Today was a GORGEOUS day!! Beautiful, sunny skies and 78 degrees. Gosh, it doesn't get much better than that! We discovered a scenic byway and invited our neighbors, Randy & Jan, to go with us on the drive. We hoped to be able to stop at the various plantations along the way and walk the grounds. We found out quickly, though, that even to walk the grounds cost money! Oh, well.
We got to Magnolia Plantation and decided to tour it. Boy, are we glad we did. Magnolia Plantation is the ancestral home of the Drayton family and dates from 1676. It is believed to be the only plantation of its age in the state to still be owned by the original family. The plantation is 500 acres of gardens and grounds. It sits on the Ashley River. The current house is the third one to be built on the land. The prior houses were lost to fire.
The plantation gardens have been open to the public since the 1800s. The decision was made to get the family back on its feet financially since it was decimated by the Civil War. Charles Kuralt named it his greatest Charleston pleasure. Along with the beautiful gardens, there is a petting zoo, nature trails, a "street" of pre-Civil War slave cabins, a topiary garden and more.
We walked through the main gardens. There are a couple of lakes, also. We found cypress trees, live oaks, all types of flowers, turtles and alligators sunning themselves, and history throughout the trails. There is an real swamp on the property.
I can't share with you all the pictures I took, so please . . . go to our Webshots site, http://community.webshots.com/user/guiler85/0, to really get a feel for all that we experienced.
It was fun to share it with Randy & Jan. Jan is very knowledgeable about flowers, so that was a great thing for us. Hope you enjoy it, too!
Tomorrow we go on our walking tour of historic Charleston! More pictures to come!