Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nothing like Charleston, South Carolina


The first time I went to Charleston, S.C., I felt like I was visiting another country.  I couldn't believe it - the old brick, the wrought iron, the shutters, the window boxes, the narrow alleys, the live oak trees shading the streets (many of them went with Hurricane Hugo in September 1989).  Still, this scene above is the aesthetic that was so intriguing to me.  It seems European, yet there's something about it that's unique to Charleston.

I love the fastigiate yaupon holly - I think this is Ilex 'Will Fleming' on either side of the window.  Framing the window and the Charleston black shutters is Confederate jasmine.  All of this is growing out of a very narrow border.

Peeking out in the left foreground is Clematis armandii and fig vine.  What you can't see (I had another view, but I liked this one better) is an espaliered podocarpus on an adjacent wall.  Actually, you do see the edges of it coming over to the door.

This is a great way to have greenery but still preserve space, which is at a premium in Charleston.  I know that each time I've been there, I've come home inspired.  There are a lot of good ideas, particularly if you're looking at a narrow space on the side of your house or want to add some charm with upright plants.