Magnolia Plantation

Tom JohnsonWelcome to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. My name is Tom Johnson and I am the Director of Gardens here at Magnolia. I would like to personally invite you to visit us. Magnolia is one of the last large scale Romantic Gardens left in the United States. The Romantic Garden movement has its roots in the industrial revolution in Europe, and is tied directly to the empowerment of the common man. When he went to work in the factories, He wanted to design gardens that would help him forget the dreary life offered during the workday. I like to tell that the definition of a romantic garden is an "Extravagant Liar". Truly, this is what a romantic garden is designed to do, to "lie" you into forgetting the normality of everyday life. Romantic Gardens are designed to take the viewer to a place where emotion takes precedent over reason. Surprise awaits around every corner. Form, balance and symmetry are thrown to the wind and these gardens are designed to appeal directly to the soul.

In a Romantic Garden one can never use anything that would remind you of every day life. The paths are always slightly overgrown, and the walks are gravel or dirt. They bend around the garden in a seemingly unending voyage and present the visitor with surprise and misdirection, all of which are important to helping one to forget his life outside the garden. Many types of plants and flora adorn the paths. We have one of the largest and most important collections of ancient camellias in the country. Many varieties of older camellias can be seen here that cannot be found anywhere else. The azalea collection is unequaled anywhere, and we have installed a new garden of native azaleas.

The seasons here at magnolia offer something special, no matter what time of the year you visit. This is nature at its best. You can enjoy the azaleas in spring, the hydrangeas in summer, the camellias in fall and winter among many other plants. Alligators swim in the pond and many species of birds offer surprise sightings. I hope you will take the time to enjoy the Romantic Gardens here at Magnolia. They are a different style of garden, but this is the style I personally prefer. I never cared for a garden that resembled little tin soldiers in a row. A Romantic Garden is the style I envision Eden would have been.

I invite you to come visit us and renew your soul - even if only for a short time.

If you have any questions regarding the gardens here at Magnolia Plantation or horticultural questions in general, I invite you to contact me directly. My email address is and I will do my best to answer them.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or if I can help make your visit more enjoyable.

Tom Johnson