Sunday, May 24, 2015

What is a Palmetto?

Welcome to the Palmetto State!  The palmetto is the state tree of South Carolina, and beautiful examples of this tree can be seen all across the state, lining the streets and gracing otherwise dull parking areas.  For many people the palmetto is the very image and feeling of the low country.  This tree is a monocot, which means it is more grass like than tree like.  Monocots include grass, corn, and palms and palmettos, and these plants do not produce hardwood.

Palm trees grow taller than palmettos, and produce a different fruit.  The trunks develop differently, with palms growing vertically and palmettos growing horizontally.  The palmetto produces berries, and the palm has a hard coconut for its fruit.  The palmetto is very important to the history of South Carolina, and for this history it is found on our state flag and is the state tree.

During the revolution, British war ships attacked the nearly unfinished Ft. Moultrie.  The front of the fort had been quickly covered with palmetto logs, which turned out to be a blessing.  The logs didn’t splinter when hit by cannon balls, but instead the soft wood absorbed them.  The British were repelled, and the Ft. was named after its commander, William Moultrie.  The Palmetto was added to the state flag in honor of this event.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Here in the low country of South Carolina, and especially in the Charleston area, one of the most popular home styles is the low country home.  The design is perfect for the heat and humidity of our area.  These homes are often built on piers for protection from flooding, and also to take advantage of the coastal breezes.  This home style features many windows and doors that can be opened to enjoy those cool breezes.  Another feature of this home is the wide large porches.  Before air conditioning this design was perfect to survive the heat and humidity.

The large windows let in lots of light and give this home design a connection with the outdoors.  The wide porches reflect the image of Southern Hospitality, providing a perfect place to sit, chat with neighbors and share a glass of lemonade or sweet ice tea.

The low country home began humbly as a one-room cottage, first in the tidewater area of Maryland and Virginia.  Because the style was so perfect for coastal regions it became popular all up and down the coast.  No longer a humble one-room home, it is now as large and elegant as any style.

Check out my real estate page, to find this and many other style homes for sale in the area.