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Kalmia Gardens, Hartsville

(4.8/5 based on 45 reviews on the web)
Kalmia Gardens is a mature botanical garden located at 1624 West Carolina Avenue, Hartsville, South Carolina. Part of Coker College, it is open daily without admission.The gardens were established in the early 1930s by Mrs. David R. Coker on the land, which had become a neglected dump. Mrs. Coker made trails, dug a pond, and planted ornamental species including azaleas, camellias, tea olives, and wisteria. In 1935 she opened the gardens to the public, and in 1965 she gave them to Coker College. The centerpiece of the gardens is the Thomas Hart House, built in the 1820s, and the home of the town's founder. It and the gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places.Kalmia Gardens encompasses a blackwater swamp along Black Creek, and uplands of pine, oak, and holly. Due to its unique geology, being situated on a 60-foot north-facing bluff, it has an abundance of naturally-occurring mountain-laurel Kalmia latifolia. The namesake plant blooms in great profusion in May. Other montane plants grow together with coastal plain plants, making for a unique assemblage of flora. Many animal species live in the dense woodlands as well, and Kalmia Gardens is well known as an excellent birding spot.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • What a great afternoon escape into the forest any time of the year. The bridges and scenery were nice and well kept. Beautiful front gates. Onsite artisan well.  more »
  • The garden was a great afternoon trip. Grounds were very well taken care of and the walking paths were great as well. I will be visiting it again and trying the long trail next time  more »
  • I love the beautiful flowers in the spring at Kalmia gardens. Beautiful place to take pictures. Highly recommend!  more »
Google
  • Beautiful for events like weddings and class trips or just taking a walk in nature. Many paths and open from dawn to dusk. Doesn't get much better.
  • great photo spot - trail system behind it, beautiful when everything is in bloom good venue for events.
  • The trail at Kalmia Gardens is simply amazing. There is so much to see along this trail, not to mention it extends into the Heritage Trail loop. This makes for a very nice day hike if you are in the area. I covered about a 5 mile loop. Highly recommended if you are in the Hartsville area.
  • Gorgeous gardens and paths!
  • My favorite place to get away for half an hour.