Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Visit to the Gardens of Columbia South Carolina’s Robert Mills House

Late in March I drove downtown to visit Columbia’s Robert Mills House. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays each week for guided tours, and I hadn’t been for more than twenty years.
x140320 Robert Mills House Gardens (4)
[A full-sized version of each photo is available with a click of your mouse.]
Well, come to find out, photographs aren’t allowed inside the house. A sensible precaution when displaying delicate antiques. But a house tour without photos didn’t make much sense for this blog. Instead, since I was already there, I wandered around the springtime garden.
x01 140320 Robert Mills House front view.
That was the first of two visits to enjoy this remarkable green space smack dab in the middle of downtown Columbia. What a display! I’ve got to find out more about how this complex facility is managed and maintained.
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I don’t know enough about gardens or gardening to write sensibly about it. So, here are a few photos to give you a hint of the treat in store should your travels bring you to or near downtown Columbia.
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The house is impressive even from the outside. Surrounding trees have had time adequate to grow to the point they look as if they belong. They’ve all been skillfully pruned and maintained.

This is the rear of the house. No wonder Columbia’s Robert Mills House has become a popular venue for weddings. During my last visit workmen were erecting an enormous tent for such an event just to the right of the tree you see above.

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Blossoms vary according to time of year, of course. That’s a plum tree at peak bloom beside the carriage house. And here are a few of the more impressive examples in bloom during one of my visits.

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There were many more, but time was limited.
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Shrubs and hedges too have been beautifully designed and maintained throughout the gardens. Who in the world does all of the work? I’ll have to find out.

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Benches like these are scattered throughout the grounds. They’re much more comfortable for ElderVisitors than the usual stone slabs. Stone slabs are impressive. But not very comfortable. I took full advantage!
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So, there you have it. A few glimpses of the wonders of the gardens surrounding Columbia’s Robert Mills House. That, I believe, is the Hampton-Preston Mansion just across the street. An adventure for another day.


  1. How beautiful and charming! I definitely plan to visit as soon as possible. Thank you for the wonderful introduction.

  2. What a beautiful and charming place! I definitely plan to visit as soon as possible.