Monday, June 13, 2011

Middleton Place

While visiting the South we just had to visit a Plantation, so we went to Middleton Place. No relation to the newest British Princess that we know of. Near the entrance there is a large rectangle reflecting pool where a couple of swans reside. 

The “big house” had damage during the Civil War, and was rebuilt only to burn in a fire a decade or so later, so there are piles of crumbling brick but the surrounding gardens were kept up and there are nice walking paths leading to secret gardens and too many varieties of plants to count. Some of the gardens showcase beautiful statues which were donations to the plantation in later years. Along some of the paths bamboo was growing. It is a great climate for it, where rice used to be the primary crop.  

The hydrangeas were in bloom and we saw cranes and turtles as well as a couple of baby alligators. They also had several farm animals on the grounds, a safe distance from the alligators. Spanish moss hung from many of the trees.

look closely... is that a log or an alligator?

We visited the chapel which was built for the slaves and open to the entire community. It was extremely small and it was moving to think of the people that were so grateful for that meager space to worship. There is an area where a house was built during reconstruction for former slaves to live and it is fascinating to think about how the way of life in the region changed so dramatically during their lifetimes. 

Overall we would recommend visiting Middleton Place to learn not only about the history of plantation life but to get lost in the beautiful marriage of European inspired gardens and the nature of the low country.

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