It is a statuesque natural sculpture that shadows the South, known for hardiness and hardness, offering great benefits to nature and the human eye. It is an evergreen that loses its leaves, whose dead membranes carry on through centuries of age, once found throughout the seven seas, and literally brought colonial shipbuilding to its knees. The Live Oak is known scientifically as Quercus (kwerkus) Virginiana, as it was in 1610 that Virginians first identified this American giant as a separate species. Growing easily in acidic or alkaline soil, and tolerating both moist and sandy soil, the Live Oak is at home along the Southern U.S. coast. Being very impervious to rot and insects, the Live Oak can live centuries, adding mass to its trunk as inner xylem layers that transport water and minerals continuously die and are replaced. Its spreading canopy has an enormous tensile strength that can extend well over 100 feet, with heights reaching up to 75 feet, and the Angel Oak on Johns Island, which is named for the Angel family by the way, provides more than 17,000 square feet of shade.
It is named for its physical beauty, and famed for its spiritual duty, a graceful Southern jewel made more radiant from the North. Reborn from the pages of Life, focused heavenward through the eyes of a saint, a place whose soil and water beckon with the edible and the the incredible, it is more Des Moines than the city in Iowa, and less a Moncks Corner than the town in South Carolina. Mepkin was created in the 17th century as a corn and wheat plantation along the Cooper River, and named for the Cusabo Indian word meaning “serene and lovely”, but its grand oaks and dazzling banks of azaleas would eventually leave the crops in the dust. Mepkin was purchased in 1936 with wealth made from Life magazine by publisher Henry Luce, whose wife Clare Booth Luce had been inspired by Southern poet Sidney Lanier to come South and find a place relaxing to the soul. She commissioned New York landscape architect Loutrell Briggs to create a dazzling floral display along the bluffs of the Cooper called Mepkin Garden, and after converting to Catholicism, she donated part of it to Trappist Monks in 1949 for the purpose of an abbey.
Charleston Footprints Walking Tours is the highest rated on Google reviews. I conduct all the tours as a 7th generation Charlestonian, and I have an extensive knowledge of the city’s history, architecture, legends, gardens, ironwork, fortifications, and can answer any question about Charleston with knowledge and confidence. It is a two-hour walking tour of Charleston, ideal for visitors and tourists who want to get a complete overview of the city.