Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Part 1: The Grounds

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you live somewhere you take it for granted.  Weekends are often consumed with chores and errands.  However, when I make time to get out and see my city and bask in the richness of its history, I never regret it.

Live Oak at Magnolia Plantation
Live oak trees are one of my favorite things about the south.

We made it out to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens a week or so ago and it was gorgeous.  The weather was perfect for a nice long walk and the flowers were starting to bloom.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
My Dream Backyard

I shared some of my flower pictures with you here.  In this post I want to share with you the bigger picture of Magnolia Plantation though.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

There is so much to do there!  There are the beyond gorgeous and expansive gardens, the slave cabin tour, the nature train, a boat tour, the house tour, and the swamp.

Guinea Fowl
Guinea Fowl strolling in the parking lot

My one complaint is that you get charged for everything individually.  It makes for a very expensive day if you want to do it all.

I, of course, really enjoyed the petting zoo
I, of course, really enjoyed the petting zoo

Because of this, we opted to just walk the grounds and to enjoy the swamp (which I’ll write about soon).  Magnolia Plantation dates back to 1676, but the gardens were first opened to the public in the 1870s.

Magnolia Plantation Peacock
There are Peacocks roaming all around the property

Some parts of the garden are well over 300 years old making Magnolia Plantation home to the oldest unrestored gardens in America.

Garden Trail at Magnolia Plantaiton
Garden Trails

To me, the idea of going to a garden sounds kind of boring, but it really isn’t.  The grounds are peppered with ponds, walkways, wildlife, and history.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
You can’t pet the horses.. They bite.

Around every twist and turn there is something new to see whether it’s a grave, an alligator, or a lovely flower that is just starting to bloom.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
One of the many statues you can see in the gardens.

The current plantation home is the third to be at this site.  The original manor house was burned during the Civil War.  Interestingly, a large portion of this house was built near Summerville, SC and then brought down the Ashley River to this site.

Magnolia Plantation House
Magnolia Plantation House

The Drayton family earned it wealth on the backs of slaves through their planting and harvesting of rice crops.  Four of the five slave cabins that remain on the property were built during slavery times.

Slave Cabins at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Slave Cabins

The slaves brought with them from Africa Gullah traditions such as language, home remedies, and Charleston’s well known sweet grass baskets.  Although the root of how the culture got here is tainted with darkness the fruit that is yielded from the African culture is beautiful and still shapes Charleston today.

Sweet Grass Baskets
Sweet Grass Baskets

If you are planning to visit Charleston put Magnolia Plantation on your list of places to see.  If you live around here get out and spend your day off enjoying a rich slice of Charleston history.

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