About Us

A Garden For Life

The South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG), located on the campus of Clemson University, is a diverse 295-acre garden of natural and manicured landscapes within the South Carolina Piedmont ecosystem. Together with a nationally recognized nature-based sculpture collection, distinguished education and outreach programs and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, the SCBG is a premier site for experiencing nature and culture.

What began in 1958 as a camellia preserve on a small parcel of land adjacent to John C. Calhoun's 19th century Fort Hill estate has since grown to 295 acres of cultivated landscapes and natural woodlands. Designated as the State's botanical garden in 1992, the Garden is at the intersection of Highway 76 and Pearman Boulevard at Clemson University. Visitors are welcome free of charge, every day, dawn to dusk.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden offers monthly First Friday Nature Walks for adults, as well as a variety of cultural and educational programs for children and families throughout the year. The Nature-based Sculpture Collection has gained international recognition. Year-round programs for adults focus on sustainable gardening and natural history. Spring and Fall Plant Sales feature unusual landscape plants for Southeastern gardens with knowledgeable staff and volunteers on hand to help with plant selection.

The Garden is accessible by paths and trails, many of which are hard-surfaced. History buffs will enjoy the Hanover House (ca. 1716) and the Hunt Family Cabin (ca. 1826). Art connoisseurs will want to experience the Garden's collection of site-specific, nature-based sculptures and the art galleries in the Fran Hanson Visitor's Center. Other points of interest include the many demonstration gardens, such as the Camellia Garden, Wildlife Habitat Garden, Xeriscape Garden, Hosta Garden, 70-acre Schoenike Arboretum, Heritage Gardens and nature trails.

Also within the Garden, the Bob Campbell Geology Museum is open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm and is home to an extensive collection of gems, minerals and fossils of the region. The Geology Museum boasts an elaborate fluorescent mineral display room and has the only saber-toothed cat exhibit in the Southeast. Visit the Geology Museum's website for more information.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a 295-acre garden and natural area that is a refuge for life. We exist for enjoyment and education and are available and accessible to all people. Our grounds are open and free-of-charge 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset.

Vision

To be a world-class botanical garden, a space that provides a sanctuary for diversity by celebrating and fostering all forms of life and engaging people in the living world.

Mission

To serve as a holistically managed landscape fostering a healthy ecosystem and experience for the public; while serving as an interdisciplinary resource focusing on teaching, research and outreach that advances awareness and understanding of our plants, animals, minerals, and our culture.

Core Values

The South Carolina Botanical Garden is committed to: 

Public Service – The primary charge of the SCBG is to provide an inviting, beautiful and safe environment that serves our visitors and increases the quality of life for all. Our primary goal is to get people outside. This is critical for physical health, to foster creativity and ingenuity, for mental health, for learning intricacies of our living world and to strengthen our country. If a visitor never reads a label, never reads a sign or never listens to a word from our educators, they will still experience the living world.

Nurturing Life – The SCBG is committed to operating in a manner that nurtures human life and the life of all of the inhabitants of our world in a manner that best protects diversity; diversity of species, diversity of cultures, diversity of all life. Our holistic approach to management will do its best to ask the question of what is the best choice for life before we act.

Lifelong Learning – The SCBG is committed to providing world-class educational outreach and opportunities through public classes, engagement with Clemson University classes, and interpretation of exhibits and special events. We believe we exist to teach but also to continue to learn ourselves. We will foster continuing education for our staff and continuously change our management goals to reflect the most recent and appropriate techniques to achieve our mission.

Promoting Healthy Landscapes, Native Plants and Resource-Wise Plantings – As a holistic garden, we strive to provide an excellent example to the public of resource-wise, healthy landscapes that foster diversity. We are committed to providing a center forlearning and promoting our southeastern native plants, as well as those plants that provide valuable ecosystem services and are well-adapted and resource-wise in our managed landscapes. We are committed to controlling and reducing the negative impact of invasive species in our ecosystem.

Fostering Research – The SCBG is committed to fostering collaboration and research on horticulture, sustainability, biodiversity management, taxonomy, conservation, environmental science and any other mission-centered related field using our grounds, our organisms and our talent. Research must be in line with the mission, vision and goals of the SCBG.

Educating People on the Importance of Individual Choice in All We Do – Everything we do at the SCBG eventually ends up being about the lasting impact every one of us has on the world around us forever. We live the legacy we leave. All aspects of our work are centered on the importance of making responsible choices and the interconnection of man and the rest of the world. You are important. “Throw down a shell and change the world” is a motto of the Natural Heritage Garden and an important lesson for all of us.