1 Our day started with a little shopping in downtown Charleston. Here I am with Susan Hull Walker, founder of the wildly successful IBU garments woven by women worldwide, and my dear friend, entrepreneur and author, Charlotte Beers. http://www.ibumovement.com/ http://charlottebeers.com
2 We stopped at Fritz Porter, a curated antique center representing 15 different dealers - similar to the Antique & Artisan Gallery in Stamford, Connecticut. Fritz Porter is located in the historic Cigar Factory originally built in 1881 as a cotton manufacturing facility, and now used for housing event space, signature restaurants and retail stores. http://fritzporter.com
3 In this photo, I'm joined by Fritz Porter owner, Sarah-Hamlin Hastings. In describing her shop, she says not only is it an antiques center, but also an art gallery, and a fabric and furniture showroom.
4 This is a very rare cast iron 1910 Kramer Brothers Urn from Dayton, Ohio. This handled urn sits atop a pedestal and a square cast base with the Kramer stamp.
5 This area is dedicated to Charleston Garden Works, owned by Patrick Bradley and Glen Gardner, at Fritz Porter. Charleston Garden Works specializes in providing a collection of pieces ranging from regal urns, to benches, grand planters, and garden sculptures. http://www.charlestongardenworks.com/
6 This is a scale model of a Douglas DC3 plane in the William Cook antiques booth. William Cook is a second generation antiques business dealing in fine furniture, and special objects of art. http://www.williamcookantiques.com
7 This booth is overseen by Charleston's John Pope Antiques. John Pope Antiques is located in the heart of Charleston's historic antiques district. He combines a unique mix of period pieces and bold color. http://www.johnpopeantiques.com
8 I admired these three beautiful light fixtures from Patricia Allen Antiques - they are so eye-catching.
9 I also liked the art pieces on the coffee table and in the right hand corner of this booth. They are by local ceramic artist, Saila Milija-Smyly, represented here, by Workshop. Each piece she makes is developed and handmade in stoneware clay. http://building-art.us/
10 Here is a closer look at the handcrafted "Birchwood" sculptural flower vase. Saila's ceramics involve wheel throwing or slab-building by hand, and one or more firings in a kiln at temperatures in excess of 2200-degrees Fahrenheit. http://www.earthenly.com
11 I attended a cocktail reception at The Cedar Room, an event space located in the same celebrated Cigar Factory, an open and airy space, featuring historic wood columns, hardwood floors and original elements. The party venue is used very often for events like the Volvo Car Open sponsored by Meredith Corporation and Family Circle magazine. http://thecedarroom.com. http://www.theantiqueandartisangallery.com
12 The 7500 square foot venue can accommodate parties and celebrations of all sizes, from intimate cocktail receptions to seated dinners for 300 guests. The event was catered by The Bad Bitches and Mercantile and Mash. http://www.thebadbitches.com http://www.mercandmash.com
13 These are The Bad Bitches - to my right is co-founder, Chef Sarah Adams. All these women are local chefs. The Bad Bitches creates themed pop-up dinner parties to support women in the food industry. A portion of their proceeds benefits Bad Bitches Charleston Scholarship Fund for the continuing education of women in food and beverage.
14 Here I am with Lisette Limoges and Neil Small, owners of Lisette L Montreal, and Steve Lacy, Chairman and CEO of our partner, Meredith Corporation. http://www.meredith.com
15 In this snapshot, I am with Neil Small and Lisette Limoges, David Small, and Cathryne Small - all from Lisette L Montreal. If you have not purchased any Lisette slacks, jackets or sports clothing, you should. I wear their pants a lot for travel and work - well fitting and very good looking - the fabric is magical. https://lisettel.com
16 Occasionally, I see former colleagues at events. You may remember Stephen Orr - he used to work for me as a garden editor. Here he is with his husband, Chad Jacobs. Stephen is now editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens.
17 Joining me are Pam Shriver, retired professional tennis player and ESPN commentator, and Rennae Stubbs, also a retired professional tennis player and sports commentator. They told me Pam would interview me the next day at the tennis matches - in the ESPN booth!
18 This is the gate to the home where we went for dinner. Charleston is famous for its walls, gardens, gates and beautiful houses. I never tire of visiting a new place.
19 This lovely 1836 Greek Revival Chisolm House was just carefully restored and furnished by author, Carolyne Roehm. It is beautiful!
20 Her gardens are exquisite, and although brand new, they look very established.
21 Coir, the fiber from the husk of the coconut, is used quite often in horticulture. It is used as potting material and here, to protect the newly planted trees.
22 In Charleston, it is good to have strong legs and great mobility and low shoes - there are lots of stairs, great distances to walk and lots to see.
23 A dear friend of Charlotte's, famed decorator, Kathleen Rivers, brought her granddaughter, Martha, to Carolyne's house to meet one of the guests - soccer phenomenon, Mia Hamm - winner of three Olympic medals - two gold and a silver.
24 Carolyne's back gardens are very formal and beautifully designed.
25 Carolyne's blue and white porcelain, often seen in her gorgeous flower books including, "Flowers" and "A Passion for Flowers", is in this Charleston garden as well. http://carolyneroehm.com
26 Here are Mia and Martha, who was attending Mia's soccer seminar the next day.
27 Carolyne made a wonderful pasta for our dinner with local shrimp and tomatoes.
28 The dinner was simple and utterly delicious - Carolyne is a great cook!
29 The home on the far right is my dear friend, Charlotte's. It is on a beautiful and tranquil street.
30 This is a long brick-paved alley on the side of the house - so beautiful with the hedges and walls of ivy.
31 This is Charlotte's garden - a verdant hideaway tucked behind her home. It is a large space and occupies more area than you may think.
32 This is the back of the guest house, next to a lap pool. The trees in her garden are large and ancient.
33 The brick terrace is made from Charleston bricks and is a lovely connector from the guest house to the main house.
34 Early the next morning, I took a three-mile hike around Charleston. I started down at the waterfront where there is a park and a striking stand of pollarded sycamores. Pollarding is a pruning method where the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches.
35 Pollarding is different from pleaching, which is pruning the canopy of a tree up and providing a consistent height while also containing the growth on the sides and top of the plant.
36 During my walk, I saw this harbor pilot boat in the Charleston Harbor before it headed out to sea to either pick up a pilot or drop one off on a bigger ship.
37 On the waterfront, restored salt water marshes come right up to the residential areas.
38 This is the Pineapple Fountain. It is located in the Waterfront Park, a 12-acre park along approximately one-half mile of the Cooper River in Charleston. The park is a favorite walking area for Charlestonians.
39 As I continued my walk, I took photos of some of the beautiful and historic homes. This is the front door of the Caspar Christian Schutt House. This large, three and one-half story masonry single house was constructed around 1800 by Caspar Christian Schutt, a Charleston merchant of German descent.
40 The exterior features a dentil brick cornice, with stucco over brick, except for the north façade which is brick in the Flemish bond pattern.
41 This is a large beautiful gate with the dark green-black color that's so popular in Charleston.
42 The homes face south to avoid the high winds.
43 Here is another handsome gate.
44 Peeking through the gate, I saw this lovely brick walkway.
45 The Porcher-Simonds House is a historic home in downtown Charleston. The hyphenated name for the house combines the surname of the man who had it built in 1856, Francis Porcher, and the owner who remodeled it in the 1890’s, John Simonds.
46 This is the Charles Drayton House, circa 1886 - one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the city.
47 This is the Edmonston-Alston House - built on the foundation ruins of Fort Mechanic that was at this location in the later part of the 18th century. My friend, Charles Duell, lives here, and not considering the very early hour, I went up and knocked on the door. Everyone scurried around for a few minutes before our brief but enjoyable visit.
48 The three-story brick and stucco-faced house has a panoramic view of the Charleston Harbor as well as a view of the High Battery, the city's well known waterfront promenade.
49 The columns and cornices of the Edmondston-Alston House date from 1825. Charles is the president of The Middleton Place Foundation, a non-profit educational trust that owns and operates the Middleton Place National Historic Landmark, home of the family of Arthur MIddleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. https://www.middletonplace.org/
50 The Robert William Roper House is a historic house built on land purchased by Robert W. Roper, a prominent cotton planter, in 1838. The house was then purchased in 1929 by Solomon Guggenheim of New York and acquired in 1968 by Richard Jenrette, one of the founders of the Wall Street firm, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
51 The pink Palmer Home in Charleston was built between 1847 and 1849 by John Ravenel, a wealthy merchant and president of South Carolina Railroad Company. It has operated as a bed and breakfast since 1977, offering unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor.
52 This is the grand entrance to the Villa Margherita, another historic mansion in downtown Charleston. The home was financed by Andrew Simonds, founder and president of the First National Bank of South Carolina and given to his wife, Daisy, as a wedding present in the mid-1890s. It was used as a famous inn that hosted three US presidents among other distinguished guests. It is now owned by a single family that is restoring it.
53 Here is a more modest home, but still so very beautiful and historic.
54 Rainbow Row is the name for a series of 13 colorful historic houses. It represents the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States.
55 Here is the Daniel Huger House. Lord William Campbell, South Carolina's last Royal Governor, lived in this house in 1775. Shortly after the Revolution it came into the possession of the Huger family, which has been prominent in South Carolina for generations.
56 This is a row of small tenement homes. The iron brackets above the first floor doors and windows are anchor plates - large plates connected to a tie rod or bolt. They're used on exterior walls for structural reinforcement. They are mostly found in cities with 18th and 19th century brick construction.
57 Of course, before the end of my walk, I stopped to look at the beautiful wisteria in full bloom.