hydrangea below and one of the many daylilies I saw the day of my visit.


Several of the gardens are walled gardens where the bricks, plants and sculptures change as the day advances due to the varied play of the sunlight through the oaks.


If you do visit Brookgreen Gardens, do not miss the whimsical Fountain of the Muses.  The sculpture, the water and the plants blend together to convey what a joy it is to live in the natural world of the Southeastern United States.  You can find more specific information about visiting the Brookgreen o the Garden website at:   www.Brookgreen.org.

Holly Sparrow, Master Gardener Extension Volunteer, Habersham County