Wednesday, April 22, 2015

midnight in the garden (with pink houses)



Last week, with snow still in my yard, I took a quick trip 
to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.

I'm showing you cupcakes from Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah,
but actually, I ate the key lime tart, and it was perfect.
Sweet and tart and limey.


 These two fine ladies oversee your order. 
Before the tart I had grilled pimento cheese on ciabatta.
I instagrammed my love for pimento cheese and how hard it is to find in the north
and Susan of Southern Fascinations gave me her recipe (here).

So I'm going to make it, if I can find pimentos.
(I know you can get anything on the internet.)
And don't worry, it's fat-free.


 Savannah is filled with green, designed around 21 squares that have
massive shade trees dripping Spanish moss, and benches and fountains and statues.
Many of them are surrounded by elegant townhouses.

 

It's beautiful at night too, and a little spooky--
all that Spanish Moss
and there are ghosts everywhere.


 I kept seeing pink houses in Charleston.
I don't actually want to live in a pink house,
but I get excited when I see them.



This spectacular gingerbread house faces the river.


This one looks like pictures I've seen of Dutch houses.


Hard to get a good photo, but behind those verandahs
is a huge pink house.


It seemed that every block had a pink house


or church. 
The French Hugenot church.
Isn't it beautiful with the black trim?


The highlight of the trip was the Charleston garden tour.
They were mostly small and all charming. 
Lots of old brick paths, boxwood hedges, fountains and flowers. 
Comfortable places to sit in the shade and drink a mint julep 
or sweet tea (when you need a change from your verandah).
Small garden "rooms" and secret places, crumbling walls, and patina galore.

It's less than a two hour flight from Boston to Savannah and Charleston
and they are only a two hour drive apart, so to my northeast friends,
it's easy to make a short trip to either or both.
Spanish moss, pimento cheese and pink houses make a nice change.


37 comments:

  1. Jen, I was in Savannah last week!!! Did you go for the garden tour? Oh, I wish I would have known you were going to be there. We could have shared a cupcake. :) It's one of my very favorite cities...If I got an okay from Chad, we'd be there tomorrow!

    Did you come home to spring or is winter still lingering?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Sarah, that is too funny. I was too late for the Savannah garden tour but I made the last Charleston one. I think all future vacations will be planned around garden tours!
    The snow is finally gone and yesterday my first flowers, scyllas, appeared, so you were right--spring did return.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the pink and black. Maybe it has something to do with my memories of loving the movie Grease when I was a little girl, and a special fondness for Rizzo, Frenchy, Marty, and Jan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think pink and black look great together. Pink flowers in a black vase!

      Delete
  4. Like I need a reason to start singing Summer Loving one more time.

    I wondered about that pimento sandwich. You went right to the source. Nice. You bring back the beauty of those cities with your words and photos. I'm debating what new color to paint my front door, God don't let me do pink.

    Xo J



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, fun. Tell us more about your door, so we can all give you our opinion. :-)

      Delete
    2. You cannot make me sing it all by myself...

      Delete
  5. Hello Jen, So many Southern places feature pink houses, but one of the most famous is right in New York, an Italian villa in Wellsville known as (what else?) the Pink House. Have you seen it?
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim, I didn't know that about the south but have spent little time there, mostly in Nashville and North Carolina, which are mid-south. I have a fantasy of a long road trip through the deep south.

      I just looked up the Wellsville house and it is spectacular, and really deep into rural New York. Thanks for telling me about it.

      Delete
  6. It's been years since I made a short trip to Charleston. I'd love to go back. Never have been to Savannah. You make them look so very inviting. Glad you had a good time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are lovely charming cities. To be honest though, I prefer the bigger grittier cities and big landscapes. But this was an was getaway trip with one of m sons.

      Delete
  7. Jen, we loved Savannah. Visited last fall on our honeymoon. You must go check out my blog posts from Charleston, Savannah and Fripp Island!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Jen,

    Your trip looks to have been absolutely wonderful.

    The houses do look remarkably Dutch, although whether pink is a predominant colour in the Netherlands we doubt. But, so many handsome houses, and all looking cherished. How we should have loved to have been there with you and explore the gardens....not at night, however!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane and Lance, Thankfully the Charleston garden tours were during the day. I did go on a ghost walk at night in Savannah, which was more about the host or of the city than the supernatural. It's actually lovely on warm evenings. It's compact and safe, the squares are nicely lit. One of my dreams is to go on a garden tour in England.

      Delete
  9. sounds fantastic. and looks beautiful too. and like you, I like pink houses but wouldn't want to live in one. but oh those gardens. I'd kill to have one of those!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love small city gardens. We had one when I lived in Brooklyn and it was the best garden I've ever had.

      Delete
  10. Hello Jen,
    your trip to Savannah sounds wonderful.
    I would imagine, that some of the houses have maybe a french influence.!
    The houses are so different and look so well kept, some Dutch influence there.!
    My daughter and hubby spent 6 weeks last year around the area.. she fell in love with it and the people.
    I live in a pink and white cottage.. its not the vibrant pink.. its the old european pink ..
    It is good to get away jen.. i would love to have seen those gardens.
    val x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val, have I seen a picture of your cottage? I love the charming faded pinks of Europe and would love to live in one in the right place--those places are so often by the sea and in warmer climates. Here it is New England gray and white everywhere!

      Delete
  11. I always wanted to live in Monet's house since I saw an article that featurred Giverny in a magazine when I was sixteen. But I may have shifted from pink with teal trim to teal with aqua trim. In my dreams. Thanks for all the garden inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just got a book about Monet's garden from the library. I had no idea it was so extensive. Val's comment brings up a good point for me, that it's all about the setting. I'd like a whitewashed cottage if it's covered with roses!

      Delete
  12. It looks such a beautiful cared-for place, and a great deal of thinking must go on in those coloured houses and churches. No one could live in such deliberately coloured places and thoughtlessly be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. Like so many cities, they was neglected for a long time, and in the 60's (i think) a preservation movement started. Charleston is almost at the point of being too gentrified for me and so many tourists. Savannah is still a little rough around the edges.

      Delete
  13. Pink houses look good in the South, especially in stucco, up here they look out of place. I have these two lovely places on my list, oy that list! Glad you had such a lovely time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet there are some nice pink houses in Miami!

      Delete
  14. Brilliant idea going South to soak up some sun and feast your eyes on colors! I love pink houses. I actually painted our little cottage in Deep Creek, Maryland, light pink. I thought it was really cute, but our neighbors complained (pink just didn't fit up there), so we had to paint it a more traditional blue. Boring!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe that our neighbors complained. That's terrible. I love the sound of a cottage at Deep Creek.

      Delete
  15. Hi Jen,
    A lovely and charming entry. Charleston still has many rough edges but they are found in North Charleston, its deep water port and industrial area. In Savannah, I hope you made it to the Telfair Academy, housed in a magnificently restored old mansion. It's Savannah's art museum & well worth the visit.
    Cheers, Diane in
    Lilac Heavenly Denver

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane,

      I went to the Telfair when I was in Savannah two years ago and am glad I did.

      Delete
  16. I've always wanted to go to Savannah. Your gorgeous photos make the city come alive for me.
    Maybe a long weekend in Savannah is in order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would go in the early spring or fall. Summer is hot and humid!

      Delete
  17. beautiful gardens and houses!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a gorgeous place !! I love these lovely gardens !!
    Have a nice Sunday :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. This was fun to see, as we recently found out that some old friends have moved to Charleston. I want to go visit them!

    ReplyDelete