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Edisto Memorial Gardens — Orangeburg, South Carolina

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Edisto Memorial Gardens

Edisto Memorial Gardens in Orangeburg is an exquisite road trip destination for any South Carolinian all year round. When the gardens were first established in the 1920s, azaleas were planted on just five acres of land. Since then the gardens have blossomed to encompass 175 acres and showcase azaleas, camellias, roses, and centuries-old cypress trees.

Edisto Memorial Gardens

Kent Rowell of Gaston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Located at the site of a confrontation between the Confederate and Union armies that took place towards the end of the Civil War, Edisto Memorial Gardens – named for the Edisto River that runs alongside it – added its now-famous roses in 1951.

Edisto Memorial Gardens Sign

Ginger Parker of Orangeburg, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The rose garden became an All-American Rose Selections test garden in 1973 and features new varieties and award-winning roses. The Orangeburg Festival of Roses is held here in May of each year. Admission is free and the gardens are open seven days a week.

Edisto Memorial Gardens

Tripp Miller of Orangeburg, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The sculpture pictured below depicts a child handing a rose to a woman. Titled Power of a Rose by Zan Wells, it was added to the rose garden in 2006.

Power of a Rose

Ginger Parker of Orangeburg, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Horne Wetlands Park

In 1992 Edisto Memorial Gardens added a feature allowing visitors to walk through the idyllic wetlands of the Edisto River by constructing a 2,600-foot-long boardwalk and an educational center, together called the Horne Wetlands Park.

Edisto Memorial Gardens

Kent Rowell of Gaston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A boat dock allows visitors to experience the river itself, and a gazebo provides shade and a place to observe the wildlife that calls the river home.

Edisto Memorial Gardens in Fall

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

River Pavilion

The old River Pavilion, now known as the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center, is home to the Art Council of Orangeburg County. The center offers a wealth of cultural and artistic activities for the public to enjoy, including theatrical performances and classes in visual, performance, and literary arts.

Edisto River Pavilion

Ginger Parker of Orangeburg, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Edisto River Waterwheel

This unique waterwheel was added in 1941 by Orangeburg Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Andrew Dibble. Over the decades, the 4,000-pound wheel has become a favorite fixture for many of the park’s more frequent visitors. The waterwheel is dependent on neither electricity nor the level of the river, and it once provided fresh water to the gardens. Since then, pumps have been added, but the waterwheel still serves as a functional and fascinating backup. In June of 2012 a tree fell and crushed the waterwheel; however, after three months of repairs, the idyllic icon was returned to its original spot.

Edisto Memorial Gardens Waterwheel

Steve Rich of Aiken © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Photographer Ginger Parker shares her memories of swimming near this spot as a child: “The cold dark Edisto River. When we were young in the ’60s and ’70s this is where we swam. Most everyone took swimming lessons from Mrs. Skip Mutch. We had to jump off the dock and swim across the river. Her most famous line was,”jump, I won’t let you drown”. Some of us still think that part of the river should be named for her.”

Edisto River

Ginger Parker of Orangeburg, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Memorial Fountain

This fountain stands at the entrance to Edisto Memorial Gardens where it honors the soldiers who died in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Originally located in Orangeburg’s Memorial Plaza, it was moved here in 1950. This same year the gardens changed its name from Edisto Gardens to Edisto Memorial Gardens.

Edisto Memorial Garden Orangeburg

Andy Hunter of Denmark, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Veterans Memorial Park

The Veterans Memorial Park, dedicated on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2009, is the most recent addition to this ever-evolving urban garden. This monument memorializes all those from South Carolina who have served in the military.

Veterans Memorial Park

Thomas Connor of Eutawville, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Edisto Memorial Gardens Info

Address: 250 Riverside Drive, Orangeburg, SC 29118
GPS Coordinates: 33.485699,-80.871033
Website: http://www.orangeburg.sc.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=70

Edisto Memorial Gardens Map

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7 Comments about Edisto Memorial Gardens

Sylvia Stone says:
April 3rd, 2019 at 7:26 am

Please inform me of the stage of the azaleas. Are they peak or passed peak?

SCIWAY says:
February 22nd, 2018 at 11:05 pm

The festival for the blooming of the roses is held the weekend before Mother’s Day every year. More information can be found on the official site, http://www.orangeburg.sc.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=70.

mary shilts says:
February 21st, 2018 at 10:56 am

Please send information regarding when roses will be in full bloom, thank you_

Ashlie says:
July 8th, 2016 at 6:19 pm

I was wondering if you do weddings there?

Brenda Corley says:
March 14th, 2016 at 6:41 pm

When will the roses be in full bloom there? wmcbbc@aol.co.

Shirlean Williams says:
May 2nd, 2013 at 8:43 am

I am planning on coming to your garden show this Saturday and I would like to know how to get there from Hopkins, SC. I would also like to know how to get there and if you are selling any plants. I am looking for some different kind of plants for my garden. Are there going to be any vendors selling food? I have never been, so I can’t wait until Saturday.

Bobby says:
May 15th, 2012 at 9:30 am

These are really pretty!

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