Picture sprawling green grassland, stone walled gardens, cultivated flowerbeds and looming metal sculptured figures every 20 strides or so. Further away, a zoo of domestic 18th century farm animals roam behind fences, and waterfowl flitter about in the aviary.
This is Brookgreen Gardens, a privately owned outdoor art park open to the public in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
(Check out our dog-friendly Mrytle Beach fun).
Established in 1931 by Archer and Anna Huntington, has its own small zoo of indigenous wild animals, butterfly conservatory and pontoon boat tour.
Spend an afternoon here easily – you’re far from revving motorcycles and beer pong. Brookgreen is a sanctuary in an area known for the annual ‘bike week’ when throngs of motorcyclists descend in this coastal tourist destination.
Open green spaces, a shuttle bus scuttling visitors between sections, carved hedge garden enclosures create picture perfect moments. Paths meandering between 2000 sculptures dotting the property seem ideal for strolling a leashed dog. Yet my Victor isn’t allowed. No dogs are allowed. (But check out Victor’s other adventures in Myrtle Beach).
You can see a few dog sculptures, though – definitely highlights of the collection mainly because each has a story.
Here are my favourites:
Bates College Memorial Dog (Bronze 1991) – Bates College commissioned artist Elliot Melville Offner (1931-2010) to create this piece depicting a favourite dog once a resident on the Lewiston campus. The artist taught at Smith College in Massachusetts for forty years.
Bella and Bug (Bronze) – Originally a ballerina, this artist started sculpting in 1987 – first people then more successfully Great Danes. Here, a depiction of Louise Peterson’s own dog anxiously concentrates on a fly. The Brookgreen Gardens gift store sells various sized pieces of Peterson’s work, and this might be one of those moments I regret not splurging and expanding (or starting) my own collection.
Wolf and Wolfhound (Bronze 1988) – Actually two sculptures, Zenos Frudakis’ Wolf and Wolfhound now interplay on the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens. An estate in Vineland, New Jersey commissioned the pieces in 1985. The Hound won a silver medal at the National Sculpture Society Exhibition in 1986.
The dog art is charming, but what’s truly magnificent is the horse sculpture dominating this property, specifically the front gate. (Visit our riding fun at horsetrotting.net) and yes, there I lament not being able to ride on this property. Suddenly, bringing the dog to Brookgreen Gardens doesn’t seem so crazy, eh?
Travel Guide: Hey Canadian Readers! Check out the 58th annual Canadian-American Days March 9 – 17, 2019 for great savings during March Break.
You can also save until April – Apparently select Myrtle Beach area hotels, merchants and attractions are offering discounts from January through April 2019 for travelers with a valid Canadian passport. Ranging from 25 to as much as 55 percent, the discounts are designed to help Canadians “make up” the difference in the Canadian exchange rate.