Brookgreen Gardens and Sculptures of Anna Hyatt Huntington

Iceland Poppies Bloom at Brookgreen Gardens

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Brookgreen Gardens - A Work of Art and Nature in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina

Brookgreen Gardens was a vision shared by the sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington, and her husband Archer M. Huntington. Anna was a well respected artist, Archer a wealthy industrialist, scholar and philanthropist. Their vision was to establish a lush and beautiful setting to showcase Anna's life sized sculptures. In 1930, Brookgreen was purchased as part of a 6,600 acre tract of land that included three rice plantations with a house on the Waccamaw River and another on the beach.



Although it was a hunting preserve when they purchased it, the Huntingtons reserved the land for the preservation and study of wildlife and plants. Together they designed the extensive gardens and natural areas including many quiet pools and fountains to showcase the sculptures. At the same time, construction of their winter residence, Atalaya was in progress. Through the vision and planning of the Huntingtons, Brookgreen gardens has evolved to include beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, nature trails and a low country zoo.

Today Brookgreen Gardens shows 1,400 works by over 350 American sculptors from the early nineteenth century to the present.

Visitors to Brookgreen are welcomed by a fountain and floral display surrounding the cast aluminum sculpture of Anna Hyatt Huntington's Fighting Stallions.

Fighting Stallions - A Sculpture in Cast Aluminium by Anna Hyatt Huntington

Anna Hyatt Huntington's Fighting Stallions sculpture and fountain is at the entry to Brookgreen Gardens.
Anna Hyatt Huntington's Fighting Stallions sculpture and fountain is at the entry to Brookgreen Gardens. | Source

The Diana Pool

Visitors have the option of walking some of the nature trails, taking time for a picnic lunch in one of the out of the way picnic areas, or going in to see the formal gardens and sculptures. Although many of Anna Hyatt Huntington's sculptures are found throughout the park, there are also sculptures by many other American artists.

Stop at the Welcome center to see a display of currently blooming plants, to get more information about the park and to find out about guided tours and trams.

Pictured below is the Diana Pool with Anna Hyatt Huntington's sculpture Diana of the Chase at its center. This is often a meeting place for guided tours, but even if you decided to do a self guided tour, be sure to stop for a moment to enjoy the sculpture of Diana and the beautiful reflections in the mirror-like pool.

The Diana Pool features the Diana of the Chase sculpture

Diana of the Chase sculpture in in the center of the large reflecting pool that mirrors the sky, flowers and sculpture in a serene setting.
Diana of the Chase sculpture in in the center of the large reflecting pool that mirrors the sky, flowers and sculpture in a serene setting. | Source

Spreading Live Oaks

Spreading branches of ancient live oak line a walkway through the gardens. These oaks were part of the original rice plantation, probably framing a road leading to the house and formal gardens. Now they lead visitors deeper into the gardens on a pleasantly shaded walk.

Live Oak Allee at Brookgreen gardens

Live Oaks line a shaded allee leading into the gardens.
Live Oaks line a shaded allee leading into the gardens. | Source

For Every Season, There Is a Bloom

There's something blooming in every season at Brookgreen Gardens. Sculptures are permanent, and because of careful planning, there is something blooming during every season. Check the Brookgreen Gardens website for a list of seasonal blooming plants.

Iceland Poppies in Bloom

Even in late winter and early spring, you will find such vibrant blooms and Iceland poppies in their palette of sherbet colors. The translucent blooms attract watercolor artists who sometimes set up easels off the garden paths.

Iceland Poppies grow around a reflecting pool

Iceland Poppies grow around a reflecting pool.
Iceland Poppies grow around a reflecting pool. | Source

Camellias in Every Color Bloom Around Brookgreen Gardens

Camellias in every color brighten shady spots around the gardens in the fall and winter. These amazingly fragile looking blossoms seem to like cool weather and you'll find them in December, January and February.

Camellias bloom in the winter brightening a dull landscape.

Camellias are in bloom through the winter.
Camellias are in bloom through the winter. | Source
A bright pink camellia is set off by dark shiny leaves against a brick wall.
A bright pink camellia is set off by dark shiny leaves against a brick wall. | Source

Pansies of Every Hue

Pansy faces brighten every corner in shades of yellow, blue and purple.
Pansy faces brighten every corner in shades of yellow, blue and purple. | Source

Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly gardens in sunny spots near fountains and pools attract many colorful visitors. Amateur photographers are sure to get some good photos of one of the many different species that come to visit the bright flowers.

Some Plants are Selected to Attract Butterflies

A swallowtail butterfly stops for a sip of nectar.
A swallowtail butterfly stops for a sip of nectar. | Source

Beautiful Butterflies Are Attracted to the Butterfly Gardens

Specially designed butterfly gardens attract many different butterflies.
Specially designed butterfly gardens attract many different butterflies. | Source

Colorful Insects Sample the Flowers

Colorful insects sample the equally colorful flowers.
Colorful insects sample the equally colorful flowers. | Source

Magnolias in Bloom

Magnolias in bloom are vibrant against the blue sky. There are many flowering trees in the park including dogwood, flowering cherry, star magnolia, southern magnolia and crepe myrtle. A quick check of Brookgreen Gardens' website will list what is likely to be blooming each season.

Magnolia Blossoms Against the Blue Sky

Magnolias in bloom.
Magnolias in bloom. | Source

A Children's Garden Features Plants, Arbors and Whimsy

The children's garden is a whimsical collection of animals with their young, baby animals frolicking together and fairy tale arbors and walks. Children and adults will laugh at the names of some of the sculptures, like the larger than life bronze pig by Sandy Scott entitled "Eat More Beef."

Bronze Sculptures in the Children's Garden

A family of bears wrestle playfully in this sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
A family of bears wrestle playfully in this sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington. | Source
Eat More Beef - bronze sculpture by Sandy Scott.
Eat More Beef - bronze sculpture by Sandy Scott. | Source

One of the serene pools at Brookgreen Gardens

A beautiful pool reflects the blue sky and the plants around the pool.
A beautiful pool reflects the blue sky and the plants around the pool. | Source

Year Around Blooms at Brookgreen Gardens

No matter what time of year you visit, you will find profuse blooms in every season at Brookgreen Gardens.

In the summer, numerous varieties of lilies, hydrangea, black-eyed Susans, magnolia, crepe myrtle and gardenias grace the gardens along with other flowering plants.

In the fall, look for jessamine, roses, chrysanthemums, sweet grass, spider lilies and Mexican bush sage.

In the winter camellias, early daffodils and crocuses, star magnolia, winter jasmine, flowering cherry, flowering apricot and many other plants are in bloom.

Spring at Brookgreen Gardens is a fantastic bloom of daffodils, iris, columbine, shasta daisies, trillium, roses, jasmine, orchids, flowering dogwood, wisteria, clematis and other flowering plants.


Brookgreen Gardens for Lovers of Art and Nature

Brookgreen Gardens are a joy to visit at any season. The diverse offerings of the Gardens include 1400 sculptures, uncountable flowers, trees and other plants that are selected to provide blooms a year around. There is also a low country zoo and, for those interested in low country history of South Carolina, a boat ride on the Waccamaw River. Tickets to the garden include a 7 day pass to give visitors time to explore each nook and cranny at a leisurely pace.

The photographs above are only a very small taste of what the gardens have to offer, but I hope you've enjoyed my selections and that you'll visit these lovely gardens in person someday.

Please be sure to visit my article, Atalaya - The Amazing Winter Retreat of Anna Hyatt Huntington. Atalaya is located across the highway from Brookgreen Gardens within the bounds of Huntington Beach State Park. It is well worth the time to visit as it will give a deeper insight into the lives of two amazing people, Archer M. Huntington and Anna Hyatt Huntington.

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Copyright 2011┬ęStephanie Henkel

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC

A markerbrookgreen gardens -
Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, USA
[get directions]

Brookgreen Gardens, located within a short drive of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, showcases sculptures and year around blooms.

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27 comments

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Incredible photography. I love the colors and the sculpture. Way thumbs up!!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

Good to meet you. I am an artist. I was inspired to do a sculpture from a visit to Brookgreen Gardens. I am writing a hub about it, right now. This popped up and will be a link . . . not a link in the text, a real link in capital letters. This will be a perfect addition to my hub.

The pictures are great and you covered everything well. I will intro the link,"This is a comprehensive peek." You know . . . you can't see it all in one day, or one hub. Bless you!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

WD Curry - Although I don't sculpt, I found Brookgreen gardens incredibly inspiring in other ways. Even now, looking at photographs of the gardens makes me want to get out my watercolors! I will be interested in your hub about Brookgreen as I'm sure, as an artist, you'll have a different perspective. I'll watch for your hub, and thank you so much for planning to link to this one. It is nice to meet you!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Dorsi - Thank you for visiting my hub on Brookgreen Gardens. It's a beautiful place. The hardest part of writing this hub was narrowing down the number of photograph to include here. I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual tour!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

no one sculpts, everyone is inspired by the collection, the gardens and the gift that the Huntingtons left for America. Babylon never saw anything like it. Your work is an inspiration as well the prose and the photography. U 1 bad grl.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Your camera work and eye for a great photo is remarkable, Stephanie. Beautiful, amazing, awesome...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful hub and the colors of the flowers and butterflies were incredible. Voted up and across! What a pleasant way to end the night and I am sure to have sweet dreams!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Denise - Brookgreen Gardens makes it easy on any aspiring photographer as there are endless opportunities for beautiful pictures. Thanks so much for your lovely complement and comments. It always brings a smile to my face to hear from you! And with that, I will have sweet dreams, too!


Carmen H profile image

Carmen H 5 years ago

I like the fact that the Gardens will be dotted with colorful flowers in any given season as flowers are the elements that make a landscape all the more beautiful and soothing (just a personal opinion). Brookgreen Gardens makes such a perfect relaxing getaway...can't miss out on this too!

Any more hubs coming up about the works of the Huntingtons?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Hi Stephanie, when I was a little girl, my parents used to take us to Brookgreen Gardens all the time, particularly at Easter when all the azaleas were blooming. I wasn't old enough to appreciate it or the beautiful sculpture then, but as an adult, I'm bowled over by how gorgeous the place really is and what a talented sculptor she was. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Carmen - Finding blooms in every season is one of the things I love about Brookgreen Gardens as we've visited in the winter several times when other gardens are pretty dull. It's definitely a place to keep on your list, especially if you are in the Myrtle Beach, SC neighborhood. No, I'm not planning anything else on the Huntingtons, although Archer was also quite an interesting man. Thanks for stopping in and for your comments.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

DIY WeddingPlanner - Brookgreen at Easter time must be amazing. We've seen some of the azaleas in bloom, but have never been there when they are all in full flower. Wouldn't it be a fabulous place for a wedding? We saw a wedding party there once as well as at Adalaya when we volunteered there - beautiful! Thanks for visiting and sharing your memories!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is one of my favorite vacation spots ever. I did a photo shoot with my boys there when they were 9, 10, and 11 and I have them posing with the pig statue. That was their favorite. I love the Dionysus statue in the middle of the park. This is a fabulous hub!


Healthy Pursuits profile image

Healthy Pursuits 4 years ago from Oregon

Thank you for a wonderful visit to Brookgreen Gardens, Stephanie. It's on my list of places to visit!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Tammyswallow - Didn't you just love the childen's garden? There were so many cute and funny sculptures there. I imagine it was a wonderful place to do a photo shoot with your children. Thanks so much for coming by to read and comment!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Healthy Pursuits - I'm glad you enjoyed the virtual visit to Brookgreen Gardens. It's really a beautiful and amazing place, and I hope you will have the opportunity to visit!


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

Great article! Sounds like a wonderful place to visit and the images are spectacular. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA Author

Rose-the planner - Brookgreen gardens is a magical place. Do stop in to visit if you ever have the chance. Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment!


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

Stephanie Henkel Beautiful images - the glorious poppy! Stunning Hub.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

This appeared in the 1st page of the "hubs" section on HP today and I was immediately drawn to it by the poppies photo. How absolutely beautiful and right now where I am it is grey, cold and pouring buckets of rain. What a lovely lovely article and place to visit!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

This hub is simply, well, breathtaking. Your photography takes one's breath away with its beauty! Really Stephanie these pictures are picture perfect.

Your subject matter was well chosen writing about such a beautiful place and certainly makes me want to visit!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Stephanie,

Thanks for sharing your stunning photos and for this excellent article about Brookgreen Gardens.

It's on my wish list of places to visit and I almost got there last spring but hubby wasn't feeling well and we had to change plans at the last minute.

Will make it a priority next time we're down South.

Hugs,

Gail


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Glimmer Twin Fan - Thank you so much for your comments! Brookgreen Gardens is one of my very favorite places,and it always pleases me when someone stumbles onto this hub and enjoys the virtual tour.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

tillsontitan - Brookgreen Gardens is a photographer's paradise, and every season is different. It's a lovely place, and I'm so happy that you enjoyed my pictures. Thanks so much for your kind comments!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Happyboomernurse - How nice to see you here! I do hope you get a chance to visit Brookgreen Gardens next time you are in South Carolina. It's a truly beautiful place with much to offer no matter what time of year you visit.


writinginalaska profile image

writinginalaska 2 years ago from southeast Alaska

great article, lovely photos, but you might consider putting the location ( state where these gardens are located) at the TOP of your HUB. Brookgreen Gardens has no meaning to me because i don't live in SC. Now that i finally know where it is located i think a visit is in order. :)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Writinginalaska - Thanks so much for the suggestion! I've added Brookgreen's location to the first header in my hub and I'm sure it will be appreciated by future visitors! :) I do hope that you'll visit someday as it is a beautiful and unique place.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Stephanie, beautiful photos and descriptions here for this hub. Just lovely! I might want to visit those gardens someday. Voted up!

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