Kalmia Gardens of Coker University

Kalmia Gardens of Coker University

Kalmia Gardens of Coker University

Contact Address

1624 West Carolina Avenue
Hartsville, SC   29550

Link http://www.kalmiagardens.org
Phone (843) 383-8145
Email kalmia@coker.edu
Hours of Operation Dawn to Dusk, 365 Days a Year

About the Gardens
Located in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina on a former 19th-century plantation, Kalmia Gardens is a 35-acre private botanical garden and historic house open to the public. The Thomas E. Hart House, built in 1820 with timber cut from the property, and surrounding gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kalmia Gardens boasts a wide array of rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, wisteria, tea-olives, dogwood, and the Gardens’ namesake — Kalmia latifolia, the Mountain Laurel. It also features a daylily display garden recognized by the American Hemerocallis Society.

Kalmia Gardens is part of the scenic S.C. Cotton Trail and is the gateway to the 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve. Kalmia Gardens of Coker University has been open to the public since 1935 and includes many exotic ornamentals planted by Mrs. David Robert Coker, the garden’s founder.

The geological history of Kalmia Gardens is a fascinating one of ancient deposits of sands and clays which now comprise the bedrock under our feet; the advancing and retreating of the Atlantic Ocean to its front door; and the powerful carving of a bluff over the millennia by Black Creek.

The geology of Kalmia Gardens is quite unique for this area of the state, and the 60-foot drop in elevation from the house to the creek is the essence of the Gardens. If it were not for this terrain, we would not have the diversity of plant and animal life that goes with it, including our namesake.

About the Camellia Collection
Total number of camellia plants:   150
Number of distinct camellia cultivars or species: 70