Trucking on Skidaway Island

Living on an Island in the South is bliss. Imagine a beautiful home like this, overlooking a river that runs to the sea….but! there are no restaurants on the Island.  Well, one pub and a few country club dining rooms.  No complaints, but maybe you are feeling the need for variation?  What to do?

Savannah is becoming known for their innovative Food Trucks.  Here are two that came to the Island recently.  I tried the Classic Grilled Cheese.  Maybe not a food group on your latest diet, but it was PERFECT!

 

You know what else I will call perfect?  Taking a ride on my bike and finding this growing by the side of the road!  Happy growing!

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Awaiting Spring in Savannah

Our last Frost date in Savannah is thought to be March 15th.  This past Winter has proven to be colder than cold with sustained freezing temperature going on for day after day, evening after evening, for longer than even the old timers recall.  So I am biding my time with just a few basil seeds planted at the window sill, and early hopes went with the newly planted peas and lettuce at the Farm.  I have fire ants trying once again to make my plot their home, so I have stayed away for a few days.  My nasty method of pouring boiling water on their hills will hopefully make the survivors agree to pack up and move elsewhere.  All of these variables, such as frost and fire ants, will partially determine my success with the Spring planting.

While waiting to get back into the garden,  we bought a ticket to have ONE treasure appraised during the Savannah Antiques and Architecture week-end.  While I went more to support the charity than learn the true value of my treasure, I have to say I was very disappointed in the appraisers estimate.  Having been in the antiques trade myself for nearly two decades, I feel I could have challenged him, but why bother?  It was an event to raise funds, meet celebrities and enjoy the charm of historic Savannah, after all.  ANd the event delivered on all of that!  What a lovely day it was to stroll the squares, and marvel at the azaleas just about to burst into full glory.  On the drive home, we stopped by Bonaventure Cemetery, one of Savannah’s jewels.  Yes, I have said it before, a cemetery is unlikely place to want to spend an early Spring afternoon.  However, Bonaventure is like many rural cemeteries in the United States that were planned not just as final resting places, but as beautifully planned parks in rural areas.

The townspeople were provided these beautiful open spaces as a respite to their hard-working lives, and as places to not only respect and remember their loved ones, but to celebrate the great outdoors.   My grandfather,  grandmother and father have their final resting place in such a rural cemetery.  Their monument overlooks the mighty Hudson River and the hills that rise from her shores, where one can reflect on life and take time to remember.  The monuments at Bonaventure are extraordinary and  have an artistic appeal that is admired by many. In fact the Telfair Museums just opened a small but engaging exhibit at their Jepson Museum.  It should not be missed!  The Bird girl, known to all as the cover girl on John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” has been moved to the Museum and is on special display during the run of the exhibit. (She was actually moved quite some time ago, as the book became popular, there was some worry over her safety in the Bonaventure Cemetary.)  Because my visits to this blog have become spare,(and I might not get back to it for a while!) let me try to hold your attention a minute more, and end with something I found while at the exhibit.  An old design for the planting around a plot at Bonaventure!  One reason people love to take visitors to the cemetery is to view the landscape, adorned with azaleas, camellias, crepe myrtles and other specimen plantings.  I admire  this plan, but back then, the designer did not know what a nuisance the ivy (Hedera helix) would become!  It is as bad as kudzu!  I’ve heard that some people mow it down with lawn mower and still it persists.  Takes over the world if allowed.  After our short visit, we descended the grand staircase at the Jepson museum,  drove home from our “city visit”  where we always admire the architecture. Happy Spring Savannah!

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2 * 0 * 1 * 8 * BE * BETTER

On the Eve of a New Year a fresh start looms wide in front of us. Who can deny those yearnings to make this next year better? Maybe you’re not courageous enough to say the best, but let’s promise ourselves something better than the past.

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Take a plunge, as freely as a small shy bird into a puddle of water standing amongst the lantana in December.  An unlikely spot to find fresh water, but there it is!  Why not reach for the moon and imagine writing that book you always thought your blog would lead to at some point?   Or perhaps you want to push just beyond your comfort range and strive for the Garden column to explode with new ideas, while the photography opens a new vision of the garden.  Okay, maybe that is just me!  What do you imagine?

I wish my readers and fellow bloggers an exciting eve of exploring their desires to become better in 2018!  May your resolution, whether lofty or practical, lead you on a good, maybe better, path.

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Christmas Is Coming

When the bugs of the season arrive at your door, and I don’t mean the ones you can see, they can put a cramp in your merriment!  A long week end with cold, damp weather and a bug, kept me bedridden.  If you have to endure cold, dreary days, you may as well get a double dose of misery, and suffer a virus.

Today the sun is out, the temperatures have risen and I felt well enough to go downtown.

I am so glad some homeowners have Christmas decor on display.

It surely perked me up and made the spirit of Christmas

 that we all yearn for,

come alive.

“A Merry Christmas to us all, God bless us, everyone!”  Oh, Tiny Tim, we need you now more than ever!

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Name Change

Sticks and stones may break the bones, but words will never hurt ye.   Even still, Jayne is no longer on Weed Street.  Jayne is in Georgia. Savannah Georgia to be precise!   Change is good, and so I have decided to really leave Weed Street behind.  It was ironic that an inveterate gardner such as myself, would chance to move into a house on WEED Street in 2000.  Despite its association for a now, almost, legal drug, weed is thought mostly to refer to those plants that show up unwanted in your carefully planned garden!  The irony seemed forced, now that I live in this subtropical environment of coastal Georgia.  Jayne left Weed Street and it seems time to change the name of the blog! Georgia is a big state, and I have not ventured to all her corners, but I hope to!  While my blog years on Weed Street were sweet, I now look forward to finding the sweetness here in Georgia!

Dear Readers, I hope I don’t lose you as I leave Weed Street behind, and plant my blog in Georgia! I will hopefully get fewer searches for the legal substance arriving at my blog door and more just arriving for the fun of my blog!  Onward to the magic of Christmas and beyond!

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Garden Touring in November

There are so many reasons to love living in the low country in November, such as oyster roasts, shrimp fresh from the waters til December, and festivals of every sort right up through Christmas.  But I would not have expected a garden tour.  And yet, there is still so much growing….and camellia season is not even at its peak for quite a while!

Touring the gardens… there was a little cheating as far as live plants, or not, in window boxes.  So if that was blue thunbergia vine, I might not take a closer look.  But blue wisteria? that gave me pause and a giggle.  You’ve probably seen some hideous artificial flowers plunged in window boxes for Winter and scoffed.   But, truly, this was done with artistry and good design.  Mixing the sweet potato vine and the gorgeous fern with the silk flowers made it all work.

 

The grass is still green, sago palms, live oaks and saw palmettos and smooth lagoons thrill even my old tired garden touring eyes!  In the plant world, there is always some new way of looking at things.  I discovered new vistas while touring this garden.

Even the Spanish moss does its job to festoon old trees and frame a new colorful Autumn bed.

As we approach one of the most iconic  of American holidays, let us be grateful.  In Georgia, I am grateful for a new way of touring gardens…in November.

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Memories come on wings

The spell of swaying Savannah shadows

lift the  memories never fleeing

a beloved father’s pain ended by Death

Giving grief second place to relief

A beautiful friend’s agony snatched away

by that unwelcome visitor, not invited

Loss slowly replaced by the mind’s eye sight

Fleeting beauty on strong wings that lift

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Autumn Arrives in Savannah

Autumn arrives in Savannah between humid, sultry days and close nights when the air doesn’t move enough to even sway a long piece of Spanish moss hanging motionless from  live oaks and vines.  Today was such a moment, when the skies were bluer than blue, and the daring contrast of strong sun and deep shadows gave an unreal atmosphere to this old city.

 

Such a lovely hour as we poked through old maps and botanical prints in this venerable shop.  

A most charming couple, with a darling cavalier King Charles spaniel (as if there was any other kind) introduced us to their abode and a tour of their incredibly and richly appointed home.  A lifetime of collecting was evident and admired.

 

Even Forsyth Park’s iconic fountain looked more handsome on a day that pronounced Autumn in Savannah!

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Hurricanes and Irksome Irma

Jayne On Weed Street is becoming more a quarterly publication.  There are events that get in the way of even the most well-meaning writer.  Things like hurricanes!  Besides the stress and expense and toil of evacuating from my home, I will not complain too loudly because when you see people losing EVERYTHING,  you feel some gratitude that your home was spared.

We evacuated on a Friday, a day ahead of the mandatory evacuation notice, but when irksome Irma, made a left hand turn, it seemed she was headed more toward Augusta, (where we had evacuated) than our home in Savannah.  So we packed up the cooler, the dogs and luggage to check out of the hotel and drive into the Twilight Zone.  NO ONE seemed to be driving to Savannah or SOuth for that matter.  Yes, we headed back to the hurricane.  On Monday morning, the view from our front porch looked like this, as Irma came blowing through Savannah.  Hurricane Matthew had toppled  centuries old trees and mountains of branches on Skidaway Island 11 months before, but Irma’s wrath was surging water. .  Crossing the bridge to Skidaway Island looked like this as the water rose.  The salt marsh disappeared.   A few days later, all was back to normal.   The rope bridge, as is pictured on my cover page, also disappeared.  The local fowl wondered about the new landscape.

When the winds died down, the birds  began to sing.  The butterflies carried on as usual.  Alligators showed up in unexpected places because water was everywhere.We have come to love our Southern home ,  but how many times can you be irked by hurricanes before you begin to second guess your choice of new home?

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Newport Flower Show, First Class!

Summer has arrived, and nowhere heralds the fact better and with more time tested class and splendor than Newport.   I’ve just had the pleasure of staying in this seaside village at the Ivy Lodge. This shingled residence from days past puts you in the middle of historic Newport with all the updates you would want to make your stay pleasurable.   Breakfast in the original formal dining room was an offering of fresh fruit and their famous homemade granola along with freshly baked pecan waffles!  The proprietor checked in with us for assurance that we were comfortable, and the chef inquired as to any culinary restrictions.  First class!  Our room was small but romantic and with the windows thrown open to enjoy the sea breezes, we were in heaven. The wide wrap around porches made for delicious reading nooks atop comfortable brown wicker seating!

The purpose of my visit was to Judge Horticulture for the Newport Flower show.  This year, entitled Fete des Fleurs:Paintings and Parterres, visitors were transported to France, home to artists and gardeners of renowned artistry.  Held at one of the most popular Newport mansions,  Rosecliff, which recalls the Grand Trianon of Versailles, this flower show is a must for all serious garden lovers.

Before the judging and the opening of the show, we strolled through the town. The shopkeepers had a competition for the best window display heralding the Flower show.  My daughter worked with CK Bradley during her post college years, and we were overjoyed to see Camilla’s shop festooned with a  blue ribbon!  I am not sure who the judges were for that competition, but I would agree, CK Bradley showed great style and was a clear blue ribbon winner!  

The Horticulture judges were aware that Newport had witnessed a foggy, rainy Spring, but the horticultural offerings were superb, the exhibits exhilarating, and the overall tone of the show one of the best in memory.  I was not able to tour all of the excellent vendors but as they unpacked their wares and offerings to gardeners, I realized I could go home with something from every booth, if my purse allowed!  Just a few sights….

The Judges worked hard to examine the plants and exhibits, with an eye to excellence, and to giving the appropriate and well earned awards.  At the end of the day, we freshened up and made our way down Bellevue Avenue to the Marble House

for a private dinner on the back terrace overlooking the water.  A fete without compare!

The visit to Newport wouldn’t be complete without a dinner and drinks at Castle Hill Inn.  We enjoyed drinks on the lawn overlooking the water until a dark cloud chased us inside. Not to worry, the storm clouds passed and we enjoyed the most sensational sunset while enjoying a superb meal.  I will say it again, first class!

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