After our visit to Drayton Hall, a short drive down the road brought us to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The original Magnolia Plantation home was built in 1679 by Thomas Drayton, who's son went on to build Drayton Hall. Magnolia Plantation as seen today is the third home built on this site over the past three centuries. Today, the fifteenth generation of the Drayton family controls this historic property.
While Drayton Hall is best known for its magnificent home, the gardens are the real treasure at Magnolia Plantation. Of particular note, there are over 20,000 camellias on display during the winter months. During our visit in November, the lovely Camellia Sasanqua were in full bloom. From the palest pink flower to one of the brightest fuchsia, and a stunning hybrid of the two, these camellias were quite a site to see.
Another beautiful flower in bloom was the yellow Cassia, seen in the photo above. These exotic looking flowers spilled from the trees in the canopy above our heads. We also saw some beautiful roses, hibiscus and hollies. The grounds were also decorated with statues, illustrated botanical markers and, of course, more live oak dripping in Spanish moss.
In addition to the beautiful property and flowers, we also saw some wildlife. There were whitetail deer, horses, speckled guineafowl and one darling cat guarding the gift shop. We also saw some peacocks put on quite a show. At one point, there were four males showing off at the same time, their feathers open for all to see. To make your visit even better, you can pick up some delicious sangria at the Peacock Cafe to sip as you wander the lovely grounds of Magnolia Plantation. Cheers to that!