Sunday, June 28, 2015

Swan Lake Iris Garden

Swan Lake Iris Garden is a 150 acre garden full of Japanese irises, camellias, lilies, azaleas, and magnolias. The 45 acre lake is home to eight species of swans.

The story surrounding the garden is rather interesting. It began in 1927 as a private fishing retreat for Hamilton Carr Bland, a local business man. He had attempted to landscape his home with irises, but failed miserably. Frustrated, he dug up all the iris bulbs and dumped them at the lake. The next spring, the irises came up and bloomed. They've been flourishing ever since. Mr. Bland deeded the gardens to the city in 1949.

The gardens are open from 7:30 AM until dusk. Admission is free. (The best time to view the irises is from mid-late May until early June.)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summerville Azalea Park

Summerville Azalea Park, located in Summerville, South Carolina, is a 16 acre public park. Of course, it has many beautiful flowering azaleas. It also has dogwood, wisteria, and crepe myrtle, as well as five butterfly reflecting ponds, bronze sculptures, a gazebo, and ornamental bridges.

It's a lovely place to spend an afternoon wandering down the nature trails. Spring is the best time to view the colorful blooms.

The park is open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Admission is free. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

South Carolina Botanical Garden

The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a 270 acre garden located in Clemson, South Carolina, near the Clemson University Campus. It has grown considerably from its original 40 acre size. There are many garden areas here, including the Class of '39 Caboose Garden, a butterfly garden, a conifer collection, and a very beautiful Meditation Garden which has a waterfall, gazebo, and pool.

There are a couple of other interesting things on the grounds, including a Geology Museum, and cabin built in 1716, known as the Hanover House.

The garden is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.