Charleston House and Garden Tours – Springtime in Charleston!

What could be more beautiful than springtime in Charleston? It’s nothing new, you know. People have been coming to Charleston for the high spring bloom for nigh 150 years, when Reverend Drayton opened  the Gardens at Magnolia Plantation to the public. Charlestonians have been in love with ornamental gardening for many more years than that. It was in the 1740s that Mrs. Lamboll first  planted her ornamental garden in the neighborhood of the street that bears the name. Her “Gardener’s Chronicle” was in high demand and widely read by a generation of budding garden fanciers. Eighteenth century Charlestonians flocked to the docks to buy exotic saplings and bulbs  off the ships arriving from the Orient.  Many of the great plantations were improved with gardens at this time.  The gardens at Middleton Place, with its butterfly terraces, were being laid out in the French style circa 1760. Harriett Horry Ravenel, writing in 1906, reflects on Charleston gardens before 1800 :

” In the town, behind their high walls, grew oleanders and pomegranates, figs and grapes, and orange trees, both sweet and bitter, and bulbs brought from Holland, jonquils and hyacinths.The air was fragrant with the sweet olive, myrtle and gardenia. There were old fashioned roses! The cinnamon, the York and Lancaster, the little white musk and the sweet Damascus. The glossy leaved Cherokee clothed the walls with its great white disks, and was crowded with jasmine and honeysuckle.”

Mrs. Whaley’s Garden

Thomas Rose House Garden, the design of Loutrell Briggs

Such a fitting description of Charleston ! Isn’t it great that some things never change? So you locals, busy in your everyday lives, take time out to ‘smell the roses” so to speak this year. Just take a walk downtown or visit the Gardens. Charleston Old Walled City Tours offers a Charleston Home and Garden Tour five days a week at 1:30. For details go to For those of you from off, it looks like peak bloom, barring a disastrous frost, should be March 27-April 10. Come see Charleston painted pastel and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Charleston Old Walled City Tours offers themed tours od Historic Charleston including the Old Walled City Tour, the Home and Garden Tour, the Slavery and Freedom Tour, and the Charleston Ghost Walk. Go to www.walledcitytours.come to learn more!



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