Savannah Treat – Cohen’s Retreat for Review

I went off the beaten path on this beautiful afternoon in Savannah.  Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s made it the perfect afternoon to explore.  Since I am meeting someone for lunch next week at Cohen’s Retreat, I decided to take a trip in that direction to be sure I knew my way.  I drove past twice as I was not expecting the large brick building behind an iron fence to be a restaurant.  Indeed I later did a little research and discovered that this was formerly a home for old men.  A Mr. Cohen of Savannah gave his fortune to securing a place for elderly men so that they would receive good care and not have to die alone.  The old age home closed in the 90’s, and the building has now become a center for artisans and the newest spot to dine on the outskirts of Savannah.  IMG_2498There is a coffee/juice bar and a fabulous restaurant, and some lovely private dining areas. IMG_2500Also housed in this mammoth building:  Katherine Mathis Van Tosh’s marketing and branding business, Revolver Studios: Evelyn Scott’s upholstery business, FOWD (Fish Out of Water Designs); Elizabeth Demos’ event planning and photo styling studio; and an urban farming business, Victory Gardens, owned and operated by Reid Archer, Kerry Shay and David Hislop.   Just opened in June, this  augurs to be a destination spot for Savannah residents as well as the many visitors to this fine city who want to go off the beaten path.  Today, I took a quick whirl through so let me show you a small sampling of what I found there!  First, you enter through the front door, beautifully decorated with Autumn’s offerings. IMG_2487  As you enter the main space, you are drawn to the comfort of this sitting area and foyer.

Cohen's Retreat entry

Cohen’s Retreat entry

They are ready for Halloween, which isn’t my favorite holiday, but they were clever and I had to smile at the entrance to the dining room. IMG_2501 For the blue & white lovers out there, surely you would find something begging to be purchased in this room.  IMG_2488

IMG_2495 Dog lovers will enjoy this room!  Below are some well priced art/craft works;  I’d love to purchase them to hang in our guest room! IMG_2499Each room had its own personality and everything was displayed with style, IMG_2497and curated well.IMG_2498Truly, something for everyone!   IMG_2489IMG_2491IMG_2492IMG_2493

SOMETHING had to go home with me, so it was a dahlia plate from this room.  Readers, you know how the flowers call out!  Just buying this little plate made me want to entertainIMG_2494 – time to get out the invitations! IMG_2483As I had flowers in the car and groceries that needed to get home, I couldn’t explore all the spaces, but soon after lunch at Cohen’s Retreat next week, I will be drawn back here again and again!

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Fall Farming, Organically Speaking

Renting a small garden plot at Skidaway Farm makes us farmers, I guess.  I certainly don’t feel like a farmer when gardening next to so many accomplished vegetable gardeners.

Skidaway farm

Skidaway farm

IMG_0436 Give me a flower seed, tuber or bulb and I can grow with the best of them, but vegetables have always been a mystery. We chose a plot in the organic section, rather than the “conventional” section. I saw dahlias growing in the organic section,IMG_0449 and their vegetables look healthy,IMG_0438 though never as over sized as in the conventional section!   IMG_0439So, I guess I made it harder for us from the start.   When the baby snails showed up, we had to hand pick, and when the caterpillars arrived, we tried Dipel and soap and water spray.  But the conventional gardeners must use bad stuff that insures  flawless leavesIMG_0447 because they sure don’t get chewed like my poor broccoli rabe or lettuce.  IMG_0444 Here are some scenes from the fall gardening going on in Georgia this morning!IMG_0445 IMG_0437 IMG_0440 IMG_0441 IMG_0442What are you planting in your fall vegetable garden?  Are you trying to go ORGANIC?


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Autumn Turnings

This week I entered a photo in a class called Turn, turn, turn.

‘There is a season – turn, turn, turn.” Pete Seeger


Ultimately I used an older photo, but the assignment gave me reason to get outside on a perfect Autumn day in Georgia to see what was turning.  Camera in basket, I set off on my bicycle.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a recent transplant here in the South, when my thoughts turn to Autumn, expressions from the New England area  are what come to mind.  But here in Georgia, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe sun is still very warm and strong.  People still sit by the pool, and my flip-flops still wait by the back door.  The sign that October is really here is often seen at my neighbors’ door steps.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPumpkins, mums, and crotons mean we have turned the page over on Summer.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe canna still bloom, but it is against a deeper, richer glow of the sun, which no longer climbs so high overhead.  The shadows are remarkable.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My thoughts turned not so much to the Summer just past, but to a year past, and I reflected on where I was last October.  Last year Home was in a place far North of Georgia, and my circle of friends and family were in a safe and stable place.  How life can turn things upside down and over and out, every which way!  When  Autumn taps you on the shoulder with her outrageous colors, where do your thoughts turn?

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Jayne on Weed Street:

My daughter is way ahead of me – thinking ahead to the holidays. And when it comes to personalized and monogrammed gifts, you need to be ahead of the rush!  I have reflagged her post from her fabulous blog.  Be in touch with her for your early Christmas orders!!

Her business, Smallfield Papers is growing by leaps and bounds!



Originally posted on Small Field Papers Blog:


I’m in LOVE with these new NEON notepads by Haute Papier!!
Not only are the colors amazing, but the fonts are incredible as well!  It’s going to be so hard to figure out which color, font and size I will want to order for myself!
These make such fun gifts!!  They will dress up and make any desk a little more colorful and fun!!
Definitely be in touch with me to place your Holiday orders!


View original

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Never Enough Nantucket


Nantucket is a place that has many faces.  I can never get enough of it.   Though it is a small island 30 miles out to sea,  there is DSC_3889something for everyone.  Nantucket history can be found in the buildingsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand over the cobblestone streets.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_3681One needs only to hop a bicycle or even go by foot to see the wide Atlantic ocean from a nearby beach. IMG_2249 Fishing, sailing, surfing DSC_3703and swimming make this an active summer place.  Book shops, art galleries, museums and shops abound, for every taste.  IMG_2215Shoppers won’t leave empty handed.IMG_2219 I found an Anne Packard painting that I wanted to take home,

Anne Packard

Anne Packard

but how to get it home in the car with two cavaliers in tow?  DSC_3753The restaurants are world class and you never know who may be at the table next to yours!

two titans of the antique world at Chanticleer Restaurant

two titans of the antique world at
Chanticleer Restaurant

September is a beautiful time to visit.  Many of the roses are beginning to producing hips, but some still bloom.  DSC_3728The wide range of late blooming flowersDSC_3805 make up for any June bloomer you may be missing!  DSC_3733 The window boxes never cease to amaze me.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The variety is appealing and each one is more beautiful that the last!  IMG_2209The September skies produce sunsets that know no rival.

Dionis Beach

Dionis Beach

Nantucket is the kind of place that makes you think you could write a novel, or paint a masterpiece, or weave a basket. DSC_3856 Each year that I leave, I am thankful that such a place exists, and grateful that there are good people in the world that work hard to make sure she stays so pristine.

Sconset Beach

Sconset Beach

This is a place that never loses its charm for my family.  It is etched in the soul for many who step upon her shores.IMG_2173

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Nantucket, Beyond Summer

I wonder how many summer visitors to the island of NantucketDSC_3891 have fantasized about not returning to their year round homes. DSC_3703 As Summer slips away and the summer tourists and visitors leave by ferry and plane, how many of those who have fallen in love with this small island, actually stay through Autumn?  I found out that September is a very beautiful time to be on Nantucket. DSC_3856 I’ve just returned and wish I could have stayed on and on. DSC_3825 I’d like to continue my daily walks around Brant Point, wander the cobblestone streetsDSC_3887 and end the day with golden sunsets. DSC_3762 I am tired from a long 3 day drive, and have hundreds of images to cull through, but I want to give you just a hint of the magic she shows…

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Summer’s Labors

Labor Day was originally intended to celebrate the American worker.  Ironically many workers find themselves at work this week end!  Both of my college educated children are hard at work this week end.  My son, a Hot Shot wildfire fighter and EMT is working very hard in an Oregon forest, far from his home in Santa Fe, NM.  My daughter manages a Soul Cycle and is devoted to the health and well being of the wonderful riders/clients at that studio  and will be working this week end as well.  (They are open 365 days a year!)  Have you noticed a change in the work force?

My work days have changed!  I work from home for a wonderful independent book shop, Elm Street Books.  All of the people that work there are devoted to their work, believing in the importance of a small town book shop as one of the centers of sharing ideas and knowledge.  I no longer work in an antique shop, which I loved, but I still work at finding great pieces at auction and from the internet.  And I have been working very hard at getting dahlias to grow in Georgia.  My first success, just this week!  Dr. Les has bloomed!

"Dr. Les"

“Dr. Les”

I shudder when I think how easy it was in Connecticut and how my dozens of dahlias would be blooming like mad at this time of year!  More work to be done on that score!

We are taking the week end to enjoy the natural beauty of our new home. IMG_0343 The egrets are fascinating as they find their evening nesting place. IMG_0358 We watch until the light leaves.IMG_0366

We are also watching the most incredible live cam, courtesy of Audubon Society.  If you are at all interested in ospreys or birds,  GO to for a live video cam view of an osprey nest.  The three osprey that were hatched in this nest are preparing to migrate South, so you must go NOW to see them before they leave.  I leave the page open to hear their sounds while I am creating this post.  I feel like Maine is outside my window!!

Happy Labor Day to all of the workers, especially those who did not get the week end off!

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110 Degrees of Botanical

The car thermometer read 110, but we were not going to let a little Georgia heat get in our way of exploring this afternoon.  I have been driving by signs for Savannah Botanical Gardens on Eisenhower Drive since May and decided today was the day to check it out.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun was high ( not so easy to photograph in a garden) and I am challenged with my new mirror-less Olympus OM-D.  (Why are my cameras always so much smarter than me!)

This garden is managed and maintained by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs.  Keeping these gardens looking so good is no small feat in this heat. (Couldn’t resist the rhyme)  There are 21 areas to explore. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I was beginning to despair of seeing roses growing around my new home in Savannah, but not only did I see roses (oh, they do suffer in this heat)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA but I found a pamphlet from the Savannah Rose Society.  Perhaps I will get some roses in my garden after all!  The pamphlet says the SRS is dedicated to helping you grow roses!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just as I was beginning to think I could not take any more of the blazing sun, I turned to a shade path, and saw this lovely creature.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf the furry friend could sit quietly and enjoy the serenity, I guessed I could too!

I am still learning my way through the long list of Southern plants I’ve never grown or even KNOWN!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis amazing plant, both beautiful and fragrant is unknown to me – dear readers do you know it?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of my favorite blog writers are writing about the waning days of Summer and the hints of Autumn.  Not so in Savannah, where the sun is strong, the temperatures scream SUMMER and the plants show no sign of fading yet. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So, it was a wonderful day to see a garden, despite the heat.  The strong sun and heat have already influenced my garden style.  If you’ve read my blog for some time, you may have seen my classic iron urns on stands that always stood at my front door.  They came here to Savannah with me, but the usual boxwood or geranium plantings don’t look right.  So I went wild and added some tropical color and a real punch to the front yard.  I wonder what the neighbors think? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA They may be brash, but I think they hold up to the strong sun, and they are screaming, HOT HOT HOT!  110 degrees of botanical bliss!

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Savannah Streets


Owens-Thomas House

One benefit of moving to a new city is the possibility of discovering new places and people on any given day.  I’ve been discovering more places than people, but I want to show you what I discovered on our way to visit to the Owens-Thomas House.  We got a late start and felt hungry so as we passed this little spot, we decided to stop and grab a sandwich.



I don’t know if it would qualify for that T.V. show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, but Clary’s had a happy clientage and my grilled cheese on rye was perfect.  I spotted this beautiful home IMG_1593on the walk back to the car, and had to drag dear husband away to discover what else this pretty street in Savannah had to offer.  Many of the homes date to the Civil War era and you wonder who lived in these homes, and how they weathered the crisis and the desperate years leading up to Sherman’s march on Savannah.IMG_1598 Fortunately there have been attempts to restore and protect the historic district over the many years and we are all the better for it.  There are some very green thumbs living on this charming street off Abercorn.IMG_1612  Like many cities, there are doorways, alleys and gates that offer glimpses to the city gardens. IMG_1601 I will be curious to see what  happens in this side yard!  IMG_1610Though I live on the coastal side of Savannah where most of the building has been done in the last 40 years, I think that there should be references in your home to the history of the area.  That is why I was wondering “what were they thinking?” when we bought our home and spotted this light pole right in the front yard.   It is black iron, but….P7210003We just had some fencing put up in the back yard so that we could sit outside with the dogs safely inside and the alligators hopefully far away in a lagoon on the other side!   IMG_1647  Of course, the iron workIMG_1603 in historic Savannah is beautiful but it would not do on most new homes.  Yet, I like the reference to the ironIMG_1600 and it fits here much better than the white picket fence from our Connecticut home could have.  The light post may have a black wrought iron look, but there is so much else wrong with it – do you agree?  And hopefully the fence for our back yard is right.

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Irresistably Drawn to Incredible Places

On a Summer day are you drawn to gardens and  places where you can stroll or sit,  stare or daydream?  Would you journey to Europe to visit incredible garden places?  DSC_0167 Maybe you would like to stay at home in your own garden, but for a few moments, come along to an incredible place….Come with me to visit to a favorite garden, one I could never tire of and if I could fly there this very afternoon, I would.   Come along…

Play this song, if you like. Trip to Paris, Cliveden May 2008 232

Trip to Paris, Cliveden May 2008 230 Let’s wander to…..  Sissinghurst,


where the spirits of Vita Sackville-West and  husband Harold still abide and their gardens surrounding Sissinghurst Castle  remain true.  images_5 DownloadedFile

The famous Lutyens bench beckons, in all seasons.


images_6Sit for a moment, or pick up a tool and dig into the hallowed ground where these famous authors/gardeners perfected an art.!Trip to Paris, Cliveden May 2008 244 Sissinghurst is written about all the time, by every sort of author, but you’ll want to see it for yourself.  DownloadedFile

Trip to Paris, Cliveden May 2008 216Each wall borders a path that leads you to another enchanted place.  One garden room opens to another.   Sissinghurst is an ocean away, and feels a century removed.

But imagine you are there, walking in the sun and between the shadows.

Imagine summer in a garden,images_3

this special garden….Sissinghurst.

I wrote this post to join in with Anita at Castles, Crowns and Cottages;  she is hosting a most spectacular journey of the imagination.  Anita is a favorite blogger, poet and philosopher.  If you have a moment, drop by and she will point the way to some fascinating journeys with her fellow bloggers! I will return to Savannah after this brief wander of the imagination through a British garden.  Back to the watery splendor of this coastal city and her magnificent skies!

Sunset Park, Skidaway Island

Sunset Park, Skidaway Island

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