The Sunday porch: Charleston piazzas

Charleston, S.C.Piazzas and garden, Charleston, South Carolina, ca. 1910-20, by Detroit Publishing Co., Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The double side porches of Charleston are traditionally called ‘piazzas’ (pee-AH-ahs), a term that came into local use about 1730.

It’s also a feature of the city’s 18th and 19th century homes to have the formal front door (behind the cute little dog above) open onto the lower piazza instead of to the interior of the house.

If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can better see all the little terracotta pots and geraniums lined up on the shelves along the railings.

I’ve sent my empty pot again
To beg another slip;
The last you gave, I’m grieved to tell
December’s frost did nip.

I love fair Flora and her train
But nurse her children ill;
I tend too little, or too much;
They die from want of skill.

I blush to trouble you again,
Who’ve served me oft before;
But, should this die, I’ll break the pot,
And trouble you no more.

Christian Milne, “Sent with a Flower-Pot Begging a Slip of Geranium”