The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Vacation excursions

Live oak allee

Perfect vacation tip #6: Plan good excursions, but not too many

Brookgreen gardens

When we decided to go to Pawleys Island, I started researching area attractions and soon came up with a short list of half a dozen places I'd really like to visit.


But when it came right down to it, I knew we'd want to spend most of our time on the beach, so I narrowed our main excursion down to one --- Brookgreen Gardens.  (We also made a few forays to the grocery store, took in a movie, and stopped at the library, book store, and Audubon store.  Oh, and Mom wanted to go to the consignment shop to get another sweat shirt.)

Reflecting pool


Having one major excursion in the middle was perfect.  Our first vacation day was a "sea day" in which we spent all of our time at home or at the beach, so by our second day we had plenty of energy to walk through the sculpture-and-botanical garden.


Bronze statue

We were stunned by the live oaks and their attendant epiphytes (Spanish moss and resurrection ferns).  And I was particularly taken by the way the landscapers had worked with textures and designs that showcased the strengths of each sculpture. 

I highly recommend this particular outing to anyone interested in plants and/or art.  Vastly better than a museum!

Ornamental trellis


(More gratuitous photographs.  Plus, doesn't the trellis above look very useful if you wanted to grow kiwis?)

Red Devon cow

Water carrierPerfect vacation tip #6.5: Don't try to do it all

As the leader of this excursion, though, I made one mistake --- I dragged my compatriots past the formal gardens to check out the zoo.  I wanted to learn which heirloom livestock were historically used in the area (which I'll post about eventually on our chicken blog).  But we ended up footsore and saddened by the caged animals.  Mark and I figured that the livestock would be much healthier and happier if they were rotationally grazed on the vast lawns, and the grass would probably be greener there too.

So, my corollary piece of advice for this post is to pay attention to your energy levels and not to go see the otter exhibit just because the visitor center lady said it was not to be missed.  If you don't feel like it, miss it.

Learn how to keep your flock happy on pasture in Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics.

This post is part of our Gratuitous Vacation Photos lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Great pics of Brookgreen. I went to the zoo there as a child and I have always wanted to go back and see the rest (as well as Atalaya Castle). There's another attraction nearby in Myrtle Beach that is on my to do list that you guys might enjoy if you are ever down that way again. Freewoods Farm is a living farm museum that operates as it would have at the turn of the last century. I haven't been yet but it looks really interesting.
Comment by Eddie Mon Oct 21 21:17:10 2013

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