There is stillness in the marsh as winter begins to yield to the caresses of spring and the low country creatures begin to stir, to tilt sedated attention to the tasks of advancing life. The ancient oaks drip with creativity and Spanish moss. Water runs deep and slow connecting statuary fountains to rice fields. Nowhere am I more at home than in the space of land that rests between the low country swamps and the sand of the shore. No place better represents that ancestral space than Brookgreen Gardens. 

Today’s Sunday Coffee Cup is from my favorite place in South Carolina. Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State park rest now on what was once the South Carolina plantation home of Anna Hyatt and Archer Milton Huntington. The Huntingtons were amazing artists of word and form.

The Brookgreen Gardens website describes them:  “Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. The Huntingtons first visited the property in 1929. They were captivated by the Carolina Lowcountry with its undulating rivers and shadowy swamplands, sandy pine forests, sweeping marsh vistas and stately moss-draped oaks. So, the philanthropist and his beloved sculptor wife bought Brookgreen Plantation and the three adjoining properties, amassing 9,127 acres of forest, swamp, rice fields and beachfront.

Originally, their plan was to establish a winter home overlooking the wide, blue Atlantic, but the beauty and history of the land quickly transformed their modest intention into something more grand. In 1931, they organized a non-profit institution with a lofty mission: providing a showcase for American figurative sculpture within a refuge for native plants and animals. A year later, they opened Brookgreen to the public. It is the first sculpture garden in the United States and designated as a National Historic Landmark.”

Brookgreen Gardens - here you will find towering statuary, bold flowers and courageous creatures – all demanding the art from within you. One sip of this place will capture you and I’m sipping the South today and stirring in a spoonful of artistic passion for this Sunday morning.  Care to join me?