Live Oak Allée at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South CarolinaAtlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places

Cryptids | August 18, 2023

Live Oak Allée at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South CarolinaAtlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places

Whoever planted the allée of live oaks adorning today’s Brookgreen Gardens had some amazing forethought, since these 250- to 300-year-old specimens now serve as a welcoming entry to what’s become the largest collection of American figurative sculpture displayed outdoors in the country. This natural alleyway of breathtaking live oak (Quercus virginiana) trees—planted in the 1700s—is part of a 9,127-acre natural and cultivated landscape that’s considered the “floral jewel of South Carolina’s coast,” and are considered a work of art in themselves. 
American philanthropist and Hispanic studies scholar founded Brookgreen Gardens in the early 1930s, though he originally purchased the property as a place for place for his wife, noted sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington (her Joan of Arc statue in Manhattan’s Riverside Park was the city’s first public statue of a real woman, and it was sculpted by a woman to boot) to recover from tuberculosis. 
Live Oak Allée even alters its appearance depending on the time of year. During the garden’s Summer Light: Art by Night (which includes a display of nine light installations that illuminate the property on various evenings throughout June, July, and August), an array of bright hues transform the allée into a magical wonderland. During the winter holidays’ Nights of a Thousand Candles, multitudes of sparkling lights dangle from its tree branches. Then there are the seemingly endless array of caladiums—plants with multicolored leaves in shades of green, pink, red, striped, and speckled—that members of the Horticulture staff and volunteers plant beneath the trees each May. With them, Live Oak Allée becomes a flora-filled extravaganza. 
In general, live oaks like the ones in Brookgreen Gardens are distinguishable by their massive size, and the fact that they’re always losing and replacing new leaves, so that they never go dormant. 
They’re also naturally hung with Spanish moss, a stunning feature that gives the space an ethereal quality, making this tunnel-like pathway feel like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Not to mention the perfect place to escape the summer heat. 
Along with Live Oak Allée, Brookgreen Gardens are home to more than 2,000 sculptural works ranging from marble to wood, as well as a labyrinth, butterfly garden, and a Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve where you’ll find alligators, red fox, and river otters.

Whoever planted the allée of live oaks adorning today’s Brookgreen Gardens had some amazing forethought, since these 250- to 300-year-old specimens now serve as a welcoming entry to what’s become the largest collection of American figurative sculpture displayed outdoors in the country. This natural alleyway of breathtaking live oak (Quercus virginiana) trees—planted in the 1700s—is part of a 9,127-acre natural and cultivated landscape that’s considered the “floral jewel of South Carolina’s coast,” and are considered a work of art in themselves. 

American philanthropist and Hispanic studies scholar founded Brookgreen Gardens in the early 1930s, though he originally purchased the property as a place for place for his wife, noted sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington (her Joan of Arc statue in Manhattan’s Riverside Park was the city’s first public statue of a real woman, and it was sculpted by a woman to boot) to recover from tuberculosis. 

Live Oak Allée even alters its appearance depending on the time of year. During the garden’s Summer Light: Art by Night (which includes a display of nine light installations that illuminate the property on various evenings throughout June, July, and August), an array of bright hues transform the allée into a magical wonderland. During the winter holidays’ Nights of a Thousand Candles, multitudes of sparkling lights dangle from its tree branches. Then there are the seemingly endless array of caladiums—plants with multicolored leaves in shades of green, pink, red, striped, and speckled—that members of the Horticulture staff and volunteers plant beneath the trees each May. With them, Live Oak Allée becomes a flora-filled extravaganza. 

In general, live oaks like the ones in Brookgreen Gardens are distinguishable by their massive size, and the fact that they’re always losing and replacing new leaves, so that they never go dormant. 

They’re also naturally hung with Spanish moss, a stunning feature that gives the space an ethereal quality, making this tunnel-like pathway feel like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Not to mention the perfect place to escape the summer heat. 

Along with Live Oak Allée, Brookgreen Gardens are home to more than 2,000 sculptural works ranging from marble to wood, as well as a labyrinth, butterfly garden, and a Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve where you’ll find alligators, red fox, and river otters.

Spread the love