There's lazy and then there's "Lowcountry lazy." The cat sitting in the porch chair seemed to epitomize this philosophy. It smiled in a Cheshire cat-manner and slowly blinked its eyes as if to say, don't bother asking me for directions -- I'm already at my destination and you are too. Our destination was the Savannah Botanical Gardens and it was a good place to spend a lazy day.
The Savannah Botanical Gardens is on Eisenhower Drive in Savannah, and was discovered by my family almost on accident. While caring for a loved one in a nearby hospice facility, we wandered onto a wooded pathway and emerged into the sunlight of the lovingly managed gardens. When you visit, you will discover that the Savannah Botanical Gardens is both a place to relax and enjoy a nice walk, as well as learn more about the mysteries of nature. Upon arrival you will be greeted by old Southern charm of the historic Reinhard House. This rare survivor of Savannah's 19th century architecture was moved to the Savannah Botanical Gardens in 1990 to escape demolition. It serves as a location for weddings and parties, and is the headquarters of Savannah area garden clubs. Behind the house, the perennial garden unfolds before you. Bees buzz, songbirds dart and the aforementioned cat relaxes on her perch.
Volunteers established the Savannah Botanical Gardens in the late 1980s as a public showcase of area garden clubs. An herb garden, perennial garden and the beautiful roses of the Ann Douglas White Memorial are dignified and well maintained. Nature shows herself as the path wanders into camellias, a fern garden and then several acres of ponds and walking trails that leave the noise of everyday life behind you. There is fun for all ages as recently a children's garden has been established. On a recent visit the rumbling storm of a Lowcountry summer shower had just passed, leaving dripping leaves and sky-colored puddles. As we walked and explored the words of Van Morrison's "Sweet Thing:"
We shall walk and talk
Never miss a local story.
In gardens all misty and wet with rain
And I will never, never, never
Grow so old again.
Come and walk and talk in the Savannah Botanical Gardens. Whether misty wet with rain or not, I promise you will enjoy the experience.
The Savannah Botanical Gardens is at 1388 Eisenhower Drive in Savannah and is about half an hour from Bluffton. Cross the Tamadge Bridge into Savannah and take Oglethorpe across town to the Truman Parkway. Take the Eisenhower Drive exit and you will see the botanical garden entrance on your right. Admission to the grounds is free (with a possible cost to larger groups) and it is open year-round during daylight hours. Tours are self-guided but walking tours can be arranged. Dogs on leashes are allowed. The gardens is owned and operated by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs and special events are held throughout the year including plant and yard sales. Weddings and special events can be held at the gardens and make use of the historic Reinhard House. Rates and information are available upon request. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 912-355-3883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bluffton resident Matt Richardson enjoys taking day trips with his family and exploring the Lowcountry. To see more pictures from his adventures, go to his Flickr page. He can be reached at email@example.com.