The summer heat might have dimmed the blooms of many of the thousands of roses at Edisto Memorial Garden
, but the beauty of the park is undiminished year-round.
The gardens are the site of the S.C. Festival of Roses
at the end of April every year, when thousands of visitors come to Orangeburg
to walk among the 4,000 rose plants. Those roses include about 75 varieties, many of them All America Rose Selections, on the park’s 150 acres. Earlier each spring, the gardens are an explosion of color when the azaleas lining the boulevard that curves through the gardens are in bloom.
Year-round, however, visitors can stroll through the gardens and along the boardwalk of the Horne Wetlands Park, which runs from the rose garden to the Edisto River
. The wetlands park features an arts center containing educational materials about wetlands plant and animal life and the vital role wetlands play for the health of the environment.
Visitors are invited to visit the gardens’ Centennial Park, a landscaped area that features plazas, gazebos and a fountain.
The gardens were first developed in the 1920s with a few azaleas on about five acres of land. Over time the site grew, with the first rose garden being planted in 1951. The memorial fountain was moved to the entrance to the gardens in the early 1950s to remember those who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.
If you’re going:
Edisto Memorial Gardens are located at 250 Riverside Drive, Orangeburg. The gardens are open from dawn to dusk, and the arts center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.