Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a good photographer. I am, in fact, a horrible photographer — and one that tends to fall back on bad equipment — i.e., my iPhone.
With these disclaimers, I want to invite you to join me now on a little tour of my neighborhood — a small enclave of Savannah known as Gordonston. It’s super lovely and takes its name from Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927), founder of the Girl Scouts…
Here she is in 1887 in her most famous portrait (by the artist Edward Hughes). What a babe, right? Her fam and friends called her “Daisy.” Looking good, Daise!
JGL is a big deal in Savannah. Her birthplace — a handsome townhouse downtown — is a major tourist attraction. I wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up (I was wary of clubs as a child apparently…), but I love how many little ladies in green we see at the Gryphon Tea Room enjoying High Tea after earning their badges.
The area that is now Gordonston used to be part of her family estate. JGL’s dad was a big time railroad magnate and they had boatloads of money and lots of land, which was eventually bequeathed to the community and gave rise to the sea of sweet houses that make up my hood.
Gordonston proudly (?) calls itself Savannah’s oldest “bedroom community,” as we’re about two and a half miles from the historic district. It was on a trolley line that led into downtown, making it an easy commute. Part of the old trolley line ran down the center of my street, actually, which makes its footprint especially broad — it feels very grand to me, even though it’s lined with humble 1920s bungalows. Also, fun fact: My street was only paved something like thirty years ago.
Moving on, I was walking with Tilly this morning and it was so flippin’ pretty outside for a late-January morning that I starting taking pics to share. So more disclosing / disclaiming: I was not only taking these pics on an iPhone; I was taking them while being pulled around (and alternately pulling) a very cute but stubborn basset hound. I was also carrying a bag of dog-poo in one hand for much of this walk, so some of the pics were taken one-handedly.
All of the houses I’m about to show you are historic homes, and most date to the twenties and thirties. I’ll start with my house. Here she is, looking good — despite the sad state of the crepe myrtles some previous owners planted oddly close to the porch:
I love this little gray house — but I *do not like* the crepe myrtles. I want to crepe-murder them, big time. But my husband won’t let me. (Yet.)
Moving to the left, here’s a view of Mr. Wilson’s house, our twinsie:
As I mentioned in my first post, the wrap-around porch on his house is still open, whereas ours was closed by previous owners on one side to create more living space.
This is a shot of the house to the left of Mr. Wilson’s:
Also, super cute, right? Now let’s take a closer look at that yellow front door:
TDF! This fella has quite the green thumb, btw. Here’s a pic of his front yard in late-October:
A *beautiful explosion* of yellow! I cannot tell you how much Tilly loved this. She can stand around sniffing flowers all day, bless her heart, so we spent lots of time weirdly loitering in front of yellow-door-house.
The house on the left here belongs to my other neighbor; on the right is a shot of their neighbor on the other side. More twinsies. Also, are you picking up on the super-cute-bungalow trend we’ve got going on here in Gordonston?
Here’s a shot then of the Three Sisters, as I think of them, a block down from us.
Looking good, girls! They’re triplets, in case you can’t tell.
On the street behind us, we have one of Manny’s faves in the hood:
What another pretty lady, right? And these people have the most incredible landscaping, though you can’t really tell from the photos here. Manny knows one of the owners and she jokes that she has poured her lifesavings into plants. Hilarious.
Amazing-landscape-house is near the main entrance to one of our neighborhood’s treasures: Gordonston Park.
A note about Gordonston Park. It’s private, and my neighbors don’t play. You can read a little bit of polemic from the local paper, Savannah Morning News, about the park’s private status here. Eeeps. Tilly *freaking loves it*, though. Not to be braggy about our good weather and all, but we had our neighborhood holiday party there in late-December. Outside. As you do in Georgia.
Anyway, a few blocks from my house, we come to the home of Carl and Alice. Carl works with Manny and his wife is a super talented designer. They bought their place a few years ago and have done incredible things to it inside and out. Alice is president of the local garden club. They are super nice folks.
“How nice are they,” you ask? The weekend we moved in, when I was feeling crazy-overwhelmed and Manny was feeling appropriately excited but probably frazzled with trying to mitigate my overwhelmed-ness, they stopped by to bring us [a] delicious homemade cookies, [b] an arrangement of fresh flowers, and [c] a bottle of red wine. Yeah, they are tip-top.
A block from them lives Alice’s mother, in my favorite house in the hood (next to our own, of course):
I call it HGTV-house because I think it belongs on the cover of their magazine. This photo doesn’t do it justice, unfortunately, but I *love* the color. It’s like squid ink — super dark, almost black, but with this electric, zippy blueness underneath. They moved to the hood just shortly before Manny and me and by the time we arrived it had already been painted its current color. Alice advised them and, trust me, if you could see it in real life you would marvel at that woman’s color-genius.
And here is hobbit-house! (That’s what we call it.) It’s very different from the homes I’ve just shown, but Manny and I love the chipper brickwork and that crazy roof line. The stonework around the front door is also pretty sweet. But my favorite detail — very hard to see in this picture, sadly — is the small gate cutout in the left-front corner, just under the eave. Frodo, eat your heart out.
Okay, here’s the last one for now, one the grande dames of Gordonston:
You guys: those shutters. Again, hard to tell in the photo, but they’re the perfect shade of green. Great-shutters-house is super stately and sits just at the entrance to the neighborhood. It’s not the only big mama either. But that’s it for the mo’ — a little tour from Tilly’s morning walk route — winter edition 2016.