Friday, July 18, 2008

Loose with cameras in Brookgreen

One of my favorite parts of the week away was the day at a place I have loved for years, Brookgreen Gardens. Brookgreen is an outdoor sculpture garden, "the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting in the world," the website says. I have happy memories of visits there as a child. Now as an adult and a gardener, I love it even more. It is a garden like no other with reminders of its plantation past in the 250 year old live oaks draped in Spanish moss and more recent additions of beautifully designed, overflowing perennial beds that frame sculptures, large and small. There are fountains and pools, quiet nooks and long vistas. It is a place you have to visit. My descriptions do not do it justice. My dad said, as we strolled along under the oaks, "I never tire of this place." Neither do I, Daddy.

My mom, thinking I needed a little time away from the crowd, suggested that I head to Brookgreen alone. I agreed and packed up my paints and journal, planning to spend the day wandering and painting. But then, I felt a little bad...like, why should I go and enjoy all that loveliness and not share it with everyone else for the day? Not knowing if the boys would be interested, I asked if they'd like to go along. The answer was a unanimous yes. I'm sure my dad's offer to treat everyone to lunch at Prosser's was incentive, too.

When we arrived at Brookgreen, we passed out cameras to the guys. Kennan had his own and an extra to share, Joel took mine, and Daddy gave an extra to Andrew. I encouraged the boys to take close-up shots as well as full views of scenes and sculptures. We set a meeting time and place and let the boys loose to wander. Well!! Those boys took off and spent two and a half hours walking around the gardens, looking, admiring, and snapping pictures. At one point, Daddy and I met up with Kennan, who enthralled with it all, said, "This is a photographer's playground."
Indeed! The guys had so much fun and were delighted with their photographs. I share a few of our favorites below.



old brick walls and older trees


I love the contrast here of curving live oak branches with straight palm trunk


Pegasus, the largest sculpture in the collection, by Laura Gardin Fraser.


an old grindstone from the plantation days


Frog baby, in the Children's Peace Garden




strolling the shaded paths


Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens




Isn't this place an amazing conjoining of art and garden? The boys were certainly inspired and look forward to returning...maybe as much as I do.

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