The Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter and the Sumter Master Gardeners present their Spring Garden Tour 2013


The Spring Garden Tour will be held this year on Saturday May 11 from 10 am – 5:30 pm in Sumter, SC.  The rain date will be Sunday May 12 from 1pm – 6pm.  

This event is held each year to recognize homeowners in our community who have created diverse and beautiful gardens. They graciously allow the public to view and enjoy their labors. This event has become a tradition and spotlights the lovely areas of our town. Profits from the tour are used for educational programs. local bird programs, and beautification projects in our schools, Habitat Homes, neighborhoods, and in the Swan Lake Iris Gardens. 

On the day and times of the tour, $10 tickets may be purchased at the Alice Boyle Garden Center at 842 West Liberty Street in Sumter. 

Contact Eileen Gardner at 803-481-2281 or




April 13, 2013 – 10 am until 4 pm

Ticket price: $40 (Includes Millford Plantation house tour, Wedgfield Presbyterian Church tour, speaker, and Church of the Holy Cross church and cemetery tour.) Limited day-of tickets available, but pre-ordering is recommended to secure Millford Plantation house tour time slot.

Optional costs: $15 per lunch at the Church of the Holy Cross; $15 day-of tours of The Borrough House and The Ruins available through the Church of the Holy Cross; bake sale at the Wedgefield Presbyterian Church.

Considered one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in America, Millford Plantation is as lovely inside as it is outside.

Millford Plantation – West of the town of Pinewood and south of Poinsett State Park off SC 261 at 7320 Millford Plantation Road, Pinewood, SC 29125   Click here for directions.  

Built in 1839 by Nathaniel P. Potter for future South Carolina governor John Lawrence Manning and his young bride, Susan Frances Hampton, Millford is considered one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in America. The mansion is equally impressive inside and out. The walls are two-feet thick and constructed of handmade bricks which were fired on site. Imported materials were delivered via boat up the Santee River. Most of the original Duncan Phyfe furniture still remains in the house. In 1992, Richard Hampton Jenrette purchased Millford along with 400 acres and began an extensive restoration of the house. He later donated Millford to be used as a house museum by the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.

House tours will be given every 30 minutes in groups of 15 beginning at 10 am.  PLEASE SIGN UP FOR YOUR TIME SLOT when purchasing tickets.  It is advised that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour.


Wedgfield Presbyterian Church will also host a bake sale the day of the tour.

Wedgefield Presbyterian Church – 50 Presbyterian Church Road, Wedgefield, South Carolina 29111.  Click here for directions.

Founded in 1881 with assistance from Harmony Presbytery, this historic church began with 12 charter members. Elders included Cornelius McLaurin and James Caldwell and deacons were Dr. Henry J. McLaurin and Edward H. McCutchen. Rev. H.B. Garris, Wedgefield’s first minister, preached two Sundays a month in an old school nearby. The church sanctuary, often called “the church in the pines,” was completed in 1882 on land donated for the church and cemetery by James H. Aycock. Rev. Garris, the first permanent minister, was installed by Harmony Presbytery in 1885. Rev. Perry H. Biddle had the longest pastorate, serving 1947-1968.

The church an its grounds will be open from 10 am until 4 pm. Refreshments will be available for purchase.  Proceeds benefit the Wedgefield Presbyterian Church and the Garden Club of South Carolina.



This book will be available for sale before and after each talk.

This book will be available for sale before and after each talk.

SEMINAR (included in tour price)

Southern Bouquets by Melissa Bigner and Heather Barrie

11:00 am and 1:00 pm

Church of the Holy Cross, 335 North Kings Highway,  Stateburg, SC 29154

Learn how to bring the beauty of flowers home, no matter your zip code or the state of your green thumb.

Southern Bouquets highlights individual flowers that are quintessential to the Southern garden (though many appear throughout the country). Bigner and Barrie will show and tell you how to create simple yet elegant bouquets with homegrown fare from backyard gardens and local flower farms.

The bouquets that grace the dining rooms and parlors of stately Southern homes are beautiful and elegant, but they need not be complicated or expensive. Bigner and Barrie celebrate favorite home-grown flowers in unique bouquets. Filled with breathtaking photos, Southern Bouquets gives readers a guided tour of the South’s classic flowers, and provides human interest stories for each of the profiled flowers.  The book will be available for sale at the event.


The Church of the Holy Cross will also host the speaker X.

The Church of the Holy Cross will also host the speaker X.

A Day of Story Telling at the Church of the Holy Cross  – 335 North Kings Highway, Stateburg, SC 29154.  Click here for directions.

**LUNCH OFFERED AT THIS LOCATION for $15 between noon and 2 pm** Proceeds benefit the Church of the Holy Cross and the Garden Club of South Carolina.

Listen as docents recollect tales from this historic church in Stateburg, located in the High Hills of Santee near Sumter. Also know as Holy Cross Episcopal Church, the walls are constructed of rammed earth. Together, the Church and the Borough House (located nearby), along with a number of the outbuildings comprise the largest concentration of rammed earth constucted buildings in the United States. The Church of the Holy Cross is an exceptional example of Victorian High Gothic Revival Style, both in its architectural design and its furnishings.  The church still has its original Erben pipe organ installed in 1851.  Don’t miss the self-guided cemetery tour, where Joel R. Poinsett, statesman, diplomat, scientist, and botanist, who died in 1851, lies at rest. He introduced the pointsetta to the United States.

**ADDITIONAL TOURS OF THE BOROUGH HOUSE AND THE RUINS OFFERED THROUGH THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS FOR $15 – purchase day-of between 10 am and 3 pm. Proceeds benefit the Church of the Holy Cross.

The Borough House

The Borough House

The Borough House is a private residence that has not been open to the public for some years. The grounds will be open to the public for this tour. The central portion of the house was originally built in 1758 as a tavern, and was converted to a fulltime residence in the 1790s. The 1820s saw it expanded by Dr. Anderson through the use of a building technique called Rammed Earth (or Pise de Terre) – the same building method used to construct the Church of the Holy Cross some 30 years later.

Joel Poinsett (who is buried across the King’s Hwy the cemetery of the Church of the Holy Cross) was a good friend of Dr. Anderson’s, and gave him a number of plants, some of which survive today. Stroll beneath noble oaks while enjoying plants that have survived for generations. Hear some of the many stories that are part of the folklore of the property! At the end of your walk, stop in at the Summer Kitchen for refreshment. We look forward to welcoming you!

The Ruins

The Ruins

The Ruins is one of the most majestic homes in Sumter County.  Originally built in 1784 by a Revolutionary War hero, it was expanded to its current 9,000 square feet in 1838.  A private residence, this is a rare opportunity to view the inside.  A few of the special features include 120′ double verandas, original heart pine floors, a floating staircase, 2 fan windows and some of the original furniture.

Step back in time and hear stories of the famous and, well, the not-so-famous.  Learn about the long-time relationship with the Church of the Holy Cross.  The tour includes the main floor and the 8 acre grounds. Bring your imagination.  Light refreshments are available on the veranda for those who need to keep up their strength!


The drinks cool, the auction items hot, and the dress festive, but not fancy. Don't miss this fun event.

The drinks cool, the auction items hot, and the dress festive, but not fancy. Don’t miss this fun event.

APRIL 12, 2013  –  6 until 8 pm


The historic Robert Mills Courthouse

607 Broad St., Camden, SC, 29020

$50 per person, $75 per couple

Follow The Blooms kicks off its tour season with an event you won’t want to miss! Emceed by the informative and entertaining Amanda McNulty, guests will have the opportunity to bid on items ranging from a catered multi-course dinner for 8 of their closest friends by Camden’s own Aberdeen Catering, owned by Jack Brantley, to interior and landscape design consultations, and spa packages.  Federated GCSC clubs will be promoting and selling tickets for their upcoming 2013 tours.  Heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and music will round out the evening.

How do I promote my garden tour on this site?

Follow The Blooms promotes garden tours sponsored by federated Garden Club of South Carolina, Inc. clubs. If you are hosting a garden tour, please notify the Follow The Blooms committee at

Botanica_Pax Garden Two People Looking At Garden_APT_IMG 8388_LR.ashxIn order for us to promote your tour, you will need to provide us with the following:

  • Tour name
  • Dates
  • Brief tour description
  • Images (up to three)
  • Ticket price
  • Link to your website if applicable
  • Primary contact information

Let Follow The Blooms Promote Your Tour

Azaleas and live oaks at Cypress Gardens near Charleston, SC.

Azaleas and live oaks at Cypress Gardens near Charleston, SC.



Follow The Blooms is excited to be entering its third year.  This year, rather than hosting a month of tours like it has in the past, FTB will now help promote garden tours sponsored by federated clubs across the state.  You will be able to see a complete listing of all federated GCSC tours on this site!

Follow The Blooms primary goal is to raise funds to benefit the educational and cultural efforts of The Garden Club of South Carolina, Inc.  As our fundraiser this year, we will kick off the season with a a silent auction and cocktail party on April 12, 2013 followed by a tour day on April 13, 2013.  For more information, see the posts below.