Friday, November 28, 2008

Charleston : Middleton Place

On our last full day in Charleston, we visited Middleton Place plantation, which was started in 1741. It's over 65 acres of gorgeous formal gardens with sasanqua camellia hedges and trails that evoke thoughts of the Fire Swamp.

I wanted to see lots of Spanish moss while I was in Charleston and I saw plenty of it there.

The plantation had loads of bald cypress trees, which were gorgeous reflecting in the water.

I even saw Bald Cypress knees, or pneumatophores, which are protruding extensions of their root system. I referred to them as "lumps", which was not appreciated.

The Middleton Oak, a live oak, is one of the largest oaks in the United States. Unfortunately, several of its largest branches broke off earlier this spring, but it is still extremely impressive. The tree, which is estimated to be five hundred years old, apparently survived unscathed when hurricane Hugo hit Charleston in 1989.

As you can see, there are several gigantic live oaks at Middleton Place.

The symbol of Middleton Place is the wood nymph statue, which was carved by a German sculptor, Schadow, in 1810. It was buried during the Civil War, which is why it survived intact.

They have lots of different animals in the stable yards, including these Turkish Water Buffalo. I didn't pet them, but my Most Faithful Reader said that their hair had a very strange texture that felt almost like plastic.

As we left, I got to pet these very large Belgian draft horses.

We are very thankful for our friend, WB, who showed us around Middleton Place. In addition to her splendid company, she is a docent there and shared with us her wealth of knowledge about the grounds and their history. She made our visit to Charleston truly wonderful, indeed.

Thanks also to my 2nd Most Faithful Reader for all of the photos depicting birds or animals in this post.

More of my photos taken at Middleton Place.

3 comments:

  1. Lenore, next time you're in Charleston don't miss the Hominy Grille, which serves some of the best shrimp and grits you'll ever have, anywhere!

    It's also in the middle of a neighborhood (not the King Street tourist strip)which will remind you of some places in Durham. Bon appetit!

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  2. Thanks for the recommendation! There were so many more things that I didn't get a chance to do while I was there, so maybe I'll head down that way again sometime.

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  3. Anthony Wilson4:30 AM

    Whoops...I misspelled the name in my initial post.

    Here's a link: http://www.hominygrill.com/

    (BTW, that illustration is painted on the side of the restaurant, so you'll recognize it as you approach)

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