Another adventure in Savannah today. Sunny and 70’s, and we stepped out from Skidaway Island on to the Savannah brick to get a taste of SCAD. The Savannah College of Art & Design has an incredible “campus” mostly within the Savannah historic district. The excitement and creativity of the students and faculty is everywhere! The growth of this world-renowned college has coincided with the rebirth of one of the oldest cities in the United States. As I have explored the many layers of Savannah, this has been one of the most exciting places to discover. We met at the Welcome Center on Bull Street where new life was painted on even the most venerable of structures. Paintings greeted the visitors at every turn. A fabulous sculpture invited prospective students to create a card with a few short lines describing what they aspired to and what inspires them. The cards were then tied on to the hanging cords, pulled and a light bulb turns on – with hopes that SCAD would, in the future, throw light on those aspirations! Love that!
Because this is the week of the Savannah Film Festival, we toured the area of the school that related to those areas of study. A theater, a sound studio, film making, photography….I was absolutely dizzy with the possibilities offered to young minds and creative spirits. The areas created for students to work and to gather were just incredible! Do you know a young artist or student interested in architectural history, cinema, design, fashion, fibers, jewelry, film & t.v., industrial design, photography, sound, sequential art, urban design, writing……? This is the place to be! The sky is the limit!
The morning ended with a great lunch at Gryphon. The tour left us hungry, for food, but not for inspiration – we had a mountain of that!
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. There is a coffee/juice bar and a fabulous restaurant, and some lovely private dining areas. Also 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. As you enter the main space, you are drawn to the comfort of this sitting area and foyer.
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. For the blue & white lovers out there, surely you would find something begging to be purchased in this room.
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! Each room had its own personality and everything was displayed with style, and curated well.Truly, something for everyone!
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 entertain – time to get out the invitations! As 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!
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.
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, and their vegetables look healthy, though never as over sized as in the conventional section! So, 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 leaves because they sure don’t get chewed like my poor broccoli rabe or lettuce. Here are some scenes from the fall gardening going on in Georgia this morning! What are you planting in your fall vegetable garden? Are you trying to go ORGANIC?
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. As 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, the 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. Pumpkins, mums, and crotons mean we have turned the page over on Summer. The 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.
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?
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 something for everyone. Nantucket history can be found in the buildingsand over the cobblestone streets. One needs only to hop a bicycle or even go by foot to see the wide Atlantic ocean from a nearby beach. Fishing, sailing, surfing and swimming make this an active summer place. Book shops, art galleries, museums and shops abound, for every taste. Shoppers won’t leave empty handed. I found an Anne Packard painting that I wanted to take home,
but how to get it home in the car with two cavaliers in tow? The restaurants are world class and you never know who may be at the table next to yours!
two titans of the antique world at
September is a beautiful time to visit. Many of the roses are beginning to producing hips, but some still bloom. The wide range of late blooming flowers make up for any June bloomer you may be missing! The window boxes never cease to amaze me. The variety is appealing and each one is more beautiful that the last! The September skies produce sunsets that know no rival.
Nantucket is the kind of place that makes you think you could write a novel, or paint a masterpiece, or weave a basket. 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.
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.
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!
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. The egrets are fascinating as they find their evening nesting place. We watch until the light leaves.
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 explore.org 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!
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. The 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. 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) 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!
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. If 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! This amazing plant, both beautiful and fragrant is unknown to me – dear readers do you know it?
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. 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? 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!
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 on 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. 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. Like many cities, there are doorways, alleys and gates that offer glimpses to the city gardens. I will be curious to see what happens in this side yard! Though 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….We 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! Of course, the iron work in historic Savannah is beautiful but it would not do on most new homes. Yet, I like the reference to the iron 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.