BLUFFTON’S MAY RIVER MONTESSORI SCHOOL ADAPTS AND PRODUCES

This spring, the organic garden at May River Montessori School was bigger and better than ever. Kale, swiss chard, carrots, radishes and other crops planted by the students were almost ready to harvest, and the tomato plants the school sells were growing stronger in greenhouses.

Then the coronavirus hit and May River Montessori, like all other schools in South Carolina, had to close.

employeesLOWCOUNTRY HOME TRADES MAKE SAFETY TOP PRIORITY

Businesses in the Lowcountry remain committed to safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Even though many restrictions in the state have been lifted, companies that offer services to homeowners have taken steps to make sure both their employees and customers stay safe. 

Going paperless is one modification that is gaining traction with local businesses. EAC Heating & Air has instituted paperless transactions, which its customers are embracing. The company’s technicians wear masks at all times and gloves when working inside homes. 

HVAC systemKEEPING US COOL SINCE 1902

• The first items that people used to keep cool were hand fans. Electric fans replaced them in the U.S. in the early 1900s. 

• Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner in 1902, to protect paper and ink in a publishing company. The term air conditioning was coined in 1906 by textile mill engineer Stuart Cramer. 

Lowcountry real estate sales have suffered since the novel coronavirus outbreak began, but low mortgage interest rates coupled with social-distancing sales strategies are enticing some buyers back to the market, local agents say.

“For anybody who is secure in their job, now is a great time,” said Charles Sampson of Charter One Realty.

Real estate was deemed an “essential service” and exempt from South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s order closing non-essential business. But the traditional ways of doing business — in-person showings, open houses, and agents driving potential buyers around to look at properties — have had to change. One solution? Many brokerages are pivoting to virtual open houses and tours.

A MESSAGE FROM REALTORS
Many Lowcountry real estate companies are reaching out to their clients to reassure them that listings, showings and closings of property continue. The companies are making use of virtual technologies that minimize or eliminate the need for proximity. These techniques aren’t new, Realtors say: they’ve been used with out-of-state and international buyers for years. 

’TIS THE SEASON FOR THE GREENING OF LOWCOUNTRY LAWNS AND GARDENS

Spring is the season of new beginnings for Lowcountry lawns and gardens. Though our low-nutrient sandy soil, wildlife intrusion, and hot and humid summers make lush lawns and gardens challenging, spring is a time when hope sprouts eternal. 

It helps that many native trees, shrubs and plants have adapted over time to these less-than-ideal conditions. 

A LOVE OF FERNS HAS HILTON HEAD HOME IN FULL BLOOM

Marcia Lentz of Indigo Run has an abiding love for ferns of all shapes, sizes, textures and colors — just look at her garden.

On a recent January afternoon, she showed off her lush quarter-acre property, starting with the fern garden along the home’s right side. Hundreds of ferns adorn the organically fertilized soil, and she can identify each one.

Every talented interior designer is able to look at an empty space and envision how it will look when the work is completed. And then she works a little magic to turn that empty space into a well-designed reality.

Hannah Fulton Toney of J. Banks Design Group on Hilton Head Island was able to work just that type of magic on a new 5,500-square-foot, second-row ocean home in Sea Pines. Some of the bones were already in place — cabinets, tiling, light fixtures, kitchen finishes, shelving — but the home was far from complete. 

ARRIERO REALTY NOW OPEN 

Jacob and Debbie Arriero recently opened Arriero Realty in Bluffton. The Arrieros have more than 45 combined years of real estate experience and Debbie Arriero is a certified military relocation professional. The office is at 198 Okatie Village Drive, Suite 103-344. 

GET ORGANIZED IN THE NEW YEAR

Organization has become big business — just ask best-selling author and Japanese organiza-tion guru Marie Kondo. Sure, her folding methods open up space in your drawers, and pondering whether each item you own brings you joy does make it easier to decide whether to toss something, but sometimes those methods don’t work for everyone. It might be time to call in a professional.