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Swan Lake Iris Gardens — Sumter, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Sumter County  |  Swan Lake Iris Gardens


18 Best South Carolina Gifts Ever
Swan Lake Iris Gardens

What do you get when you throw yard debris into a nearby swamp? Hamilton Carr Bland got Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, one of the country’s finest botanical gardens and the only public park in the United States with all eight species of swan.

Swan Lake Sumter

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1927 Bland began developing 30 acres of land. He wanted to create a garden but had no luck cultivating irises.

Swan lake Iris Gardens

Blake Lewis of Sumter, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Eventually, he and his gardener dug up the plantings and tossed them into the swamp. By springtime, an abundance of irises adorned the swamp’s banks, and Bland Gardens were born.

Swan Lake Bridge

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Bland was well known for his landscaping talents, and in 1938 A.T. Heath, Sr., insisted that Bland design his land, Heath Gardens, before donating it to the city as a public park. In 1949 Bland also deeded his gardens to the city, and together they became known as Swan Lake Iris Gardens.

Swan Lake Recovery Statue

Greg McGill, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The park includes a Braille Trail for the sight-impaired, a Butterfly Garden, and a Chocolate Garden, which is as savory as it sounds. Comprised of chocolate-hued edible flora, the Chocolate Garden teaches visitors that flowers can appeal to more than just the eye.

Swan Lake Sumter County

Sara Dean of Moncks Corner, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of Swan Lake Iris Gardens


Gazebo at Swan Lake Iris Gardens

Donna Edgeworth of Scranton, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Swan Family

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Swan Lake Gardens

Linda Brown of Kingstree, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Swan Lake

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Japanese Gazebo Swan Lake Iris Gardens

Donna Edgeworth of Scranton, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Swan Lake Fountain

Linda Brown of Kingstree, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Swan Lake Iris Gardens Info


Address: 822 West Liberty Street, Sumter, SC 29150
GPS Coordinates: 33.917263,-80.370354
Website: http://www.sumtersc.gov/swan-lake-iris-gardens.aspx

Swan Lake Iris Gardens Map

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3 Comments about Swan Lake Iris Gardens

SCIWAY says:
August 31st, 2015 at 6:45 am

Sort of… it is an industrial farm called Garnay, Inc., not a naturally occurring forest.

Linda Melancon says:
August 29th, 2015 at 10:32 am

I read in Southern Living Magazine that there was the largest Gingko Forest in the world in Sumter, S.C. I cannot find anything about it at any Sumter website. Does this exist?

Carole (Alston) says:
January 20th, 2014 at 11:26 pm

How do I find information of African- Americans living and working in Sumter (Horatio), SC during the period from 1830 through 1920?
Thank you.




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