From My Carolina Home

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A Visit to Brookgreen Gardens


During my week in Myrtle Beach, I had to visit the Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. The gardens had their foxgloves and snapdragons at peak bloom, just gorgeous!  I should probably have split this into two posts, but I have a lot more to show you in the coming days, and more projects in the works, so bear with me for a longer than normal post with some gorgeous flowers and scenic vistas.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

I was surprised to learn that the gardens were originally four rice plantations. Purchased when the plantations were going bankrupt by a sculptor, it was turned into a showplace for American sculptors and artists.  Currently there are more than 1400 sculptures by 350 artists in the collection.  I walked for almost three hours, and only saw a fraction of what was on display.  I took over 100 pictures, and cutting that group down to a manageable level to show wasn’t easy.   Still, get ready for a picture heavy post!!  There are several large reflecting pools and small fountain pools, all surrounded by foxgloves and snapdragons, standing three to four feet tall!

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

The four running men in the picture above represent the four Muses of Fine Arts, the poet, the painter, the musician and the architect.  The sculptures were produced in 1949 to 1954 by Carl Milles.  The range of colors in the flowers was just gorgeous.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Here, pink and yellow snapdragons are share the space with white and pink foxgloves.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

More are around a round reflecting pool, with more against the wall.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

This was on the other side, just stunning!

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Another fountain, with more foxgloves. There were literally thousands of them.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Passing through the peacocks at this gate led to more gardens.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Another reflecting pool with a different sculpture, this one of Samson and the Lion.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Further in, going through a tall hedge, this sculpture pond was a hidden gem.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

More snapdragons and foxgloves.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Here and there, some darker colors were coming into bloom, blue delphiniums and dark red ones too.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Another delphinium was blooming in this garden.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

These spotted flowers have so much character. Did you know that our modern heart medication Digitalis originally came from foxgloves? Not in widespread use anymore as there are better, less risky medications now, but part of our history.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

I adore white flowers, and these snapdragons were gorgeous to me.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Then, around the next hedge was a whole garden of white foxgloves with dark red spotted throats.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Large open vistas allowed for a nice long walk and the clear cool morning was perfect for getting some exercise.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Large live oaks with typical low country moss hanging from the branches made an arbor over the path.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

On the other side of the vista, another garden of creamy snapdragons with light lavender foxgloves.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

The tall spires captivated me.  The pink foxgloves in the back were over four feet tall.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

There were other flowers in bloom there too, but the foxgloves and snapdragons were most prominent. Here, pink rhododendrons bloom in a shady spot.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Lovely large blooms, the bees were enjoying these too.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

Here and there were patches of daisies.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

And a few tulips were still blooming.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~

A large meadow was part of the garden walk, going past an open natural pond. Can you see the eyes in the pond looking at me? It was a baby alligator. He was on the bank when I came out of the garden hedge, but slid into the water ahead of some other people. Then turned around to watch us, while he floated in the pond.

Brookgreen Gardens 97

He’s here –

Brookgreen Gardens alligator

Further on was a huge sundial sculpture.

Brookgreen Gardens 95

On the waterway, you could take a ride on a plantation boat for a tour. I didn’t have the time to do that too, maybe next time.

Brookgreen Gardens 109

On the way out, a last look at one of the inlets. A tree that had fallen during the last hurricane had been cut off, according to the guide. She pointed out the turtles that have claimed it as their daily sunning spot. So cute, lined up on the tree trunk. Can you see them?

Brookgreen Gardens 111

Whew, that was a lot of walking!  But I thoroughly enjoyed the morning.  It was growing fairly hot and humid by the time I decided I had seen enough for one trip.  The great thing about this garden is your ticket gets you unlimited access for a week.  So you can come and go as you like over several days.  I have a lot more pictures of bronze sculptures with more foxgloves and snapdragons, but I’ll stop here.

Do you like to see gardens when you go on vacation?



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Author: Carole @ From My Carolina Home


37 thoughts on “A Visit to Brookgreen Gardens

  1. What gorgeous gardens! I loved seeing all the foxgloves and the beautiful sculptures..;thanks for sharing!

  2. Foxgloves are one of my favorite flowers and I tried for years to get them growing in my garden but they just don’t like Ohio clay soil no matter how much I ammend it. Being biennials didn’t help either when buying plants. Glad you got to see them. I do like going to see gardens when I travel.

  3. What a stunning place. I wonder how it looks after the foxglove are done blooming. I know the snapdragons will bloom all summer, but what a lot of dead heading there would be. And thanks for reminding me to plant more snapdragons as the deer seem to leave them alone. I haven’t been able to get foxglove to grow however.
    I love to visit public garden when traveling and have been to the Denver Botanical Gardens, Longwood Gardens, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the Selby Gardens in Sarasota, FL and Bok Tower also in FL.
    Thanks for the virtual tour.

  4. What an amazing garden. I love their arrangements of the foxgloves and snapdragons.

  5. Good morning Carole,

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful gardens and statues. The peacocks are my favorite thing, love them and their beautiful colors. Mama use to take me to see some peacocks at the training for flight attendants in Miami and I loved watching them. There was one pure white one and he sure did like to strut and show off the spread out tail, gosh he was one beautiful sight to behold. My grandmother Abbott use to have snapdragons and of course being a child I loved snapping them. Seeing those brought back a wonderful memory of her telling me NOT to snap all of them but you know I just had to do a few. I love to go to gardens, the Red Hatters went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens when O’Chully had his show on display there and some are still on display. I want to go again before too long. My neighbor needs a ride to go get her car so I need to take her there. Have a terrific day.

  6. Stunning. Maybe after I have my hip replacement I will be able to visit.

  7. when we visited Charleston SC a couple years back we visited a gardens that had originally been a plantation also and there were some alligators there too – it was beautiful. It is hard to limit photo taking when everything around is so pretty and then to pick out just a few to show!

  8. Beautiful pictures… I love snapdragons. No, I didn’t see the alligator eyes, I thought that wast just dust on my screen!

  9. Thank you for the beautiful photos and introducing us to another beautiful garden! I hadn’t heard of this one but now it is on my list of places I would love to see in person – I especially like all the fountains – there is something wonderful about water in a garden. Our local Longwood Gardens is about to reopen their very grand main fountain display after a complete overhaul and I am looking forward to seeing that this summer. We’re all so lucky there are folks with the vision and money to make such beautiful things for us to enjoy!

  10. I love visiting BrookGreen Gardens but my husband and kids find it boring!

  11. Your pictures are beautiful! I love the Missouri botanical gardens and have many pictures from there. Makes me want to do some more landscape Quilting!

  12. How absolutely gorgeous!!! I could spend hours in those beautiful gardens, what a heavenly spot!

  13. What a beautiful place. I would like to go there someday

  14. What a beautiful place! I lived near Charleston for 4 years and never made it out to Brookgreen. Wish I had!! Lovely! Your pictures are awesome!

  15. I enjoyed your walk. What a marvelous garden!

  16. Lovely and peaceful…except for the alligator!

  17. Wow! It looks like such an amazing place! Your photos are stunning, I felt like I was on the tour.

  18. This is huge, and those flowers, the colours, and those Delphiniums, and what about the sculptures? Magnificent, the four together. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. The flowers are BEAUTIFUL!!!! What a lovely walk you had, looks so peaceful. Linda in Colorado

  20. Gorgeous garden, perfect time of year for a visit. Thank you for sharing your photos. That little alligator, so cute while small. LOL

  21. Thank you for a look at the gardens, the flowers are beautiful!! Lucky the alligator was a baby!! That would be a beautiful place for wandering.

  22. What gorgeous photos and what a lovely morning walk! Glad the baby alligator didn’t bite you! Where was the momma??? LOL

  23. Amazing gardens, wonderful photos and stunning flowers. thank you for sharing such beauty.

  24. How beautiful it is there and foxgloves are a favorite of mine. Absolutely stunning to see so many in one spot !

  25. Ohhh, those flowers! And the sculptures!! How amazing! Love to see gardens when traveling or around home!

  26. The pictures of the flowers are beautiful. What a lovely way to brighten up the day by looking at them.
    I know you enjoyed the trip.
    We spent many summer trips camping there when we lived in Charlotte.

  27. What a beautiful garden to visit. I wanted to go to our Botanical Gardens this week but we are on a 5 day RAIN FEST . Maybe next weekend 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing more photos from your visit ♥

  28. Your featured photo drew me in, GORGEOUS photos! Sounds like you got your exercise after three hours, but I bet it was worth it. I love tours, especially leisure ones. Sounds like a fantastic way to spend the day!

  29. What a beautiful garden, Carole! I love snapdragons, but haven’t grown any for years. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a few hours – something I like to definitely like to do.

  30. Wow! We did Brookgreen Gardens yesterday!!! Had been there before, ~2012 I believe, & end of Jan. timing means nothing in bloom. Was pretty excited to anticipate blooms, but tho we enjoyed the foxgloves, thought MORE would be planted. . . still a nice day to walk. Sure didn’t see an alligator . . . ’til we took the pontoon ride. He was pretty hidden ’til the driver (captain?) pointed him out! Good to see your timely pix!

  31. Gorgeous pictures! Thanks so much for sharing! I love visiting gardens !

  32. You always find the prettiest places! Yes, I love visiting gardens as well! It looks like you went at the perfect time with so much in bloom. You should blow up and frame some of those photos. Thanks for sharing again at Take Me Away! Enjoy your week!

  33. Wonderful garden!!!Thanks so much for this fabulous virtual tour!I am delighted!

  34. Gorgeous! I love Foxgloves, and wish they did better here. I bought three to plant a couple days ago. I don’t have a lot of luck with them coming back. When ever we travel I always look to see if there are any gardens to be toured. It’s one of my favorite things to do! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  35. Hi Carole, just hopping by to let you know that I will be featuring you at SYC later today.

  36. Your photos are beautiful! We visited the Dallas Arboretum back in March and the flowers were at the stage you are sharing here. Foxgloves are definitely show stoppers!

  37. Oh, I love to see gardens wherever I am. Your photos of this glorious place is breathtaking, Carole. Oh, the flowers…..the Foxgloves…truly a vision splendid! How joyous to be able to wander around these glorious grounds.

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