Deep south/coastal south botanical gardens that go beyond azaleas

Blooming_annie(z 8/9, Chas, SC)August 16, 2004

It seems sometimes that every big garden in the south is focused on azaleas, camellias, or both. Are there well-rounded botanical gardens in any of the hot and humid, low-lying areas of the south? I'd love to see a garden where a great diversity of plants is being grown and where zones are being pushed a bit and new plants trialed. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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shanklemsw(Z8 CoastalSC)

Girl you are up early!

Go up to Brookgreen Gardens. I was there in June. They have beautiful hydrangeas, some of which are not in the trade yet, and many other interesting plants. It's hot right now but still worth the trip. Let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 9:01AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

It's not as old or well-established as some other gardens here in the South, but Kanapaha Botanical Garden here in Gainesville, Florida has a lot more besides azaleas and camellias. Nice bamboo garden in particular.

Can't say what it'll look like right now in mid-August though.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville, Florida.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 12:41PM
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I'll second the vote for Brookgreen in Murrell's Inlet.

ALso look at the zoo in Columbia, I forget the name already! They are known to try many things, especially in containers.

Go to the University of Georgia in Athens. It is the home to NorthAmerica's finest plantsmen, including hte woody plant demigod Michael Dirr and the perennial king Alan Armitage.

Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA will have more display-oriented plant collections, too.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 4:30PM
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shanklemsw(Z8 CoastalSC)

Riverbanks Zoo is in Columbia. I should be chastised but I have not been there yet! Annie, we are going to Brookgreen on September 17 for the live "Making It Grow" TV show. There's room in the Volvo if you wanna come!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 9:33AM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

Bellingraph , east of Mobile. It is beautiful and features the most wonderful mums in the fall. And sure, they do have loads of azaleas and camellias, along with a great chinese garden. And lovely roses.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 8:03AM
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Annie, although I have not visited there recently, I understand that the Botanical Gardens at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner is worthwhile.

They have been at the Fall garden Show for the last several years with a booth highlighting their "Earth healer" compost tea. It is made from the manure produced by their Chicken Farm. The brothers refer to the hens as their "Lay Sisters".

cut & pasted from the website...
"The Volunteer Program continues to grow and serious gardeners are encouraged to join this dedicated team. Volunteers work Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

For more information, contact Vivian Whorley (staff horticulturist) at or call (843) 761-8528."

I can see this being a cool field trip for us, can't you?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mepkin Abbey

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 1:34PM
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shanklemsw(Z8 CoastalSC)

I've been up there and it is very peaceful. We had a tour guided by a monk and he could't have been any monk-y-er. It was really fun and those eggs rule. So does their potting soil. Yall email me when you go. The other one up there is Cypress Gardens. It's beautiful too with all that black water reflecting the flora.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 2:54PM
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cypress Gardens~

That Butterfly House just knocks me out! Yes, Mepkin Eggs Rock. I just came home with a dozen from "The Pig".

The monks are just precious, aren't they? They sell potting soil on the grounds? I have only seen the compost tea sold at Hyams. (And everything there is way outta my price league)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 5:50PM
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sewnfool(8 SE coast)

I love the ideas about going to Mepkin Abbey and Cypress gardens is one of my favorite places on earth.
My husband and I just bought 2 acres of land in Monck's Corners not to far from there.
I lay awake nights dreaming about the landscaping I want to do. Any ideas. I have to start from scratch. So the first thing on the agenda is to improve the soil.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 11:38PM
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shanklemsw(Z8 CoastalSC)


Take a soil sample to the county extension agency and let them test it. It costs $5 and they can tell you exactly what to do.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 12:05PM
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Blooming_annie(z 8/9, Chas, SC)

Thanks everyone. I haven't been to Brookgreen in ten years so maybe it is time for a visit. And maybe the 17th should be the day, Sue! Keep me posted on your plans.

And yes, Carolyn, Mepkin Abbey would be a great field trip. I've never been there at all and have wanted to go for years. If I lived closer I'd love to volunteer there.

Kanapaha always has sounded like it should be in Hawaii to me! Gainesville isn't all bad a roadtrip so maybe that one is doable for a weekend.

Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 9:56AM
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