"Following where my camera leads me!"

"Following where my camera leads me!"

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Two days at Magnolia Plantation

Come with us to one of my most favorite places, beautiful Magnolia Plantation, in Charleston.

the plantation was founded in 1676

the plantation is over 600 or so acres and owned by the same family (the Drayton family) for over 12 generations.

"let's go to the big old plantation!"

so many beautiful paths to choose

An immigrant to America from Barbados in the 1600s, Thomas Drayton arrived with his wife Ann. He didn't have property from his planter father in Barbados, so he came here. The slave trade from Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas was established by British settlers from Barbados.

So many beautiful flowers to see here. It depends on what time of year you visit, but you can see roses, purple wisteria, fluffy dogwoods, tea olives, all kinds of flowering trees and in the Spring, thousands of colorful azaleas. Summer brings the huge creamy magnolia blossoms, one of my favorites.

The Reverend John Grimke Drayton brought the very first azaleas to America and put them into his "Romantic Garden" which he built for his wife. He also planted hundreds of camellias, which come to bloom in the Winter. The plantation has more than 20,000 blooming from late Fall up through April usually. The species that the Reverend planted here in the 1800s are some of the oldest in America and he started the Japonica ones. I love them all and I love to make pictures of them. 

tall twisty trees whisper stories from long long ago

Love these big old black iron gates!

Tracie found a magnolia

there are lots of statues all around the property, I love seeing them

The whole plantation is liberally frosted in Spanish moss--it drifts and sways in hot breezes
see the little board seat between the big trees?
 There is a formal English garden beyond the tree and the path. They named it "Flowerdale" and it was built in 1685. I think I read it's America's oldest garden.
Let's cross the bridge!

The cypress swamps are beautiful!

I am fascinated by the old cypress swamps. They are teeming with life and have glassy black water.

Magnolia is America's last large scale Romantic style garden
Magnolia plantation....named after these white Summer  beauties

The gardens are wild and tangled--as if they just sprung up out of the swamp

Many many acres of dense woodlands, ponds, and beautiful wild gardens and cypress swamps
walking beneath towers of ancient old trees.....walking through history. This old plantation saw so much history from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and beyond. Centuries of love and war, pain and joy, and the people who were here before us.

see him?

Don't swim here! LOL

Traipsing underneath the forest canopy.....

many flowering trees, vines and flowers drape over the paths throughout the grounds

one of my favorite pictures I made that day. Love the colors and the reflections!

I love all the old statuary pieces here!
Once upon a time............

Long long ago, a little girl named Julia grew up here on this plantation. She had free reign to run and climb and play here, with her sister Ella. At first I thought Julia was an only child, but she indeed had a sister.

What kind of dresses would Julia have worn? Did she go to school? What kind of toys did she play with?  Did she climb trees? Did she pick flowers?What were little girls like Julia like--back in that long ago era?

To learn about little Julia, and if you are curious about how she grew up and what her life was like, and how she inherited this beautiful place go here:

There are also a couple of pictures of Julia there on that link.

I think maybe, just maybe, little Julia would've sure loved to play with Tracie! She might've said "oh my!--her dress is too SHORT!" lol

Tracie and I pose for a picture.....then Tansy joins in! LOL!

Tansy had to do it too! LOL


"I see you!"

the alligators that swim here are ancestors of the same ones that Julia would've seen as a child

A bamboo thicket

I love this little green bridge!

The cherry red azaleas are my favorite

twisty paths all around and under the huge ancient live oaks and other trees

Got my fun big cheap plastic bracelets on! LOL

From Slavery to Freedom. There is a tour that lasts about 45 minutes about the enslaved Gullah people who worked the home, the grounds, and the rice fields here.
1850s slave cabins

Welcome back, to the second day!

sun dappled canopies of centuries old trees

"hey y'all, come on in!!"...we have lots to show you today!

Let's pick a path........and go!

I always enjoy a visit to the delightful gift shop! It's in the basement of the big house and it's always delightfully COOOOOL. If you've been walking the garden paths on a hot day, it sure is a great relief.

aren't these just beautiful?!

shelves of interesting, fun, and historic books--lots to pick from

always love to browse racks of postcards

There are so many beautiful bridges here, I love making pictures of them and the marshy ponds.

a walk down by the river:

The old Drayton vault.....so many amazing carvings to study on it!

We've seen plenty of alligators in this river:

beautiful scenic riverbank of the Ashley River

on a hot day, you can always catch breezes here

some of the very first visitors....tours opened in 1870

(below)...Isn't she pretty? LOL

Making pictures on the red bridge today!

I love all the bridges in this beautiful place!

a visit to the old Barbados Tropical Garden Conservatory

It's VERY HUMID in this building so we usually don't stay too long

the glass house if full of beautiful orchids and other tropical plants

love the splashing fountains and the little pond and waterfalls here

Hope everybody had a great holiday weekend and that you enjoyed going to the old plantation with us today!
It's still so HOT HERE. Fall is on the way.....


  1. WOW so gorgeous, Debbi! TG and I went to Magnolia Plantation on our honeymoon in 1979 but I don't remember much of anything so it's clear to me that it is time to go back! Thank you for inspiring me to visit here, and also Wormsloe! We will definitely do that this coming fall/winter. I love your second-day outfit -- so darling! -- and I love that you took Tracie and Tansy along. Happy September, my friend! xoxo

  2. it is a beautiful place!! i can tell you really enjoyed the walk, i did as well!! i love when trees arch and cover the paths and roads, to me, that is so special!! i am surprised to see you are out, it has been so hot here on the east coast. the pretty umbrella was a good idea to shelter you from the sun!!

    the bridges are gorgeous, especially with the reflections you were able to capture!!

    your smile is so bright when you are holding your dolls, i like that!!

    1. i looked for blue sunflowers...is that real or a joke, i couldn't find any!!!

  3. beautiful egret and heron...it looks like you were really close to them!!

  4. What an amazing place!!!!! And I LOVE your pretty dresses!!!!

  5. You look so elegant for a day at the plantation. Love seeing your cute dollies too. Be glad when it cools some here too! Sweet hugs, Diane

  6. WHOA!! I feel as if I just stumbled from the biggest, greenest roller-coaster/ wild ride on the Eastern Seaboard, and here I stagger by, drunk with color and beautiful scenes, trying to find my feet and still my lurching limbs. Remember that scene with the mailbags in MIRACLE ON 34TH ST., where all the letters poured out and almost buried the people in the courtroom? I've feel that I've received the most lusciously-lovely postcards---acres and bushels of them, from Tara and Mobile and the Louisiana swamps, from quiet walks to flowery gardens, from Bellingrath to Giverny, to long mossy avenues too mysterious to fathom, to childhood fantasies with dolls and their lives, and with many strolls and gasps in between.

    Pinky-swear you were just gone for a weekend---your Tesseract dipped low and flew fast, for you must have been in forty places at once, and who knows WHAT part of the Time/Space Continuum you touched down in next. You could have been three hundred years in the past, or three thousand, with those marbles carved fresh from the Carrara quarries, or still have half a Starbuck's muffin in your purse.

    I don't know how to process all this wonder---moire non when my wheels stop whizzing and my heartbeat slows. Thank you for all the wonderful notes and comments---it's such a lovely thing to find a comment hidden amongst all my rhetoric, and yours are some of my ever-favorites. Glad to be back, and thank you for the warm welcome.

  7. Oh my goodness, Debbi! How did I miss this post? Must've been while I was sleeping or something! LOL. Such a beautiful place!!! I'm so glad Tracie and Tansy got to go along and enjoy all the beauty along with YOU! So many things to see! Wow! I can see why it took you two days to go through it! Thank you for sharing your lovely adventure with us. It would have been such fun for us to take our "girls" together to see this...Lily Grace would have LOVED it too, especially being with Tracie!!! Maybe someday we will have to do that! Anyway, thank you for taking us along on the journey. I'm sorry I didn't see this last week. Seems like I am way behind in everything these days!! Love you!!