HISTORY Edisto Memorial Gardens

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S.C. Encyclopedia  |  Edisto Gardens were established in the 1920s when azaleas were planted to beautify five acres in the city of Orangeburg. “Memorial” was added to the garden’s name in 1950, and a large fountain at the entrance honors the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and in Vietnam. Located on the Edisto River, the gardens feature Horne Wetlands Park, where a boardwalk, boat dock, gazebo, and educational interpretative shelter allow visitors to appreciate the flora and fauna of a free-flowing black-water river surrounded by old tupelo and cypress trees.

The gardens have expanded over the years, growing to include diverse plantings and natural areas covering more than 150 acres. Thousands of roses have been planted since the 1951 establishment of the rose garden, which became an official All-American Rose Selections test garden in 1973. New introductions as well as former award- winning roses are displayed in the gardens, and the annual South Carolina Festival of Roses celebrates their blooming in late April.

The peak spring bloom of azaleas, dogwoods, and crab apples typically occurs from mid-March to mid-April. Rose varieties including grandifloras, climbing, and miniatures bloom from April through November, and a butterfly garden and sensory garden pro- vide spring, summer, and fall interest. Winter in the garden is celebrated with the Children’s Garden Christmas light display featuring animated and still displays and lighted cherry trees. Access is free, and the garden is open seven days a week.

— Excerpted from an entry by Mary Taylor Haque.   To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia, published in 2006 by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

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