Georgia Garden Gazing

A glorious day for gazing at gardens on Skidaway Island!  This garden tour featured beautiful gardens that were seen in their prime viewing mode today.  We hopped on an open golf cart and sailed away under the BLUE skies of Skidaway Island.  The temperature reached over 90, but the air was dry, the breeze softly cooling.  Many years ago my New Canaan garden was on a garden tour and I will never forget the last minute pressure to make everything look JUST SO.  Ready for their close ups today:

An enchanting garden on a small lot with a reverence for nature.  The gardener in this home proclaims a profound respect for Doug Tallamy. His book,  “Bringing Nature Home” should inform gardeners of all kinds, and it was a joy to see the ideas brought into practice – especially in this place where the rich ecosystem is so important to the health of the Island.

This next garden was designed by well known landscape architect Thomas Angell who is known for his swells and ingenious use of systems for water retention and directing water in low coastal areas like ours.  I love this parking area/path which serves to drain water and minimize water run off in big rain events.

One of the gardens we toured recalls Italian gardens visited by the owners.  I did forget for a moment that I was in the Georgian low country.  The best views on Skidaway can be of the Eastern and Western marshes, and this pool area was sited to take full enjoyment of that view.


Every pot in this garden was filled with healthy plants with great color combinations. My favorite garden visited today was full of what I call garden soul.  Here is a garden tended by owners who put their heart and soul into their space.  I get goose bumps when I visit a special spot like this. I especially felt a kindred spirit when I recognized a statue, the same as the one I left behind in my Ct garden.  We called him Oliver and he traveled with us through 3 gardens.  Why didn’t he come with us to Georgia?  I thought he wouldn’t fit in with the coastal landscape.  Look how wrong I was!  I am sad I left him behind. Along the sides of the property were garden niches.  Not large enough to be called rooms, but individual spaces with a sculptural or garden ornament featured.  The only drawback that I could see was the large lagoon abutting their back yard – filled with alligators!   That is not a log floating – it is an alligator! That wouldn’t do with my sweet cavalier King Charles Spaniels in the garden!

I could really belabor this post and show you every photo I took, but I know most blog readers like it short and concise and sweet.   Just two more I’d like to share:

Garden tours always bring me back to my  garden where I  reassess what I have done to tame Nature.  I am satisfied at present.  I no longer have a large garden as I once did, but I am still very satisfied to be able to take a walk in the garden, collect some blooms, and bring a few stems indoors for a bouquet to enjoy!

Happy spring from Georgia!

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Iris and Orchid

Iris and Orchid.  Today was a day for both at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden.  The Deep South  Orchid Society staged their 30th annual show in the new Visitors Building and vendors sold orchids on the new veranda in the back.

Yes, we all love to pick up orchids cheap at the grocery store and expect them to live several weeks.  When our inattention kills them – or over attention in some cases – we just toss. But this takes the love of the orchid to another level.  And what a level!  I am still struggling with Phalaenopsis so I am not ready to take on any of these stunners.  But I was thrilled to see these beautifully grown and cared for plants and maybe someday I will be up for the challenge.  Take a walk with me…

The Savannah bird girl greeted you as you entered the show.

Do you have the perfect table or stand for this?

My head was spinning.  I have been to the New York Botanical Garden for their orchid show in the Haupt Conservatory many times.  That is big and impressive and has a lot of money and manpower behind it.  Somehow the charm and excitement of this show was seeing what individual orchid enthusiasts could put together.  Some of the plants rivaled and surpassed anything I have ever seen in New York.

After exploring the new gardens outside a bit, we came upon the iris.  

Last year I had to use my imagination to fill in the blanks, but this year, the serpentine bed of iris was in its glory, and this is just the time of year to enjoy their splendor!  The colors were like an Impressionist painting.  No matter your color scheme, you should be able to find an iris to suit your taste.  The spiky foliage is always a desired element in a garden design and the iris fills this need nicely.

I brought my Grandfather’s deepest purple iris with me from his Hudson Valley garden, but this is the third Spring in Savannah, and it is not happy enough yet to bloom.  I divided it and moved to a new location on the other side of the house last year.  Two moves in 3 years may be too much.  It would be for me!  I have been in this low country for 3 springs, and one move was more than enough…but at least now I feel I am blooming.

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Sidewalks of Savannah

Savannah is a city rich in culture with a long, interesting history.  It had seen better days when SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design)came to its rescue.  The college has seen tremendous growth, and aims for a student population of 20,000 by 2020.  This has been an incredible boon for Savannah as the school has purchased run down buildings and repurposed them.  This has brought the buildings back to life and given new life to Savannah.  The energy and vibrancy of the students infuses the town, and nowhere is that more evident than at the annual SCAD Sidewalks Festival.

SCAD Sidewalk Festival

SCAD Sidewalk Festival

If you are ever considering a trip to Savannah in April, be sure to include this stop at Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park

on the week-end it is held.  The creativity on display is so exciting.

SCAD Sidewalk Festival

SCAD Sidewalk Festival

The crowds did not faze the art students as they used their chalks and hands and brushes to make a work of art come alive on the sidewalk.


I was most fascinated by the tableaux vivants – living art.  The students reproduced famous works of art and became the “living” portraits within the painting. Degas’ ballerina comes to life!   Genius!

I loved watching the reactions of the crowd, especially the children.


The “models” did a fabulous job of remaining still, and in character.




I was astonished at how well the students brought the famous work of art to life.

Prince was not forgotten.


Give an art student a chubby piece of chalk and a blank sidewalk, and magic happens!

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Roses In April

How I would love to title this post, April In Paris.  It is a state of mind.   I can imagine myself walking through the Jardin des Tuileries right this moment, but then I might have missed two special Savannah moments.

This week-end, there is an explosion of flowers and floral design at the Telfair Museum and Jepsen Center.  Yesterday I was privileged to attend a luncheon Luncheon at the Jepsen Centerat the Telfair Museum  and a great lecture/demonstration by a favorite WSJ columnist, Lindsey Taylor.  I have attempted to go beyond the art of gardening to the art of floral arranging and I have always felt  a failure.  Lindsey’s writing and now a visual of how she places her blooms to create magic, second my motion that I can never excel in that area.  But it does make me appreciate the skill and imagination it takes even more!   Every time I see a floral designer at work, it gives me hope that I can do more than place a stem in water.  But I can never achieve what some of the designers have done to evoke chosen paintings at the museum.  Let me show you my favorites:

For a porcelain fanatic, what is more dear than an interpretation of two fabulous Sevres tea pots?  The gilded branches make them sing, or whistle!

Evoking Sevres porcelain tea pots

I was mesmerized with this interpretation of the portrait of Kahlil Gibran!Kahil Gibran

This arrangement echoes the cubes and colors of Henri-Jean Guillaume’s painting.

Puy l'Eveque

I appreciate the effort it took to find the flesh toned and russet colors for this arrangement.

I was visually stimulated by this vibrant festival of art and flowers to the point of secretly desiring a nap late in the day, but today, I was left wanting more!  There are two more days to enjoy the events at the Telfair Museum , but I chose instead to have a quiet walk through Savannah Botanical Garden. Fountain at Coastal Georgia Botanic Garden And now, dear reader, to my title and to the point….it was roses in April there! IMG_0944roses

Nowhere in Savannah is there more bright light and deep shadow,  making it difficult for the amateur photographer to get a great photo.  But let me show you what was growing there today….April in Savannah!


And now home to lovely Skidaway Island where Spring has arrived on an ocean breeze.  There is a promise of another spectacular sunset.  The girls will surely appreciate a walk by the river tonight!IMG_0920

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April’s Aces

This is not totally a mute Monday, but I am letting the flowers take over in this post.  Here are some flowers blooming in my yard.  What is starting to bloom in your garden?











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Time’s wasting

Dear Readers,

Time is a wasting!  While my  garden buddies of the North are waiting to see if snow will blow through in the Northeast, I am rushing to the garden centers to find the choice vegetable plants .  IMG_6746The tomatoes and peppers are ready to be planted at the farm. Time to uncover the beds.  IMG_673 I can’t wait another minute, because my favorites are running out.  Leaving a lonesome, sleepy cat and empty pot holders!

I planted the new tomatoes, yellow pear from seed as well as Improved Whopper.  Found Husky Cherry Red at the nursery along with too many other goodies. IMG_0869 Dahlia tubers have arrived, and the azaleas are blooming all over Savannah.  IMG_0411I guess Spring is here!



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Move over food, tours, art and ghosts because this week-end in Savannah will be all about BOOKS!  Cold weather has settled over the fair city, but even last week-end the cold did not put a pall on the pretty sites around town.  IMG_6567 (1)The Savannah Book Festival 2016 is here!

From my perch on Skidaway Island, the sun is warm and the thermometer is showing 68, but by the time the sun goes down and I head downtown to hear Paula McLain, the cold will creep back.  Best news for all, is that you have the opportunity to see and hear over 35 authors on Saturday.  Full information can be found at

We have tickets to hear Eric Larsen give the keynote talk tomorrow night (Sold Out).  Loved his last book DEAD WAKE!   Some of the authors I am excited to hear are:

Geraldine Brooks, Sara Gruen, Debbie Macomber, Christopher Bohjalian, and Dana Perino.  But there are many more emerging authors and exciting authors that you will be able to see and hear on three different squares: Telfair, Wright and Chippewa.

My sister is busy in her Northern home, getting her Etsy shop up and running.  I know SO MANY of my readers want to know how to get her famous Cavalier King Charles’ dog snoods.  I have shown my dogs’ sweet knitted snoods on my blog, and now Auntie promises to make more for the girls.  Clementine waits patiently to be bestowed!

Happy reading, and if you are anywhere near Savannah, don’t miss the Book Festival!!!  If you can’t make it, check out our owl cam.  There is a live feed of a Great Horned Owl who is sitting on her eggs right here on Skidaway Island.  She is majestic, and what a MOM!  Check it out, www.landingsbirdcam.comScreen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.30.32 PM

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Polishing Pollinators and PROCRASTINATION

I have been polishing an article about pollinators.  Good writing demands truth, so let me be honest…. I am still thinking about an article on the importance of pollinators.

 I attended a day long symposium on the subject hosted by Coastal Wildscapes of Georgia and there is so much to say about pollinators that I do not know where to begin.  But once I start, I promise I will do my best to polish it off, and perhaps share on my blog.

In the mean time, as we are about to kiss January good-bye, I have hunkered down a bit with the onset of some cooler temperatures.  It meant that the knitting comes out.  IMG_6532

Did you read in the New York Times  that knitting is good for your health?  Meditation reduces stress, and it has been shown through studies that stitching can benefit the body in many of the same ways.  Knitting = meditation.  If you missed it, you can read it here:

SO what is keeping me from the writing?  There has been some baking, but only the good kind.  Lemon squares made with fresh Georgia lemons counts as healthy, yes? All that Vitamin C!


And Grandma’s Plum Pudding?  Isn’t that a superior way to get fruit and nuts into your diet?


Walking on the beach at Tybee Island kept me from the computer.


Harvesting the last of the cabbage and lettuce before getting ready for the Spring crop! No time for the computer when crops are ready for harvest!

The resolutions for change in 2016 are still staring me down.  No, I haven’t figured out how to wear my new contacts all day.  What is wrong with me?  No, I haven’t found a new hairdresser here in Georgia, and since I have been changed into every color from blonde, through red and now dark brunette because NO ONE seems to know how to work with my Northern brand of hair, I am afraid to even step foot into a salon and surrender to the sink. When did fear of hair color enter the equation?  Getting great hair, and seeing without distracting frames seem to be too much resolution.  I think I’ll go back to the knitting where some focus and repetition will lead me to my inner bliss.  And THEN I will get to the procrastination….I mean pollinators.

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Let’s Get Growing 2016

2016!   With the new year I celebrate another year of blogging.  As each new year unfolds I renew my ambition with this blog  – “See more! Read more! Share more!”  In the first blog posting of January 2011, that is what I proclaimed.  This year I will add” Write More!”

2015 was the beginning of my column for a local publication.  Let’s Get Growing.

The Art of Gardeing

The Art of Gardeing

My last article reviewed new garden books.  If you have not already immersed yourself in “The Art of Gardening”,  I highly recommend you buy or borrow this book.  If you haven’t already taken a trip to see Chanticleer, the garden that engendered the photographs and writing , this book will drive you to put it on your bucket list.


My column is comprised mostly of my musings on gardening in the South, which is so different from my previous decades of gardening in the Northeast.  I ponder the pleasures of communal gardening in our plot at Skidaway Farms  and try to entice my Southern neighbors back to the garden.

Thunbergia vine

Thunbergia vine


Today, as 2015 closes, and 2106 begins, I celebrate how fortunate I am to have a bit of land to garden, and to have these beauties blooming on December 31, 2015, at my doorstep!

Tea Olive

Tea Olive

Begonia and coleus

Begonia and coleus





Happy New Year!

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It’s another Savannah Christmas.  Now that I have one holiday season under Santa’s belt, I am getting to understand the Southern flavor of the yuletide.  First you can forget the snow.  Instead you have moss dripping from the trees.   It will float to the ground but you never have to shovel.  You still tie red ribbons on your mail box but there is no need for added evergreens if you already have a jasmine vine growing there.  The landscape colors change, but you go from the browns and muted colors of the salt marsh to the bright blue skies and darker waters once you cross over the Bridge.  The garden never sleeps.  The Winter garden offers much  both visually and to a healthy diet.  

Indoors, the tree goes up, as usual, no matter where you are.  I have not gone all “coastal” in decorating mine.  We have a lifetime of ornaments but most are just wonderful memories from over the years of collecting.

Special gifts from friends,

needlepoint stockings made with love and care

and happy icons of our life.

Our outdoor rabbit who once sat under each Winter’s snow, now gets a sparkly outdoor bow.

Are you getting your tree up, and thinking of adorning the house?  Don’t you feel we need to celebrate this season more than ever?  While we celebrate our traditions and hold fast to our Christian beliefs, this is also a time to hold on to our belief in freedom for all religions and our desire to live peacefully with all good people continues.

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin.
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you a wonderful season of love and laughter from our new hometown of Savannah!

Where the azalea bloom, it seems both Spring, Summer and Fall!

December 13, 2015

December 13, 2015


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