“Most Important and Interesting Garden in America”
Henry Middleton’s original gardens, created beginning in 1741, contained walkways or allées, which were planted with trees and shrubs, trimmed to appear as green walls that partitioned off small galleries, green arbors and bowling greens. Sculpture was placed at the end of long vistas and ornamental canals designed with mathematical precision. Changes in elevation and new surprises were created at every turn.
The Gardens evolved as subsequent generations made contributions over time. Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, befriended French botanist, André Michaux, who brought the first camellias in America to Middleton Place. Governor Henry Middleton, Arthur’s son, planted many more camellias and introduced additional plant material, including tea olives and crepe myrtles.
French botanist, André Michaux, brought the first camellias in America to Middleton Place
Williams Middleton expanded the Gardens, incorporating romantic garden influences, and brought azaleas to the plantation – now over 100,000 in number. In the early 20th century, Heningham Lyons Ellett Smith, wife of Middleton descendant J.J. Pringle Smith, restored the landscape that had been largely neglected for nearly six decades following the Civil War. Her efforts led the Garden Club of America to describe Middleton Place in 1940 as the “most important and interesting garden in America.” It remains so to this day.
What Makes this Garden Unique:
- America’s oldest landscaped gardens, where rational order, geometry and balance; vistas, focal points and surprises are all part of the garden design.
- The garden’s design was inspired by the precepts set down by André Le Nôtre, architect of the gardens at the Palace of Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte.
- André Michaux, the noted French botanist, imported numerous plants to America, including the first camellias to be planted in an American garden at Middleton Place in 1786.
- While the Gardens were envisioned by Henry Middleton, they were built and maintained for well over a century by the enslaved men and women who left behind, albeit against their will, a legacy of beauty and grandeur.
Come and Visit Us!
Visit Our Website: www.middletonplace.org
Calls Us: 843-556-6020
Email Us: email@example.com
Find Us: 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414