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SC Botanical Garden

A Walk Through History

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.

Class of ‘39 Caboose

stationary caboose in the south carolina botanical gardenIn 1972, Southern Railway donated a recently retired caboose, SOU-X-3164, to serve as an attraction at the Clemson Horticultural Garden (which later became SCBG). The caboose was given, upon request, to Marguerite “Reet” Senn, who then donated it to the garden on behalf of the Class of 1939. This donation set in motion the development of our series of garden spaces dedicated to the history of the University, including the Cadet Life Garden and President’s Garden.

Nature Based Sculpture Program

stone dome, art sculpture

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Nature-Based Sculpture Program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden resulted in the construction of 16 prominent artworks, each developed with natural materials and living plants to suit their unique sites. The sculptures were designed to evolve through the natural processes of decay and growth.

The extended-ephemeral pieces were each designed on-site by international artists and built by local volunteers and students within one month. Upon their completion, the pieces began to return to nature, so while many may still be found in the Garden, others have disappeared without a trace.

Hunt Cabin

hunt cabin in the woods at the sc botanical garden

This cabin, originally located in Seneca, SC, was the home of Ransom and Martha Hunt who were well-to-do farmers with over 8,000 acres of land. This residence was constructed by enslaved people in 1835 using hewn logs and chinking. The cabin was moved to the garden in the mid-1960s as part of the Pioneer Garden that existed at that time. Although the cabin typically remains closed, we do open it for weekend programs from time to time. Check our Event Calendar for the next Hunt Cabin Open House.

South Carolina Botanical Garden
South Carolina Botanical Garden | 150 Discovery Lane Clemson, SC 29634