BROOKGREEN GARDENS … South Carolina, 1998
I live just four hours from BROOKGREEN GARDENS but it was 20 years before I made my first visit. I had no idea of what I was missing until my friend Douglas and I made the trip in 1998.
The gardens have been described as “a museum of sculpture” but it does not do justice to the collection. It is many acres that combine the beauty of nature with the beauty of creative works by some of America’s most outstanding sculptors. Hundreds of statues are placed to our viewing advantage among dogwoods, magnolias, floral settings and, my favorite, the enormous live-oaks dripping with gray/green Spanish Moss. Some statues are integrated with water...in pools or overlooking streams or small lakes.
This is a walker’s paradise. We were amused to read some of the whimsical poems that were engraved on large stone plaques strewn among the flower beds. One of them read:
“I used to love my garden, but now my love is dead.
I found a Bachelor’s Button in Black-eyed Susan’s bed.”
We also got a chuckle out of one of the small statues in the indoor museum. It was entitled “The Dowager” and was of a nude woman, very obviously in her 80’s or older. She was portrayed in an aristocratic pose with a haughty look on her face. Her only bit of “attire” was a gold-tipped cane that she held in her hand and I had the distinct feeling that if I laughed out loud she would not hesitate to use it on me !
BROOKGREEN GARDENS also provides tours, a boat excursion, an animal habitat and a visit to the Alston family plantation where Aaron Burr’s daughter lived. We were mainly interested in the statues and the landscaping so we didn’t partake of these, but I’m sure they would be up to par and very interesting.
If you ever get to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, I would highly recommend a visit to BROOKGREEN GARDENS.