Brookgreen Gardens, fresh off last week’s planting of 60,000 caladium bulbs for a new summer display and the opening of the Enchanted Storybook Forest last month, already has plans for another new element.
A walled courtyard now used for storage near the Brown Sculpture Court will be turned into an indoor display of the attraction’s wildlife-themed sculptures, with a garden at the display’s entrance.
The roughly $700,000 to $1 million addition is expected to open in the next 18 months, said Bob Jewell, president and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens.
There’s also other plans for additions at the zoo and more special events, such as the evening 5K and mile run last month that attracted 300 runners.
“It helps bring people in who haven’t been here before,” Jewell said of the special events.
Brookgreen aims to stay fresh and give visitors new reasons to check out the attraction, which is off U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. In April, Brookgreen was named one of the top 10 public gardens by TripAdvisor, an award based on reviews and comments made on the travel-planning website. About 275,000 visitors check out Brookgreen each year.
“We don’t want to stagnate,” Jewell said. “We want to keep getting better.”
Like Grand Strand tourism overall, Brookgreen suffered this spring because of the cool, rainy weather especially in April, which is usually Brookgreen’s busiest month.
“The plants were confused. We were confused,” Jewell said. “This year [the weather] has been amazingly bad. We are optimistic we will pick it back up.”
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