Free Admission for Active Military
on Memorial Day
Free admission to Magnolia will be offered on Monday, May 27, to active duty military personnel and their immediate family to show our appreciation for what you've done for America. Free admission on Memorial Day only applies to the general garden admission and not the separate tours of the house, swamp garden, nature boat, nature train and "Slavery to Freedom" program. Valid active duty identification is required.
N.C. State University student
to intern at French gardens
Dana Reynolds, a master's degree student in horticultural science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, has been selected for a summer internship at French gardens.
A selection committee organized by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens recently chose Reynolds as the third American student for the program that was established in 2011 through the French Heritage Society Student Exchange Program.
Tom Johnson, Magnolia's executive director, said, "Ms. Reynolds is passionate about horticulture, and she has a clear vision of the career path she wants to follow in this exciting field. Given her enthusiasm for gardens, she will be an excellent ambassador for Magnolia as we continue to share American culture through horticulture."
Reynolds, who is expected to earn a master's degree in May, said, "I'm so excited! This opportunity to go to France is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I couldn't be happier about being chosen."
"I hope to benefit Magnolia Gardens by contributing to their research into pre-1900 varieties of camellias, and to further develop their relationship with the French Heritage Society," she said. "I hope to gain experience in garden administration from an international standpoint, which I will apply to my developing career in public garden administration in the United States or wherever my path may take me."
She received a biology degree in 2011 from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. Later that year, she interned at the Royal Botanic Garden at London, England. Reynolds, who hopes to become an executive director at a public garden, is a student member of the American Public Gardens Association. Magnolia is the only APGA member in South Carolina.
In addition to being fluent in French, Reynolds is also is semi-fluent in Japanese.
The internship program also has received support from the City of North Charleston, the Michaux Garden Committee of the Charleston Horticultural Society and the local chapter of the Alliance Francaise.
Katherine Reeves, a graduate of Trident Technical College, and Caroline Broder, a graduate of the University of Georgia, were the first two students selected for the internships.
The dates and locations for Reynolds' internship will be established soon by Diane de Roquette-Buisson, executive director of the French Heritage Society in Paris.
Last year, Broder interned at Chateau d'Acquigny near Evreux, Chateau de Brécy in Normandy, Chateau de Valmer near Tours and Chateau de Saint Marcel near Lyon.
British garden writer Marion Cran
praises Magnolia after 1930 visit
British garden writer Marion Cran, the first gardening correspondent for the BBC, visited Magnolia in 1930. Here's an excerpt of her impression of Magnolia. The excerpt appears in "Tales of the Rose Tree," by Jane Brown.
Magnolia Garden (no one would call their home Rhododendron!) was seen by the garden-traveller, Marion Cran, in 1930, despite her better judgment. She did not particularly like rhododendrons and azaleas, but felt thoroughly browbeaten by everyone – from New York to California – saying that she must see them, so she made her way back to Charleston. 'Azaleas had filled the town, but she had pre-booked so there was no escape; she felt garden indigestion coming on, maybe she would be disappointed. Her host Mr. Schuyler Parsons mused:
'Some people like Middleton best; but I advise you to see Magnolia first.'
'Yes, - it is called Magnolia garden, but it is famous for its azaleas'...
I grided up my loins and went.
I could hardly have approached one of the great emotional experiences of my life in a more ungracious mood ...
All that there is of rebel in me – all that tugs against the everlasting laid-out gardens, against the coerced corseted beauty of formal terraces...found kinship here...I stood at last in a garden of form purely informal – in that which I had longed for always and never found perfectly expressed... imagination of a delicacy and of a strength, in perfect sympathy with the spirit of its surroundings...
One has to imagine green lawns and winding paths, banks of camellia Japonica thirty feet high, towering trees hung with long trails of the green moss with golden Banksian roses, mauve and white wisterias, yellow jasmine and Cherokee roses sprawl-ing and scrambling...blood red camellias, snow drifts of dogwood, tender foliage of tulip tress, slender crepe myrtle and garlands of bridal wreath spirea, are there out-dazzled by the blazing banks of azaleas – and all reflected back from the clear, black water of the cypress ponds
John Drayton's garden was made from the inspiration of a tour of England and Europe and the works of Repton and le jardin anglias, but the warm South contrived an un-English potency. Marion Cran was shown around in the evening light by Drayton's grandson, a host 'who knew when to turn away and leave me alone'. She was, she said, 'not expecting furnaces of red twenty feet high'. Nor perhaps the 'wild tranquillity', the 'passionate peace'. Magnolia was 'made by a poet out of the stuff of dreams...the Mecca of all my garden wanderings: it is the place to which unknowing but obstinate I have striven all my days; among the great green oaks and seven veils of floating Spanish moss shines the Holy Grail. The heart of a man burns steadily there, on a furnace of colour in a garden shade.'
Marion Free Cran
Marion Free Cran had a garden called Coggers in Surrey, England, from 1910 until her death in 1942. She wrote popular books about gardening, including Gardens in America (1932). At the request of the Canadian government she visited Canada twice to report on their horticulture. Mrs. Cran founded the Garden Club in England.
She was the first gardening broadcaster for BBC. Cran referred constantly to her gardens at Steep Hill Cottage, near Farnham in Surrey, and at Coggers in the village of Benenden in Kent. She pontificated on the place of the British garden in national life, while offering few practical tips for gardeners. What was offered inevitably referred to soil and weather conditions in the south. With the opening of more regional output, from stations across the country, listeners began to demand more. She wrote prolifically on gardening though, often strongly linked with her personal life. The Story of My Ruin (1924) told the story of her garden at Benenden at the time of the break-up of her second marriage.
A tall bearded iris is named for Mrs. Marion Cran (AM RHS 1929).
"...if I wanted to have a happy garden, I must ally myself with my soil; study and help it to the utmost, untiringly...Always, the soil must come first." (If I Where Beginning Again)
"It is always exciting to open the door and go out into the garden for the first time on any day."
"If I had found a garden made of another dreamer's labour it would never have been so truly mine as that beggar-maid, that ragged waif of the hills which went royally decked in the jewels I toiled for and won for her out of the treasure chest of the Old Mother."
Books by Cran:
The Garden Beyond
Gardens in America
I Know a Garden
The Gardens of Good Hope
The Squabbling Garden
The Garden of Ignorance: The Experiences of a Woman in a Garden
The Garden of Experience
A Woman in Canada
Bedside Marion Cran: from the Writings of Marion Cran
Garden Wisdom: From the Writings of Marion Cran
The 2013 Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Photography Contest begins Friday, March 1.
The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers. All photos submitted to the contest, beginning April 1, must be taken at Magnolia and the Audubon Swamp Garden between March 1 and May 31.
Magnolia has organized the competition along with the Lowcountry Photographic Club. A $25 entry fee is required. Do not call the Magnolia ticket booth or office for contest details. To enter the contest and to obtain contest rules, go to www.lowcountryphotoclub.org.
Entries can be either color or black and white. Each photographer will only be allowed to enter two photographs. Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place finishers and 10 percent of the images that receive high scores will get honorable mentions. Entries must be emailed before midnight June 6 to email@example.com.
Non photographers must pay the $15 general garden admission. Participating photographers will be assigned an entry number issued by the club. To enter the gardens, the participating photographer must show their entry number along with photo identification.
Art Competition: Garden of Dreams
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Charleston Artist Guild will award a top prize of $3,000 to the best painting that embodies the impressionistic style of painters during the Charleston Renaissance.
This nationwide contest – Gardens of Dreams – is open to original artwork created and conceived by the entrants that depicts a scene at Magnolia Gardens.
Other cash prizes are: $1,000 second place; $500 third place; and five honorable mentions, $100 each.
The entry fee is $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional painting. There is no limit to the number of entries.
Sept. 10 is the deadline to enter. Show dates are November 10-24, 2013. Art selected for the judging will be displayed at the Charleston Visitor Center and The Carriage House at Magnolia.
This year, the Guild celebrates its 60th anniversary. It has grown from its seven founding members to more than 500 artists. The Guild organizes workshops for its members and lectures for collectors. The Guild's gallery at 160 East Bay St. exhibits for sale the art of about 70 artists.
The competition is the brainchild of John Drayton Hastie Jr., who sits on the seven-member board that owns Magnolia. Hastie is supporting the competition to encourage artists to paint scenes of Magnolia's gardens in the style of Charleston Renaissance artists Elizabeth O'Neill Verner and William Halsey, who in 1953 were among the Guild's founding members.
Ron Gibb, the Guild's president, said "Magnolia Plantation is truly a garden of dreams and each artist in this competition will bring the romantic Renaissance era to life on their canvas for everyone in the country to enjoy."
Tom Johnson, Magnolia's executive director, said the Garden of Dreams competition "presents an excellent opportunity for us to attract artists from around the country and pay homage to a historic period in Charleston's art history."
Details on how to enter Garden of Dreams is posted on the Guild’s website: www.charlestonartistguild.com.
CLICK HERE for a Garden of Dreams entry form
and complete guidelines and details.
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