If my husband and I could move to Charleston, we would pack up today without a second thought. The heart of the city is on this small peninsula in South Carolina. If you stay in the French Quarter, you can walk everywhere. There are amazing restaurants, shops and sights to see all over the city. I digress. You can read more about those things in my post on staying in the Heart of Charleston here. Back to our day trip. I love nature, and Middleton Place certainly delivers. Make sure you visit if you are ever in Charleston.
When you first enter Middleton Place, you are greeted by perfectly manicured gardens, walkways and ponds. It is known as America’s oldest landscaped garden and was modeled after the gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Palace of Versailles in France. Everything was SO green when we went. The attention to detail was amazing. Perfectly trimmed hedges, lush green grass, and beautiful blooming flowers seem to be a common sight at Middleton.
Apart from the open garden areas, flowers and ponds, there are “secret gardens” tucked away in a maze of hedges, trees and bushes. Most of them have benches and beautiful marble statues. Apparently the residents of Middleton would sneak away to the secret gardens for quiet time.
Amazingly, one gorgeous marble statue survived the war. The Wood Nymph statue is tucked between two Cypress trees and sits below a towering tree covered in Spanish Moss . It’s amazing the statue survived the looting and destruction from the siege of Charleston during the Civil War. All of the other statues on the property were gifted once Middleton was restored.
Middleton House Museum
The building that is now the House Museum was built in the mid-1700’s as a gentleman’s quarters. It is the only remaining building of the three main housing buildings from the original build. Guided tours are offered at the House Museum, but unfortunately we did not have time for one.
Just down from the House sits an old building that was a converted to a chapel for the slaves of the time. The chapel overlooks a beautiful pond with a quaint red bridge. It’s quite picturesque.
I love animals. Especially baby animals. By sheer luck, we were at Middleton the week that little lambs and piglets were born! They were days old when we arrived – so cute and tiny. In addition to sheep and pigs, the Stableyards have horses, chickens, water buffalo, peacocks and goats. There are also craftsman who demonstrate working tasks performed by slaves at Middleton during the 1700 and 1800’s. Some of the tasks include barrel crafting, wood working and pottery. We brought home a hand-crafted salt pig and mug.
I hope you get a chance to visit this beautiful and peaceful place. The Gardens, Stableyards and House are all worth a visit on a trip to Charleston.