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  • Betty Girardeau

In Your Face


I am not sure I would have could ever have dreamed the morning that I spent at Magnolia Plantation a little over two years ago. I could never have imagined, much less dreamed, being in an environment where I often found myself surrounded by vibrant blooms that were totally surrounding me from head to toe. Often I felt like Alice in Wonderland because of the shear magnitude of these azalea bushes that were, quite literally, overflowing with blooms. I have never seen such colossal azalea bushes. Nor have I ever felt so totally surrounded by shear beauty. The first azaleas ever planted in an American garden were planted here in the 1840's. An article in Lady Baltimore magazine in 1906 described the gardens like this, " ... But no horticulture that I have seen devised by Mortal man approaches the unearthly enchantment of the azaleas at Magnolia gardens.” I couldn't agree more with this author. Every spring since my 2019 photo workshop in Charleston, as the azaleas in my neighborhood begin to bloom, I remember that magic morning in those gardens. I find myself going back to review the pictures that I took that day. I have been fortunate to have had many special times thanks to my passion for photography, but Magnolia Gardens in the spring is certainly at the top of my list. The Azalea Society of America feels much as I do about this place, saying on their website "Come and enjoy Magnolia's beautiful romantic gardens to renew your soul." Thank goodness there are places like this. And thank goodness I have been blessed to have been there.

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