The morning had passed quickly with our explorations of Cleveland Park but now we were on the hunt for another hidden gem known as the Rock Quarry Garden. According to the Cleveland Park website, this small garden was also part of the larger park, and, after maneuvering around construction and a few consultations with our map we finally found it.
In its previous life, the Rock Quarry Garden was a pre-Civil War granite quarry. During the 1930s the Greenville Garden Club renovated the abandoned quarry to create the Rock Quarry Garden. Another renovation in the 1980s turned it into a special place for all to enjoy.
Since the garden was below street level, we descended a set of stone steps and found a cute little stone bridge in front of us. Across from the bridge was another set of steps leading up to the next road. Picture-wise, the angle of the steps we descended to the bridge displayed a better symmetry. Unfortunately, a photo that would show the perfect straight line of bridge to steps was marred by the buildings beyond the park and the light coming in from that direction. So let’s just say, sometimes imperfection creates a better view.
From where we stood, we could see a beautifully manicured garden with rock ledges all around, and a creek running through the middle. Although there was a special beauty in the layout of this park, I could only imagine how beautiful this place must be in the spring when everything would be blooming. We walked around the garden on one side of the creek for a bit before making our way up the ledge. At the far end of the garden we stood at the top of a waterfall which the literature claimed was 20 feet high.
After admiring the gardens from this vantage point we crossed over the falls, which was easy to do since the creek was just a trickle during this time and descended another set of stone steps. Now, at the bottom of the falls, one could easily see why this was a popular spot for weddings and other special events. On this side of the garden, there were stone benches all along the edge of the park grounds which certainly invited the traveler to rest and meditate on the view.
We spent roughly a half hour in the park studying everything within the gardens and would probably have spent longer if the azaleas and dogwoods were in bloom, but it was now approaching 12:30 and it was time to think about lunch. But first, we needed to get over to the downtown area where we could find a place to eat.