Take a Virtual Tour of Charleston's Historic Gardens

Stroll down Chareston, S.C.'s historic streets and take in the views of some of the most beautiful private gardens in the world—all without leaving your home.

After recently spending a few (blissful!) days in Charleston’s historic peninsula touring private homes and gardens, I can attest that gardening is a full-contact sport in the Holy City. From manicured formal gardens to rambling flower-lined paths, Charlestonians definitely know how to rock their green thumbs. 

In addition to full gardens, flower-filled windowboxes were everywhere: 

Formal gardens boast mounds of color and charming weather-worn statuary:

Charleston’s sub-tropical climate provides ideal conditions for South Carolina’s state tree, the Palmetto Palm, and camellias whose ruffly flowers are synonymous with the South:

Flowers also drape fences surrounding the city’s historic homes in color. Here a red trumpet vine overtakes an ancient cast-iron fence: 

Creeping fig turns this home’s facade into a vertical garden. Not advisable for use on a wood exterior, these hardy vines do little damage when allowed to grow on brick or stone:  

In Charleston, even small garden corners aren’t overlooked. Here, a homowner has trained a magnolia to espalier (or grow in a flat, compact shape) against a stuccoed wall:

Even in early spring, Charleston’s warm climate ensures a wide variety of blooms. In this informal garden, vibrant poppies spill over a pea-gravel path:

The Historic Charleston Foundation hosts private home and garden tours each spring. If you’re a history and design buff like me, they’re a can’t-miss.

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