Thursday Doors

Welcome to Hampton Plantation, McClellanville, SC, established in 1735, and sitting along the shore of the Wambaw Creek. It was built for Noe Serre, a Huguenot (member of the Reformed Church of France), with proceeds of the rice crop and the labor of the craftsmen and women enslaved there.

The original home was six rooms, but when purchased by the Horry family in 1757, it was enlarged to its current size including a two-story ballroom. After the Horry family, the Pickney and Rutledge families resided at Hampton Plantation. Archibald Rutledge was also South Carolina’s first poet laureate.

The original plantation was part of three plantations just under 6,000 acres with two crops being farmed – rice and indigo. Farming and upkeep required 350 slaves in the fields, house, and in other roles such as seamstress, blacksmith, and carpenters. This number decreased to the point of 130 at the time of the American Civil War. The one remaining building that the slaves used was this summer kitchen.

Today it is owned and maintained as a museum by the State of South Carolina. In 1970, it was designated a registered National Historic Landmark.

Sitting in front of the manor house is a very large, handsome oak tree dripping with moss and resurrection ferns that has an interesting historical link.

In 1791, George Washington visited Hampton Plantation. Upon his arrival, he was consulted by the Horrys about whether the tree should come down to provide a better view. President Washington did not agree, and it was decided to leave the tree standing. Today it is referred to as the Washington Oak.

Here is a sampling of the beautiful Camellias in bloom all around the property.

When I visit historical sites like this, I must admit ambivalent feelings. I am always grateful that we have preserved these beautiful buildings and landscapes as they tell our Country’s history. I am also humbled by the fact that they were established, built, and maintained by the hard labor of skilled men and women who had no choice in the matter.

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, February 15, 2018.

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Mid February

February is almost half over. Where did it go?

I’ve been sick. Not in the hospital sick, but sinus cold type sick. I’ve been trying to get rid of it for almost a week using over the counter meds. I thought about going to a doc in the box but was concerned I’d pick up something worse. Seeing people out and about with surgical masks is becoming a common sight right now.

I was well enough to take in a craft fair yesterday. I have worked several craft fairs when my daughter was first getting her Etsy business up and running. Crafters work hard and long to get their wares ready, and then there is set up, take down, not to mention the hours of waiting to see how successful the sale ends up being after you deduct the cost of purchasing the space.

One of the funniest things I remember is the person coming up and asking her if she could tell them how she made something because they wanted to go home and make one. Sure, she spent weeks getting ready and is trying to make a living, so why wouldn’t she just explain it in detail to you. Did you ever hear of Pinterest or Google? 🙂

If only I wasn’t a minimalist and 1,000 miles from home, I could have shop til I dropped yesterday because I admire each and every one of those talented crafters.

But, instead I look at something and talk myself out of it. Oh well, good for the wallet I guess.

But, I sure would have enjoyed taking this beautiful gourd fairy house home. Handsome isn’t it?

There are a fair amount of antique type shops down here.

They are stocked by a variety of crafter types which means some items are actually made and others are bought from China.

I did buy a piece of yard art. It is a metal egret. It will look perfect either on my four-season porch or in the yard. He’s long and flat, and I can squeeze him in the car.

So, are you watching any of the Olympics? Favorite sport? I like the ones I understand like the luge. Those are some serious competitors going 80-90 mph down an ice slide on a piece of plastic.

I watched curling for a while trying to figure it out. It seems to require patience and strategy, but it sure could put you to sleep. And, please, will someone give Lindsey Vonn a real job and make her go away? Just saying. 🙂

No golf today for the hubby. Another day of rain and heavy fog. A dripping wet seagull flew up to sit on the balcony railing for a while this morning and even let me open the door to snap this shot. I couldn’t decide if s/he was looking for an umbrella or a snack. I think I’ll hit the mall to walk today.


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Why do people head south in the winter? The simple answer for this gardener is so I can be outside and enjoy nature in ways that don’t require a snow shovel or scraper.

The camellias are blooming here, and the daffodils are getting to the point where we’ll see buds pretty soon. The pansies are out and being installed in many plantings. I had to buy a pot to set on our balcony. I had to.

One of the highlights for me when I visit Brookgreen Gardens is to see the turtles all clustered together on logs leading into the water. The first couple of visits, there were no turtles to see – too cold. Yesterday, there were four. The weather is getting there.

Since so many love squirrels, I tried to get a shot of this southern fox squirrel that scurries around Brookgreen. I did my best, but, folks, he’s quick. Look at that face and those ears.

Sometimes, nature comes in the form of amazing art, and we enjoyed these two beautiful sculptures from artists hailing from Illinois and Colorado.

But, you may still be wondering why return once a week. Well, because if you are going to walk for exercise, you might as well have a good running conversation with friends and be surrounded by live oaks dripping with moss and resurrection ferns.

Here’s hoping you have an opportunity to enjoy nature and the beauty of the outdoors. I just hope it doesn’t include the shovel that starts with an ‘s’. 🙂


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Wordless Wednesday


One lone fisherman keeping the faith on a cold blustery day. It is colder here today than Minneapolis. Want to talk climate change?  🙂

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Play Dirt

I hope my friend, Sue, doesn’t mind me borrowing her great-grandson’s favorite request of her to ‘play dirt.’ Trucks, pails, shovels, and laughter follow that request. 🙂

I can’t play dirt here in SC nor could I if I was at home in NH.

I did bring a couple of plants with me that are sentimental because they were gifts from a friend who has since passed. One is a rabbit’s foot fern, and the other is a slip of my large walking iris which I left at home in the 55 degree house. Best of all – the walking iris has one bud.


I can also buy tools, which I did at Tuesday Morning. We don’t have any of those stores in NH so I enjoy prowling their aisles looking for bargains.

I found some really nice gloves from Boss Guard Dig-in, a potting scoop, topiary shears that I think will work great on boxwoods, and a hand fork from Joseph Bentley.

Reading gardening articles is also soothing to the soul. Containers are big again this year because the population in major cities is increasing, homes are being built smaller, plus seasoned gardeners are getting older and can garden longer with containers and raised beds.

We even went to the local MG meeting last week held by the Grand Strand Master Gardeners and spent an hour with a local expert learning about cover crops, organic growing practices, and the production of wine, juices and other food crops here in SC. Did you know growers in SC send their crops to either NC or VA for processing? Very interesting.

If you live in NH and are trying to decide whether to start seeds or buy plants I have a resource for you.

This week I received an email with info on how to order organic seedlings from Stout Oak Farm in Brentwood.

I’ve bought plants from them a couple of times. Fill out the order form, send in a check, pull in their driveway Memorial weekend, pick up a box of  healthy plants, drive home and plant them. Ah, the wonders of modern gardening.

Is vegetable gardening on your to-do-list? Starting seeds or buying seedlings? In the ground, raised beds, or containers?

My gardening pulse is quickening. I’d better call Sue. It may be time for another visit to Brookgreen Gardens because that’s the closest I’m going to get to playing dirt for a while yet. 😎


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Thursday Doors

If you watch HGTV, you’ve probably heard the term ‘little house.’ Well, I’ve got a little church for you this week.

The Travelers Chapel in Conway, SC, was built in 1972 by Rev. Emory Young, his son, Bruce Young, together with many volunteers from the community. It was financed by Dr. Gaylord Kelly, local businesses and churches, along with many individual donations.

It measures 12′ x 24′, and seats a maximum of 12.

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Stopping at the Travelers Chapel is a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect even for a few moments.  This little church with its six pews and beautiful pastel stained glass windows is lovely.

Center stage on the altar is a book where visitors can write prayers or best wishes for safe travels for those coming after them. How nice is that?

The door to The Travelers Chapel is always open. For those with small wedding parties, weddings are free. Donations, however, are gratefully accepted towards the upkeep of the church.

Looking to see a little church for yourself, check the extensive list on Roadside America, where they think the tiniest might be in Oneida, New York.

It was built in 1989, measures 51″ x 81″, seats two, and sits in the middle of a pond. The description of this tiny church just makes me smile.

If you’ve seen any tiny churches for yourself, by all means, let us know, and happy Thursday, this last one of January 2018.

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, January 25, 2018

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Wildflower Art

On Saturday, two friends and I attended the first of three lectures on The Reign of Rice at Brookgreen Gardens.

The Reign of Rice series explore the Gullah Geechee heritage as it related to the production of rice on SC plantations.

After the lecture, we walked the paths  and  saw camellias starting to bloom and large swaths of daffodils growing.

Brookgreen is a combination of amazing sculptures, live oaks dripping with moss, incredible assortment of plants, and miles of walking paths.

We visit regularly to get our exercise, but also to see what has changed since the last visit. The gardens cover 9,100 acres so there are always noticeable differences, and they have an unlimited supply of talented artists on display.

This past week we saw the unbelievable exhibit of wildlife art by Trailer McQuilkin. You’ve heard the expression, ooh and aah, well that is exactly what we did as we walked around this exhibit. My photos taken through glass do not do his work justice so check out his website for better shots.

Mr. McQuilkin lives and works in Mississippi. His wildflower sculptures are unique, beautiful, and so realistic it is hard to understand how he creates them out of copper.

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Sheet copper, copper wire, metal primer, oil paints, and natural materials are all part of the tool kit he uses to creates these magnificent pieces of art. Each piece takes from two to five months from start to finish.

They are so far out of my budget, it makes me smile. But, I am extremely grateful that Brookgreen Gardens offers us an opportunity see art of this quality. Happy Monday.

Planning to be in the Myrtle Beach area? Brookgreen Gardens is located at 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, SC, 29576, off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. Tickets are free for children under 4, $8 for children 4-12, $16 for adults 13-64, and $14 for seniors 65 and over.

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