“Town Of Kiawah Island Releases Grow Native Plant Database” IslandConnectionNews.com

Kiawah Island is about an hour day trip from Charleston.

Grow Native - Kiawah Island

“The Town of Kiawah is pleased to announce the release of the new online native plant database. The database is part of the Town’s Grow Native initiative launched last fall. This initiative is a community-wide effort to increase the use of native plants in landscaping projects with an overall goal of improving wildlife habitat. More information on the program and a link to the new database can be found by visiting the Town’s Grow Native web page at www.grownativekiawah.com.”


Learn more about it!

5 Blooms You’ll See in Everywhere in Charleston This Spring

By: John Williams

While many of us are busy getting our lawns ready for the upcoming growing season, many plants are also preparing for warmer temperatures. Springtime in Charleston is one of the most beautiful times of year to get out and enjoy the many blooms that adorn every nook and cranny of the city. You’ll find bulbs pushing through the ground as well as flowering shrubs and trees that bring a canopy of color and fragrance to every street. Check out these five blooms you’ll see everywhere in Charleston this Spring:


This popular bloom appears at the first sign of spring, making the Camellia a welcome sight for winter-weary natives. This flower can vary significantly in its size and shape as well as color. You may notice pink, white, or red Camellia blossoms begin to form against dark evergreen leaves. Camellia trees make excellent hedges and borders and do well when planted together to create a wall of sheer beauty. The trees can also grow up to 65 feet tall making them a favorite for all to see. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens offers daily walking tours to showcase these magnificent native plants. Camellias are essential to Charleston and the surrounding area for the tea that comes from their scented leaves and flowers. Many of the city’s historic farms continue to grow Camellias today.


These common southern plants also native to the area, bring forth pink and red bursts of color when they bloom in the spring. You’ll see these lovely shrubs announcing their arrival after winter with brilliant shades. Azaleas are popular to use as hedges or as anchor plants in gardens to fill in the landscaping. They’re also great for providing privacy for backyard dining areas. Azaleas aren’t tough to grow, so you’ll find them in wild areas around the city. The flowers have a long history in Charleston and are one of the most beloved plants around. They’re part of the rhododendron family but are considered to be a higher quality plant than the rest of their relatives.


It’s hard to miss the vines of Wisteria that bloom in beautiful shades of purple during the spring. This climbing plant wraps its way around many buildings in downtown Charleston, framing the noted history of the city. You’ll also see Wisteria climbing gates and lamp posts. The plant can be aggressive and choke out nearby vegetation. You’ll note the clumps of purple colored blooms that make their way all over the vine. Some vines can grow up to 65 feet off the ground and spread over 30 feet wide making them quite the show stopper at maturity.


You’ll see an abundance of yellow when Forsythia begins to bloom in Charleston. This gorgeous plant offers golden blooms that are easy to spot. Forsythia comes in a variety of forms as different breeds produce both regular and dwarf options. You’ll find that Forsythia is a rapid grower and can easily stand up to 10 feet tall and wide given the right soil conditions. It’s known for its slightly unkempt appearance making it a favorite to add variety to a stately cultivated garden. These plants definitely draw attention to areas around the city. The sheer amount of profuse blooms on the Forsythia make this an easy one to spot during springtime in Charleston.

Crepe Myrtle

You can’t go far in Charleston in the spring without spotting these gorgeous trees. Crepe Myrtles are the original ‘Southern Hospitali-Tree.’ These smaller trees came to America through the port in Charleston and began to bloom immediately. It produces blooms in a variety of colors including red, pink, white, and purple. The arching branches of the Crepe Myrtle also give this tree a soft, endearing look that makes them perfect in many cultivated gardens around the city.

There are plenty of gorgeous plants to see in South Carolina in the coming months, but none compare to the popularity and beauty of these five blooms you’ll see everywhere in Charleston this spring.

John Williams is a guest writer, an outdoor living expert and explorer. When he’s not traveling to nature’s most well-known beauty spots, he tends to the greenery surrounding his home.

Give the gift of Museums for Christmas!

Charleston's Museum Mile - CharlestonMuseumMile.org
Charleston’s Museum Mile – CharlestonMuseumMile.org

“During the month of January 2018, enjoy access to participating Museum Mile sites with the purchase of one low ticket price! With the Museum Mile Month pass, you can spend an entire month learning about Charleston’s rich history and culture while visiting sites in the order that best fits your schedule.

Participating sites include:

Tickets ordered in advance can be mailed to your door or you may request to have them held for pick up at The Charleston Museum, the Heyward-Washington House or the Joseph Manigault House.

PLEASE NOTE: Purchases can be made in advance online until 12/31/2017. During January 2018, ticket purchases must be made in person at a Charleston Visitor Center downtown, in North Charleston or in Mount Pleasant. “

Source:  CharlestonMuseum.org

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – Charleston, S.C.

Listed on theNational Register of Historic Places.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens - Charleston, S.C.

Picture Source – Wikipedia

3550 Ashley River Road,
Charleston, SC – 29414


‘Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (70 acres, 28 hectares) is a historic house with gardens located on the Ashley River at 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston CountySouth CarolinaUnited States.

It is one of the oldest plantations in the south, and listed on theNational Register of Historic Places.

‘A variety of tours are offered including the slave quarters and the family home. Tram tours are led by naturalists and visitors often see alligators, turtles, snakes, peacocks and waterfowl. The gardens are one of the oldest INFORMAL gardens in the U.S. with cooperation with nature rather than control of nature’.Adapted from article about Charleston by Judith Evans.

The house and gardens are open daily; an admission fee is charged.

Magnolia Plantation is located near Charleston and directly across the Ashley River from North Charleston.

The plantation dates to 1676 when Thomas and Ann Drayton built a house and small formal garden on the site.

(The plantation remains under the control of the Drayton family after 15 generations.).’

Source – Wikipedia

There is a lovely blog post related to Magnolia Plantation, magnolias and camellias entitled, Magnificent Magnolia Plantation: By Gene Phillips.

Get Directions

Preservation Society of Charleston – Charleston, S.C.

Preservation Society of Charleston - Charleston, S.C.

147 King Street

Charleston, SC



“Founded in 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest community based historic preservation organization in America. Our mission is to inspire the involvement of all who dwell in the Lowcountry to honor and respect our material and cultural heritage.”


  • Preservation Programs
  • Perservation Education
  • Fall Tours
  • Events
  • and more.

Get Directions

Drayton Hall – Southern Plantation in Charleston, S.C.

Drayton Hall - Southern plantation in Charleston, S.C.

Picture Source – http://www.draytonhall.org

‘Drayton Hall is the closet plantation to Charleston. It is the only plantation home in Charleston not destroyed in the Civil War. The owners fled leaving the property to the slaves. The slaves saw smoke near Magnolia Plantation and put put yellow quarantine flags at the gate to make Union soldiers think there was malaria present.’  Adapted from article about Charleston by Judith Evans. 

‘Drayton Halls story spans three centuries of American History. It is the oldest surviving example of Georgian Palladian architecture in the U.S. and one of the only pre-Revolutionary houses that remain in close to original condition today.’ See DraytonHall.org for more. 

Open 7 days a week except major holidays.

Monday through Saturday: Main Gates: 9:00 a.m.-3:20 p.m. (Exit gate closes at 5 p.m.)

Museum Shop: 9:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

First Tour: 9:30 a.m.

Last Tour: 3:30 p.m.

House Tours: Starting on the half hour at 9:30am. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the tour.

  • Connections:  From Africa to America: 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.
  • Voices of Drayton Hall:  An Interactive Landscape Tour on DVD: Available for complimentary rental throughout the day; enjoy at your own pace.

Sundays: Main Gates: 11:00 a.m.-3:20 p.m. (Exit gate closes at 5 p.m.)

Museum Shop: 11:00 a.m.- 4:45 p.m.

First Tour: 11:30 a.m.

Last Tour: 3:30 p.m.

House Tours: Starting on the half hour at 11:30am. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the tour.

‘To help ensure a thoroughly enjoyable experience:

Visitors wishing to take a house tour should arrive at the front gate at least 20 minutes before the start of the tour to allow for ticket transaction, parking, and check-in.

If a house tour is sold out, you will be offered the next available tour of your choice.In addition to the house tour, there are other daily activities and programs available, and all are included in the price of regular adult admission-just click on Things To Do in the right hand column.

You can also save time by purchasing your tickets here. Please note that all visitors must first stop at the front gate before entering the site.’

Get Directions

Audobon Swamp Garden – Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, S.C.

Source of Photo and Text – Magnolia Plantation and Garden

3550 Ashley River Road,
SC – 29414


Daily, 365 days a year. From opening until 5:30 PM.

However, once you have purchased your ticket, you can stay and enjoy the Audubon Garden until dusk. Allow 1 hour for the self-guided walk.

COST: ($8 per person, children under 6 free)

The Audubon Swamp Garden is a unique world where trees grow from the water, islands float, and everywhere wild creatures go about their secret lives. It boasts a diversity of living things almost unequaled anywhere else in America. Thousands of plant and animal species coexist amongst the cypress and tupelo gum trees, surrounded by blackwater. Each year, hundreds of egrets, herons, and other waterfowl nest within feet of the walking path. You can explore this wild and otherwise inaccessible landscape on boardwalks, bridges, and dikes.’

Get Directions

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.


1235 Long Point Rd.
Mt. Pleasant, S.C. 29464
(8 miles from downtown Charleston, S.C.)
Phone (843) 884-4371

Boone Hall and Plantation, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Mont Royal the main house at Boone Hall

Picture Source – Wikipedia

‘The Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens is an antebellum plantation located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The plantation includes a large Colonial Revival plantation house (1933-35) that replaces the lost original house on the site, a number of slave cabins (which were occupied bysharecroppers well into the 20th century), several flower gardens, and the historic “Avenue of Oaks”: a nearly one mile drive up to the house with live oaks on either side, originally planted in 1743. Boone Hall plantation sits on Wampacheeoone Creek in Christ Church Parish about 10 miles (16 km) from historic downtown Charleston.’

Source – Wikipedia

Slave Cabins at Boone Hall Plantation

Slave Cabins at Boone Hall Plantation

Picture Source – Wikipedia

Avenue of Oaks, Boone Hall and Plantation

Avenue of Oaks at Boone Plantation

Picture Source – Wikipedia


Get Directions