Well, after a delayed start yesterday – we finally began our newest road trip adventure.


Charleston, South Carolina was our first destination.



For those of you who have been to Charleston, you know what a beautiful city it is, steeped in history with beautifully, preserved buildings.

My mother and I are fairly independent when traveling and took our own tour of the historic downtown district of Charleston – armed with a map and guide, which explained all of the historic sites.


Many of the buildings dated from the 1700’s.  There were beautifully decorated gates that led to narrow walkways, which ended in secret gardens…



I love learning about history and particularly liked the story behind the cobble stone streets…


These stones are from England.  They come over in the 1700’s on ships where they were used as ballast.  Then the stones were taken off of the ships and made into streets.


There were beautiful window boxes filled with an assortment of ornamental plants.



Window boxes are a novelty to me because in our dry, desert climate – it is almost impossible to grow plants successfully in windows during the summer.


Charleston is also known for its many steepled churches.


My mother spent time going into the churches, exploring their history (she is a former pastor) – while I would take photos of plants outside 🙂

This church really struck a chord with her with its history of its bells.  This is St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and its bells were made in London in 1764.  After the Revolutionary War, the British stole the bells and took them back to London.  

Later, the bells were returned and hung back up in the steeple.


The clay tiles of this old home were made by molding them around a man’s thigh.


Visiting the Slave Mart Museum was very interesting and informative, yet heartbreaking at the same time.

The museum is located on the site of where slaves were sold back in the 1800’s.


I had heard of these beautiful, handmade baskets before I came to Charleston.  These are Gullah Sweet Grass baskets.  The art of making this type of basket originated in Africa, long ago.  The slaves brought over this basket-making ability with them to the states and have handed it down to their descendants, who continue to make them today.


The baskets are made out of sweet grass, bull grass, palmetto palms and pine needles.  This kind woman took time to explain to me how she learned how to make these baskets from her mother and has taught her children how to make them.  

One medium-sized basket takes 2 1/2 days to make.


My mother and I saw this historic home for sale – but figured out that a home built in the 1700’s might be more of a ‘fixer-upper’ then we wanted to handle 😉

One of the best parts of traveling, is to taste the unique dishes of the region.


Now, I am not what you would call an adventurous diner.  In fact, I can be rather picky.

But, I had to try this ‘Southern Sampler’, which had fried green tomatoes (I tried one bite), corn bread topped with bacon, pulled pork and cole slaw and fresh potato chips.  It was delicious, especially with sweet tea – another Southern staple.

We had a wonderful day in Charleston and then traveled onto Georgia.

Come back tomorrow and see what new adventures we encounter.

To tide you over, here are a couple more photos of window boxes…


Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

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