Japanese garden

The Red Bridge in Spring

The Red Bridge in Spring

Spring colors and the red bridge in Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Charleston in the spring is a beautiful place. There are many public locations that are free to visit and gorgeous to behold. There are also private homes and gardens that are open for tours that are also worth visiting. Many of those are located on Ashley River Road northwest of Charleston. They are all beautiful in their own way but my personal favorite is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

Although the house is not original, the gardens are laid out as they were originally designed. Located on the Ashley River, it’s not hard to imagine crops being harvested, boats sailing up and down the river, and the ladies and gentlemen of the area strolling the garden paths. Knowing that some of the trees were planted in pre-revolutionary times makes me pause and think about all that has happened on this land in the past 300 or more years.

The gardens are composed of multiple smaller sections that are tied together with a series of crushed gravel paths. One of my favorite sections is the Japanese garden. There are many bridges in the gardens, but only this one is painted a vibrant red. I spent thirty minutes or so composing scenes that include the red bridge. After reviewing them all, I think this is my favorite. This is the scene as viewed when first encountering the bridge coming from the entrance to the gardens. I love how the bridge leads my eye into the scene with azaleas in bloom, spanish moss dripping from the trees, and the whole scene reflected in the still pond water.

I’ve included another view from the other side of the bridge below. They’re both beautiful and make me long for the colors of spring that are now nearly a year away. Enjoy.

Azalea and Red Bridge

An azalea blooms alongside the red bridge in beautiful Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina

The Japanese Garden in Butchart Gardens

Japanese Garden

A footpath over water in the Japanese Garden section of Butchart Gardens

Perhaps my second favorite section of Butchart Gardens was the Japanese Garden. It was amazing to descend into an area of the gardens so completely different from everything else we had experienced. I’m still amazed at the variety of plants able to grow on Vancouver Island. In my previous way of thinking, it would simply be too cold that far north to support flora that I had associated with warmer climes. The Japanese garden was complete with all the artifacts that one would normally associate with a Japanese landscape. The architecture, sculpture, water features, and, of course, the plants themselves felt authentic.

This simple stone path set over a shallow pond just caught my eye. I love the curve of the path and the abundance of color in the surrounding landscape. Something about this image is soothing to me. It conveys a sense of Asian design that is totally consistent with a Japanese garden. I also love the following image. The graceful curve of the bridge is interesting enough, but the bright red color makes the image very appealing. Hopefully the images conjure up the same sensation viewing them as they did actually experiencing them. Enjoy.

Red Bridge in Butchart Gardens

A red bridge crosses a stream in the Japanese Garden section of Butchart Gardens