Swan Lake Iris Gardens
Welcome to Sumter’s Swan Lake Iris Gardens, home to the only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species and some of the most intensive plantings of Japanese Iris in the United States.
Teeming with life all four seasons of the year, Swan Lake Iris Gardens offers tranquility and enchantment to visitors of all ages. A gift to the Sumter community from the Bland and Heath families, the gardens encompass 150 acres, with more than 120 varieties of iris that explode into a late-spring burst of color. The gardens also feature a rainbow of other seasonal blossoms, including colorful camellias, azaleas, daylilies, and Japanese magnolias. The gardens are a birdwatcher’s paradise of swans, Canada geese, matters, wood ducks, muscovies, anhingas, herons, egrets and other wildlife.
A Sensory Trail enables the sight-impaired to enjoy the scents and sensations of the gardens, a talking tree trail shares stories of today and yesterday, and showcasing a Rose Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden and Chocolate Garden visitors of all ages are sure to find something delightful around every turn.
Swan Lake Iris Gardens is also home to numerous sculptures, including several by famed artists like Zan Lee Wells and Grainger McKoy.
The garden hosts several annual festivals throughout the year, including SC’s oldest festival, the Iris Festival, Earth Day Celebration, an Easter Egg Hunt, the Taste of the Gardens, Fantasy of Lights, and more.
Admission to the gardens is free. Photography is allowed (see other garden facts/rules).
The Sumter area Visitor’s Center is also located onsite as you enter the main gate. They have additional walking tours, maps, community information and a souvenir shop. For more info, call 803-436-2640.
For registration details and posting of photos, click on button below.