Cypress Gardens

Luke and I spent the Thanksgiving weekend in South Carolina with our parents. It was so nice to have both sides of the family there to celebrate. After two days of my mom’s amazing home cooking, we all piled into the car and drove east to the coast.

I’ve wanted to visit Cypress Gardens ever since reading this blog post. The Gardens were everything I was hoping for and more! Beautiful weather, no crowds (thank you, Black Friday), and an abundance of flora and fauna.

First stop, the Butterfly House. Their winter butterflies were small and striped, and were largely attracted to these two varieties of fun flowers:

Inside the Butterfly House

Onion-y flowers

Back outside, a nice walking trail follows along rows and rows of Cypress trees. I was delighted to learn that these trees grow “knees” that stick out above their roots.

Cypress tree “knees”

Changing leaves and more “knees”

The highlight of the Gardens is definitely the free boat rentals. Luke, Paul, Tom and I cruised through the swamps on the lookout for alligators (none, phew!) and other swampy wildlife. It was magical to traverse through the tree mazes in complete silence except for an occasional oar in the water.

Paddling through the Cypress swamps

How many vultures can you find? Hint: There are a lot. Creepy.

Spanish moss

Our crew – Luke, Tom, and Paul

The main blooming flower for this time of year is the Camellia. While several of the trees were just starting to bud, we found a few that had already come alive.

Camellia in the sunlight

Luke, Paul, and Suzanne in the Camellia Garden

Carla, Stephanie and Tom in the Camellia Garden

A lovely day!

More to come on our adventures in Charleston!

One thought on “Cypress Gardens

  1. Stephanie,

    Love your smile! Sounds like ya’ll had fun!! Glad you missed the gators. If you like gardens, check out Dumbarton Oaks next time you’re in DC in the spring. I loved to go there as a kid. The garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand. It is fabulous! We had a beautiful sunny day here in ND, got up to 14 whole degrees.

    Love to you both,

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