Beautiful gardens can be found all over South Carolina. Here are 15 to enjoy in your travels across the state:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
145 Broad Acres Road; open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pearl Fryar transformed his three-acre home into a topiary showcase with more than 300 living sculptures in abstract, whimsical and geometric shapes, complemented by "junk art" erected throughout the garden.
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.