The Garden Guide

Caldwell-Boylston Garden, SC Governor's Mansion

Located on one of the highest hills in Columbia, the mansion was built in 1855 and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The Caldwell-Bolyston House is located on the north side of the mansion grounds. The gardens were started by the builder of the Caldwell-Boylston House (John Caldwell) in the 1830s. The pea gravel paths are in their original 1830s location. Basically a green garden, the garden is planned on four tiers and features elegant fountains, rectangular boxwood enclosed beds and some large Magnolia and Crape Myrtle trees.

Head Gardener's Comment

According to Horticulturist Mike Lee, "The nine acre site features an intricate display of boxwoods, an extensive camellia collection, flowing fountains, and state champion trees."

Photograph © Wanda Teat
Photograph © The South Carolina Governor's Mansion
Photograph © Sue Kramer Designs
Photograph © Sue Kramer Designs


Originally designed in the 1830s, the historic garden rooms remain as indicated on the Birdseye View map of Columbia in 1872. First established by the Caldwell family, owner Sarah Porter Smith Boylston nurtured the gardens for 69 years. She entertained Winston Churchill, Tallulah Bankhead, Lord Mountbatten, and Ethel Barrymore there.

Plants of note

1830s ginko, magnolias, incense cedar, camellias. Lady Bank's rose

800 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina, USA, SC 29201

Monday - Friday. 9:30am to 4:30pm.


Visit the Caldwell-Boylston Garden, SC Governor's Mansion website

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