28 July 2016

Bloom with Grace

Sunflowers, West Ashley, Charleston, SC   
Going, going, gone. The last of the sunflowers reaching to the sky at the Magnolia Road community garden.

A little further down the road on Sycamore Rd but well within my walking distance will be the location of the new West Ashley Farmer's Market. Woohoo! Good news for me.
West Ashley Farmer's Market: Not to be left out of the local farmers market boom that has spread throughout the Lowcountry, West Ashley is finally getting its own weekly bazaar starting Sept. 14. Running every Wednesday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. until the end of October, the West Ashley Farmers Market looks to expand upon the success of its downtown predecessor by bringing fresh, local goods to Ackerman Park at 55 Sycamore Avenue. 

27 July 2016

Cane - Charleston's Rhum Bar

Cane Rhum Bar, 251 East Bay St., Charleston, SC  
Long time Charleston residents will hardly recognize the former infamous Big John's Tavern on East Bay Street in it's new reincarnation as CANE Charleston's Rhum Bar. It is full of color, tasty rum drinks and food. I felt very lucky to be invited to a sneak preview party this evening. I tried the Black & Stormy and the Cane Daiquiri and samples of spicy beef pastries, salted codfish fritters and jerk chicken skewers. It will be a happy addition to East Bay area offerings. 

Charleston Eater has some great photos and menu links. Chef/owner Paul Yellin welcomes guests to try Cabe on August 2. Let me know what you think!

26 July 2016

Tin can alley

Antique Barn, Camden, SC 
The metal work critters were so colorful they called for a quick roadside stop at the Antique Barn in Camden, SC. Owls, chickens, goats, dogs and lighthouses oh my!

We've had a long stretch of over 90 degree weather. 
Didn't quite make my 10,000 steps. Almost but not quite. 

25 July 2016

The Button King - Bishopville, SC

Button King Museum, Bishopville, SC 
Since we had driven all the way to Bishopville, SC on Saturday we had to check in on all the local attractions. After leaving Pearl Fryar's topiary garden I plugged the coordinates for the Button Museum into my gps and steered my friend Rosie directly onto a dirt road that led us for a few miles through back fields and farmland. I was a little skeptical when we started to hit deep ruts and running water on the side of the road but sure enough we came across a Button Museum sign. 

The property was a peaceful farm land with two Quonset huts and not a soul in sight. Luckily there was a paper sign on the door inviting us in to explore - and we did.  There was a set up video to play of Dalton Stevens on the Johnny Carson show in his button suit, two cars - one a hearse, two caskets, a piano and an outhouse all solidly decorated in colored buttons. We had a good laugh and I got a kick out of getting the button shots. It takes all kind to keep this world of ours spinning!
Roadside America: When Dalton was 53 years old - he's now in his 80s - he developed chronic insomnia. "Television went off at two in the mornin' back then," he recalled. "No more TV. I didn't have nothin' to do." To pass the time, Dalton found an old denim jumpsuit and started sewing buttons on it. He kept sewing for almost three years. He still couldn't get to sleep, but he had a jumpsuit covered with 16,333 buttons.
After running out of room for buttons on the suit, Dalton discovered the allure of contact cement. He glued 517 buttons on his shoes, then 3,005 on his guitar. Next he covered a banjo, then a piano, then his 1983 Chevy Chevette (150,000 buttons). Insomnia became an asset. "I wouldn't quit. I wouldn't stop," he said. "I'd go four and five days and never go to bed." The suit, and all of his other button-covered items that followed, are now displayed in the Button King Museum. Dalton opened it in 2008 in a building (built by his children) next to his home.

23 July 2016

A Man Named Pearl

Pearl Fryar, Bishopville, SC  
I've had a good day.  A long drive in the country took us to Bishopville, SC. I'd been aiming for lunch at Harry & Harry Too but it was closed on Saturdays and we found good BBQ and fried flounder at Watford's BBQ.  Our goal was Pearl Fryar's topiary garden. I've been a fan of Mr. Fryar since I'd seen the documentary about his mad talent for trimming bushes into topiary shapes in the documentary "A Man Named Pearl" and I was so pleased to actually find him working in the garden and happy to visit and talk with us. It was such an honor and a treat that I am still smiling about it.
Since the early 1980s, Pearl Fryar has created fantastic topiary at his garden in Bishopville, South Carolina. Living sculptures, Pearl’s topiary are astounding feats of artistry and horticulture. Many of the plants in Pearl’s garden were rescued from the compost pile at local nurseries. With Pearl’s patience and skilled hands, these “throw aways” have thrived and have been transformed into wonderful abstract shapes. Pearl Fryar and his garden are now internationally recognized and have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, television shows, and even a documentary, A Man Named Pearl. Today, the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden draws visitors from around the globe.

22 July 2016

Flowers for Friday

Charleston, SC  
It's Friday!  Our afternoon thundershower has come and gone. 
The sadder and uglier the news, the more likely I am to post pictures of flowers. 
I aim to stock up on quirky images for you this weekend if things go according to plan. 

21 July 2016

See the summer bouquet?

Colorful centerpiece, Sullivan's Island, SC 
Can you see it? 
I spotted this colorful and clever display at my friend Josephine's home and thought it would make a good table centerpiece. You can spot a glimpse of Archie the poodle in the side of the photo. 

Watching and reading the news is so awful these days I am sticking to light and funny posts. 
Nothing serious here kids. 

It is hot and humid in Charleston but I made yummy Shepherd's pie for my son and still got my 10,000 steps in. I think I am done. 

19 July 2016

Bluffton Bottle Tree in Blue

Bottle tree, Bluffton, SC  
This gentleman has quite the collection of bottle tree information: Felderrushing.net
History of Bottle Trees: Although glass was made deliberately as early as 3500 B.C. in northern Africa, hollow glass bottles began appearing around 1600 B.C. in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Clear glass was invented in Alexandria around 100 A.D. Soon around then, tales began to circulate that spirits could live in bottles - probably from when people heard sounds caused by wind blowing over bottle openings. This led to the belief in "bottle imps" and genies (from the Arabic worddjinn) that could be captured in bottles (remember Aladdin and his magic lamp? This story originated as an Arabian folk tale dating back thousands of years, even before clear glass was invented). Somewhere in there, people started using glass to capture or repel bad spirits. The idea was, roaming night spirits would be lured into and trapped in bottles placed around entryways, and morning light would destroy them.