Sep 28, 2015 - Things to Do

A photo tour of Glencairn Garden, 30 minutes south of Charlotte

Glencairn Garden

Glencairn Garden

Before I moved to Charlotte, I spent a year in Rock Hill just 30 minutes south of the city. While I was there I spent all my time driving up to Charlotte and now that I’m here I find myself going back to explore sites I missed while I was on the road. Always want what we don’t have, right?

Anyway, one such Rock Hill attraction is Glencairn Garden, an 11-acre public park that started out as David and Hazel Bigger’s simple backyard garden.

Glencairn map
Glencairn Garden
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The story goes that the couple received a few azaleas from a friend, which they planted in the backyard in 1928. By 1940, there were some 12,000 azaleas and camelias on the property. When David died in 1958, Hazel deeded the property to the city and it became Glencairn Garden.

Glencairn blooms
Glencairn Garden

The Bigger’s home is still located on the property and today serves as the welcome center and an office for the York County Master Gardeners.

Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden
Glencairn Garden

Although the garden is at peak bloom the last week in March through mid-April (as evidenced by this photo of my niece being adorable there in April), it’s positioned as an all-seasons destination.

In partnership with the Clemson Extension Service, free outdoor education classes are taught the first Friday of each month. On October 2, you can learn about stringing caterpillars. (I called four different people at Rock Hill Parks & Rec to find out what “stringing caterpillars” involves and came up empty-handed.)

The Yolk Rock Hill
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Amelie's Rock Hill
Glencairn Garden

Here’s a look at the property (in the pouring rain, which was actually kind of magical)…

If you’re making the trip to Rock Hill, you might as well hang around and explore a bit. Here are 14 things to do in downtown Rock Hill, which is very close to the garden. (Pro tip: Downtown Rock Hill is called “Old Town.”)

And if you’re looking for a specific itinerary, here are some recommendations…

Glencairn Garden Half-Day Trip

Start with brunch at The Yolk. Drive downtown to explore the shops and galleries along Main Street. Grab coffee at Amelie’s and/or a mini cheesecake at Cheesecake Carousel and then head to the garden to walk it off.

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