Azaleas in bloom at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina
© Joanne Wells/Danita Delimon
Pretty in pink, and purple, and red…
Azaleas in peak bloom provide the main attraction in March at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1676 as a rice plantation, Magnolia introduced an extensive network of dams and dikes built along the Ashley River for irrigating fields for rice cultivation. Botanical gardens were an early feature of the plantation; some sections of Magnolia's gardens date back 325 years. In the 1840s, the owner was the first in America to try planting azaleas outdoors, bringing them south from Philadelphia greenhouses.