We got up early enough for breakfast at the Lake House on the grounds. It was a bit odd. There was no one to greet or seat us. We just wandered in and helped ourselves to a very nice full breakfast. I guess they figured that anyone who was there belonged there.
After breakfast we decided to explore Middleton Place. As guests of the inn, we apparently have free run of the place, as the grounds are connected. Magnolia Gardens down the road often gets top billing as far as gardens go, but Middleton is pretty spectacular, too. This time of year there isn’t much blooming, but the lush greenery and manicured grounds still make for a lovely stroll.
We wandered through the grounds haphazardly, not following the suggested tour path. It was quite pleasant to come and go as we pleased. Of course, I took tons of photos, making Laura pause as I tried to get the perfect shot.
Creating a horticulture masterpiece like this took a lot of work. It occured to me that most of that labor wasn’t given freely. As we reached the greensward leading up to the manor house we could see the reconstructed slave quarters. It lessened the experience somewhat to know that a good bit of this came from the exploitation of others.
The “museum house” is all that remains of the larger manor. That by itself is still impressive, and I would have loved to have see what the original looked like, with its sweeping vista down to the Ashley River.
By this time the day was starting to warm up and get muggy. It was time to find some cooler activities.