Magnolia Gardens placing exhibit at nation’s capital

The U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., has selected Magnolia Plantation and Gardens as one of only 30 gardens to install temporary exhibits at the nation’s capitol in 2019 when the country celebrates public gardens.

Magnolia’s unique design as the last large-scale Romantic-style garden in the country fits with the Botanic Garden's mission to create an array of displays that represent a diversity of gardens, said Botanic Garden spokesman Devin Dotson. The Botanic Garden is adjacent to the U.S. Capitol Building.

Arlington, Va., garden designer Jeff Minnich was selected to design Magnolia’s entry. “I am delighted that Magnolia was chosen to participate in the 2019 Summer Exhibits at the U.S. Botanic Garden,” he said. “It’s my honor and pleasure to assist with the design and installation of the display.”

Magnolia’s executive director Tom Johnson said, “To be honored by one of the nation’s most prestigious gardens is truly a plus for Charleston, the state of South Carolina and the Drayton family that has been stewards of this land for more than 300 years. With Jeff’s expertise, we will design and install a display that reflects the beauty of Magnolia that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually through our gates.”

The garden displays will be exhibited outside the Botanic Garden from May to October. Gardens were invited to present proposals for exhibits to coincide with the American Public Garden Association’s conference that will be held in Washington from June 17-21, 2019. “Thrive Together, Diversity Grows Gardens” is the conference theme. Magnolia’s exhibit will reflect diversity in culture and nature.

The exhibit will be a small-scale model of Magnolia's iconic Long White Bridge across a small blackwater pond with metal herons and a metal alligator to represent some of the fauna in the gardens. Signage will explain Magnolia and its romantic gardens and the influences of Native American and African cultures.

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