Steve Bender

 

Photo: Hector Sanchez. Design: Debbie Kaminski

You love Grumpy. You love Charleston. What better way to spend a weekend than by meeting and gardening with the Grump in Charleston? Be still your fluttering heart, it's true! As part of Southern Living's 50th Anniversary Celebration, its editors (including me) will descend on the Holy City June 10-12 to host exciting events involving gardening, shopping, entertaining, homes tours, antiquing, and food, food, food! If you're thinking about dying before then, definitely put that on hold.

Grumpy will be on hand for three events. On Friday morning, June 10, he'll be taking part in a Gullah tour to pull back the curtains on this fascinating slice of African-American culture. On Friday evening, Grumpy and Southern Living's Test Kitchen Director, Robbie Melvin, will host an incredible dinner at Fig, featuring the handiwork of Executive Chef and James Beard Award Winner, Jason Stanhope (signature cocktails will come into play). Then on Saturday morning, June 11, Grumpy and The Windowbox Ladies of Charleston will share the history of Charleston's iconic windowboxes and reveal tricks of the trade to help you make beautiful ones of your own.

 

Photo: Hector Sanchez. Design: Kelli Shaw

Who are the Windowbox Ladies? As explained in an excellent article by my protege, Kaylee Hammonds, in the May 2016 issue of Southern Living, they're a secret sisterhood of designers who create mini-gardens for the fronts of Charleston's historic homes and give the city an elegant charm no other in the South can match.

 

Photo: Hector Sanchez. Design: Jen Stringer Obi

Each member of the sisterhood (below) brings a different style to the task and they always help each other when needed.

 

Left to right: Jen Stringer Obi, Kelly Megeath, Debbie Kaminski, Tracee Lund, Kelli Shaw. Photo: Hector Sanchez 

CLICK HERE for a complete schedule of all the mind-blowing events and how to purchase tickets (Grumpy gets no cut -- as always, he works only for you.) Tell him whether you like his new look.

 

Grumpy's new look.

I started growing the beard on my recent trip to Morocco because the bathroom was lit only by candles and I was afraid to shave lest I remove my nose and lips. I'll keep the scruff for now, but as always, my faithful readers have the final say.

 

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