South Carolina Public Gardens- Hatcher Gardens
The Hatcher Gardens features 10 acres of gardens, ponds, and trees in the middle of urban Spartanburg, South Carolina. While many cities can boast of beautiful city parks founded from private estates, the story of the Hatcher Gardens is truly unique since it was started on land reclaimed from abandoned cotton fields.
Cotton is still a major crop in the southern part of the state, but cotton fields have gradually dissapeared in the Upstate SC area. As erosion stripped the fields of topsoil, and the textile industry moved abroad, many mills were closed and fields became empty stretches of parched red clay, strewn with trash and debris.
The challenge of growing in the red clay didn’t seem to phase the Hatchers, however. The Hatcher Gardens began in 1969 as Harold and Josephine Hatcher retired to Spartanburg, SC, and begin working an acre of land claimed from these abandoned cotton fields. They started small and bought up more land over time. They worked the land themselves, and then they eventually gained the help of community organizations and local gardening clubs. Mr. Hatcher continued to manage the garden into his 90’s.
Today community volunteers continue the Hatchers' work. Spartanburg is lucky to have such a treasure within their city limits. Visiting the gardens is like stepping into a oil painting; it seems unreal to turn from a busy suburban street and suddenly find yourself surrounded by a canopy of trees.
To find out more about the garden, visit the Hatcher Garden Website.