Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Gardens of the Calhoun Mansion in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

On all of my treks through the historic neighborhoods of Charleston, South Carolina ...I always pass the large and very impressive Calhoun mansion at No. 16 Meeting St.  This is the largest privately owned home in Charleston , and this Victorian mansion was built in 1876 .It has 24,000 sq. feet of floor space ( that includes an attic ), and is the largest building in the city that was built as a private home.  Very elegant, there is almost a stillness and a quiet spirit over this entire outside garden area.  That is except for the day that I went there on Tuesday Sept. 8th , 2009 and raised my voice in the front of the home at the tour guide...and her small ensemble of guests she was about to take in.

Let me  try to make you understand why I raised my voice...and it was only for a few brief moments. I saw the front gates open, and I stepped in to take some quick, ( I thought you may not be able to take pictures if you did not have a ticket ), pictures of the front garden..especially wanted to get handsome Mercury, looking like he is dancing on the round holly bushes in the front. I had my headphones on , it of course was a very hot summer afternoon , so I was dressed in shorts, tank shirt...I looked like a jogger passing by. Anyway, while I was taking some photos, I could barely hear this sweet voice asking me something. I stopped and looked up, and there was a young lady and two women she was about to take through the mansion on a tour.  She kept trying to ask me something, and I listened more carefully ( I had a contemporary Christian music playing in my ears, that makes what I did even more embarrassing ). 
I finally figured out I had not completely turned my music down...if I wanted to go on the tour ? I asked her, ' How much is it ? "  She tells me the price...or what I thought was the price..and I yelled " Fifty DOLLARS !! " I can't believe it is 50 DOLLARS !! " They all just kept looking at me like I was this really odd , LOUD, jogger...and she kept repeating what she said. I finally turned my headphones off, pulled them off my head...and heard her say " No mam, 15 Dollars ."
I felt at that moment that God was up there, smacking himself on the head..thinking what am I going to do with her ? I'll bet he wanted to pull my little gold cross around my neck, lift it up and tell me to ," Watch that tone, child . "
Again, the very imperfect Christian woman strikes again .Geez, don't we all sound terrible sometimes ? Lesson learned, No. 1..Turn off your headphones when someone is talking to you. No. 2..I am a representative of Jesus, so I better watch my tone, that was probably No. 1.
Ok, let's go look at this beautiful garden...

Here is part of the front steps and porch of the mansion, heavy wrought iron all around. This is where the nice tour guide was when I caused the ruckus.


 This is the center fountain , at the side of the garden

The back knot garden with old statue in the center


Here is the really beautiful , really large three-tired fountain. I would guesstimate it stands between 15-20 feet tall.

This has some neat old bird statues surrounding the base

Trying to show you all the statues surrounding it, antique all of them
Last shot of this glorious fountain, the size of a small pool.

  I am a wrought iron nut, just love it...and this bench surrounding the front fountain was very large and ornate.
Look below to get a better view of it's surroundings.

  Isn't this the most delightful knot or parterre garden ? You will want to reach out and touch these round ones.

Everyone's favorite in the garden...Mr. Handsome-Bronze -Mercury, you will see him from the sidewalk.

This knot garden is directly in front of the house and to the sides of the doors.

Ok, here is the sign in front , the website for this Mansion is . It says in one of the guides to Charleston that it is open daily 11-5 March-Oct. and 11-4 November-February. Tours every 30 minutes. This mansion looks spectacular, huge leaded glass doors lead into the home...and one day when I have 15.00 on me , on one of my treks here,...I'll go through them.
More on Charleston, SC soon. I believe I'll do doors of Charleston next.
later,   Gina

"..but as He who called you all to be holy, you also be holy in ALL your conduct. " 1 Peter 1:15