Located on Hwy 17 in Murrells Inlet just south of Myrtle Beach and North of Pawleys Island, BrookGreen Gardens offer a plethora of scenes, trails, activities, and the largest exhibit in an outdoor setting of figurative sculptures by American artists anywhere in the world. It's unique as it is beautiful, majestic, and serene. Spread out over 900 plus acres, these gardens display spectacular landscape scenes nestled in among the Live Oaks, Spanish Moss, and meticulously manicured lawns and flower beds. Everything at BrookGreen is a work of art. It's evident that a great deal of planning and forethought went into the placing of each item. The trees, plants, lawn, and all of nature is on exhibit within these gardens. The harmony between the dynamic natural surroundings and the sculpted exhibits is extraordinary.
BrookGreen Gardens was fist opened to the public in 1932. Archer Milton Huntington along with his mother Anna Hyatt Huntington founded Brook Gardens for the primary purpose of displaying Anna's and her sister Harriet Hyatt's sculptures. The added works from many other artists continue their contribution towards the collection's enormity, notoriety, and world acclaim. Currently on display at BrookGreen Gardens, there are over 1200 works by 350 artists. A most impressive exhibit is the "Pegasus". It is also the largest and took the longest to carve. Carved from Mt. Airy granite, it took nearly nine years from start to finish. An ancient symbol of inspiration, the sculptor designed this work to symbolize the person born with vision and imagination who soars with Pegasus.
The elusive Butterfly, its beauty is something of which: poets have written; artists have painted, drawn, sculpted; and photographers continue to chase after that perfect image. It's no wonder that the butterfly house exhibit at BrookGreen Gardens is so popular with visitors and their families. They are able to observe young butterflies up close and personal as they emerge from pupae. Some of the butterflies will actually land on visitors as they stop to appreciate their beauty and ease of flight. It's these kinds of experiences that forge meaningful and lasting memories. The educational aspect of the Butterfly House is vast, enlightening, and tremendously delightful. For children of all ages, it's an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
I suppose that it's possible to see all of BrookGreen Gardens in one day. But I think a better way to go about it, is to spread your visits out over several days. Apparently the BrookGreen Gardens admissions folks feel the same way - One pass is good for seven days. This first article describes what my family and I were able to see and experience on our first visit. There's still a great deal more that we have yet to see. On our next visit, we intend to visit the Animal Zoo and the Cypress Aviary. Subsequent articles will follow our future visits. Maybe we'll see you there.