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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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

This was on the other side, just stunning!

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

More snapdragons and foxgloves.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Another delphinium was blooming in this garden.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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 ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Lovely large blooms, the bees were enjoying these too.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Here and there were patches of daisies.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

And a few tulips were still blooming.

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC ~ FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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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