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Stroll through Some of South Carolina's Finest Gardens

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Beautiful gardens can be found all over South Carolina. Here are some of the best to enjoy in your travels across the state:

Edisto Memorial Gardens - Orangeburg

200 Riverside Drive SW; open daily from dawn to dusk

Home of the Orangeburg Festival of Roses, this 175-acre garden on the banks of the Edisto River features some 4,800 varieties of roses, along with five acres of azaleas planted in the 1920s, a half-mile boardwalk through a tupelo-cypress wetland and several themed gardens.

Asia Garden - Greenville

3300 Poinsett Highway; open daily

Located at Furman University, nationally recognized for the natural beauty of its campus, the Asia Garden overlooks a 40-acre lake and includes an authentic Japanese temple, flowering plants, a koi pond and water features designed for meditation.

Glencairn Garden - Rock Hill

725 Crest Street; open daily from dawn to dusk

This English-style garden features shaded walking paths, bridges and boardwalks offering access to 11 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, sculpted terraces, flower beds, 3,500 azaleas, ponds, reflecting pool and tiered fountains.

Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens - Mount Pleasant

1235 Long Point Road; open daily with hours varying during the seasons 

An early 18th century cotton plantation built on the banks of Wampacheone Creek, Boone Hall features a stunning avenue of oaks and herringbone paths winding through formal gardens filled with hundreds of varieties of camellias and azaleas, thousands of colorful annuals and antique roses more than 100 years old.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens - Charleston

3550 Ashley River Road; open daily with hours varying during the seasons

This 400-acre pre-Revolutionary War estate overlooking the Ashley River offers 60 acres of romantic gardens, a maze of azaleas, an Audubon blackwater cypress and tupelo swamp accessible by a boardwalk and one of the finest collections of camellias in the world.

Riverbanks Botanical Garden - Columbia

1300 Botanical Parkway; open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Across a pedestrian bridge from Riverbanks Zoo, the botanical garden offers seven themed gardens showcasing more than 4,200 species of native and exotic plants, along with a children's garden with giant tree houses, a dinosaur dig and splash zone.

Middleton Place - Charleston

4300 Ashley River Road; open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A National Historic Landmark on 110 acres along the Ashley River, this former plantation features 65 acres of America's oldest landscaped gardens created in the grand 17th century European style with oak allées, terraces, butterfly-shaped lakes, rare camellias and a 1,000-year-old oak.

Hopelands Gardens - Aiken

135 Dupree Place; open daily from 10 a.m. to sunset

Once part of a private estate, the 14-acre garden was designed as a peaceful haven to enjoy nature with reflecting pools, fountains, a labyrinth, gazebo, wetlands, live oak allée and a network of paths shaded by 100-year-old live oaks, deador cedars and magnolia trees.

Wells Japanese Garden - Newberry

1608 Lindsay Street; open daily

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this charming downtown park features traditional Japanese ornamental structures and architectural elements around two ponds embellished by Egyptian lotuses, Japanese irises and water lilies.

Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve - Spartanburg

832 John B. White Sr. Blvd.; open daily from dawn to dusk

Nature trails take you through 10 acres of urban woodlands with soothing streams, quiet ponds and specialty gardens featuring conifers, wildflowers, medicinal plants and hostas.

Azalea Park and Sculpture Garden - Summerville

500 Main Street; open daily

The site of the annual Flowertown Festival and Sculpture in the South, this 12-acre garden features a series of paths winding around ponds, statues, creeks, flower beds and a spectacular array of azaleas and camellias.

Kalmia Gardens of Coker College - Hartsville

1624 W. Carolina Ave.; open daily from dawn to dusk

Once part of a 19th century plantation on the bluffs of Black Creek, the 35-acre botanical garden features a wide array of rhododendrons, camellias, tea-olives, azaleas, exotic ornamentals and the namesake mountain laurel with a trail leading down to a cypress blackwater swamp.

Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens - Little River

2250 Highway 179; open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway on 115 acres of forest and marshland, this coastal retreat features approximately three miles of nature trails and boardwalks that take you through formal gardens and along the waterfront.

Falls Park on the Reedy - Greenville

601 Main Street; open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Along with Reedy River Falls and a distinctive curved suspension footbridge, this downtown park features dozens of small "garden rooms" offering a spectacular display of seasonal color.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.