Surrounded by fields and meadows, this naturalistic garden stands tall as a beautiful swath of southern pineland. Beneath the canopy, more than 400 species of plants native to the coastal plain of South Carolina are cultivated.
This diverse wildflower display is also a carefully managed collection of plants. Since pine bay’s creation in 2005, more than 45,000 perennials, trees and shrubs have been planted in this area that was once a loblolly pine plantation. Amazingly, every one of these plants were grown on site from stock originating in the wild places of South Carolina, instead of garden origin varieties purchased from nurseries. Many of these are of conservation concern or are under evaluation for ornamental potential, while others are botanical oddities not likely to be found in other gardens. In order to control competing vegetation, improve wildlife habitat and preserve the open character of the site, prescribed burns are performed annually.
Many say this is one of the most tranquil places in the garden. If you sit still and listen, you’re likely to hear the wind slipping around, over and through the pine needles high up in the trees. Listen longer, and you’ll wonder when the last time was that you actually heard trees.