Short Takes: May 2016

clutter1-2ba02684Marin Rose

Order. Balance. Beauty. That’s the three-pronged approach Marin Rose, owner of Libra Organizing, brings into her clients’ homes. Rose moved to Augusta in 2012 and has been clearing away clutter ever since. She says, “I love that, in a single day, I can create a tangible improvement in someone’s space.” According to Rose, if you want to organize your house, you need to de-clutter first. “It sounds ridiculous, but so many of us have objects in our homes that we really dislike. We keep them because they were gifts or reminders of our past.”

Organization has been a hot topic ever since the publication of Marie Kondo’s mega-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Rose admires Kondo’s uniquely Eastern approach but thinks it can border on the unnecessary and even the obsessive. “I’d never encourage anyone to spend time folding socks,” she says. “The whole point of minimalism and organization is to free up time and energy for more meaningful activities.”

One reason clutter is so toxic: It sucks up our resources—our space, money, time and energy—so we have little to nothing left to devote to the important stuff.
The hardest—and most interesting, rewarding—part of my work is: Guiding people away from object attachment. We all have certain things that are difficult to part with.
If I could give people one piece of advise it would be: Set up your space to support your needs and lifestyle now. If it doesn’t help you to be happy and successful today, it doesn’t deserve space in your life.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Rose’s philosophy on de-cluttering pick up a copy of her book,Breaking Up With Your Stuff: Emotional Homework To End Your Toxic Relationship With the Clutter Culture(Create Space, $12.95) or $4.99 for  Kindle version. 

garden glass

Gorgeous Garden Glass

Glass in a garden is usually a hazard unless it’s the arresting glass sculptures from renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Chihuly’s credited with revolutionizing the studio glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art. Chihuly in the Garden includes 21 installation sites all set among the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s natural beauty.

The exhibit runs from now until October 30 and can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit   


What’s a Garden City without garden clubs? Members are far more than hobbyists and contribute much to the beauty of our community.  

13: Projects that Augusta garden clubs are involved in. Some include landscaping for Habitat for Humanity, placing Blue Star Memorial markers in the city that honor members of the armed forces and maintaining the Bonnie McClain Perennial Garden on the Savannah River.

17: Number of garden clubs in Augusta, some of which include Town and Country, Spade and Trowel, and Pine Needle. 

35: Number of men’s gardening clubs in the country. The first men’s garden club was formed in 1928 in Chicago.

550: Members of garden clubs in Augusta.

1829: The Garden Club of Georgia held its first annual convention in Augusta. The primary aims of this newly established organization were “to promote a love of gardening for the amateur and the professional; to protect our native trees, wild flowers and birds; and to encourage a regard for civic beauty in our various communities.

1848: The Sand Hills Garden Club donned their white gloves and hats, and invited 13 other local clubs to found the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs. 

1891: The first garden club in the United States, the Ladies Garden Club, was founded in an antebellum drawing room in Athens, Ga. Membership was initially by invitation only, but in 1892, the membership was open to every lady in the city who might be interested in learning to grow anything “from a cabbage to a chrysanthemum.”

Construction for a Cause

Charity begins at home and Ivey Homes is taking that saying literally. The home building company is constructing a five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home to sell as a fundraiser for three Augusta charities: Children’s Hospital of Georgia, the American Red Cross and the Augusta Warrior Project. Ivey Homes President Matt Ivey says, “The Augusta market has been good to us over the last several years and we wanted to give something meaningful back to the community.”

Located at 7223 Hoffman Dr. in Evans—it is expected to be completed by early summer.

getaway may 2016Getaways: Thomasville, Georgia

Distance From Augusta: 244 miles or a four-and-half–hour drive.

Why Go: Many small Southern towns advertise themselves as being “worth the trip” but offer little more than a Hardees and a couple of stoplights. In Thomasville, their “worth the trip” slogan is the honest-to-goodness truth. The charming city boasts an award-winning downtown, a flurry of festivals and an assortment of historical attractions.

What To Explore: Shopping downtown is a must. The charming brick streets are chockablock with more than a hundred unique antique stores, galleries, clothing boutiques and specialty shops.Pop into the Fuzzy Goat and fill your basket with yarn, handcrafted fiber bags and organic lavender sachets. Swing by the Firefly for specialty gifts like Gunshot Sauce or an armadillo shell cuff.

What To Do: A top Thomasville attraction is Pebble Hill Plantation, a Colonial Revival hunting plantation with a rich history. Other worthwhile outings include the Thomasville Rose Garden and the Birdsong Nature Center, which includes nature trails and a butterfly garden.

What To Eat: Say cheese, please, when you visit the Sweet Grass Dairy and nosh on a variety of cheeses, paired with preserves and pecans. Sample hand-battered fried pickle and grouper chowder at Jonah’s Fish and Grits or a hummus pizza at Moonspin. Want to try them all? Walk and nibble with a Taste of Thomasville Food Tour. ( 

Where To Stay: Thomasville offers several bed and breakfasts. The Paxton House is an 1884 Victorian with a large sunny porch, complimentary bikes and an indoor lap pool. Rates start at $295. Walk to downtown when staying at Freedom Oaks, which features a formal parlor with baby grand piano, cozy library and elegant dining room. From $195 a night.

magnoliaMagnolia Lovers Manuel

With their leathery green leaves and creamy teacup-sized blossoms, magnolias are synonymous with the South. But the Southern magnolia, also known as magnolia grandiflora, is only one of many varieties of magnolias. In The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias (Timber Press, $24.95), author Andrew Bunting shares an abundance of information on garden use, design, culture and maintenance and insists there’s a variety of magnolia to suit every circumstance. For instance, while most magnolias grow best in well-drained soils, one variety—the umbrella magnolia—thrives in wet conditions. Also most people assume magnolias need lots of space to meander, but Bunting claims there’s a magnolia for even the tightest of spaces. The author also describes how the trees can be used for screening, trimmed into topiaries or trained to go flat against a wall. Weary of those snowy white blossoms? Magnolia blossoms come in as many colors as Jordan Almonds. The book includes a plant directory with hundreds of the best magnolia species and is illustrated with dozens of color photographs. A veritable Bible for those who love magnolias.  

This article appears in the May 2016 issue of Augusta Magazine.

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

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RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
  • Episode 10 - Nesia Wright
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


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