Azalea Magazine Summerville The Lowcountry SC

Modern Living in the Old South

Modern Living in the Old South

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A Legacy of Flowers

Q&A with Centenarian and Summerville, SC resident, Elisabeth Grimsley

It was such a pleasure and a privilege to sit a while with Summerville SC resident and owner of Flowertown Florist, Elisabeth Grimsley, who turned 100 on February 29th. A leap day baby, Elisabeth (Elsie) jokingly claims that she is really only 25 – and given her spirit and vitality, we are inclined to believe her! For Elsie, a lifelong love of flowers combined with a positive outlook, hard work and a humble appreciation for what is most important has blossomed beautifully into a century of fond memories, a lifetime of love, a beautiful perspective on life and a legacy of flowers.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Lowcountry?
It’s difficult to think of just one thing. Born in Munich, I came to Summerville in 1962. I have always loved Summerville. I remember when we first heard of it, we were told – “You must go to Summerville. They love flowers there!” Today I feel so grateful to be here with my family. It’s a wonderful place to live and I treasure it.
Have you always loved flowers?
Yes, where I grew up everyone had a garden. Even as a young girl I liked to pick the flowers from my parents’ garden and arrange them.

Do you have a favorite flower?
No, all flowers are beautiful. I see in every flower something beautiful; something different. Every flower is special to me. 

What are you a fan of?
Hard work.
Coffee or Tea?
What is one thing you’ve bought within the last three years that you couldn’t live without?
When you get to my age, material things are much less important. It’s hard to think of something…Well, it was a lot longer than three years ago but I love my dining room set. Years ago when my husband and I were visiting Germany we were on the river and we got a little lost. We came to a small village and I saw this dining set through a shop window. I knew I had to have it and I sent my husband back to get it the next day.  I look around my home and everything I have is like that…meaningful to me. 
Have you taken your dream vacation or is there one still on your list?
Yes, I have. My favorite vacation was going to the Alps.

What is your secret to longevity? 
Growing up the way I did, we ate everything from the ground – from our garden. I still eat that way and I still exercise. But I think it’s more about having a peaceful life – I’m never cranky or angry. Always create a peaceful home.

I heard that your personal floral arrangements were the most unique and sought-after arrangements in town!
Thank you (smiles). The most important thing in any floral arrangement is letting each flower speak to you – let the flowers speak and they will.  
What is your fondest memory of living in the Lowcountry?
I cannot pick just one. I’ve always been so impressed by Summerville – right from the start. I love our little downtown and I’m so happy that we have preserved our square – it’s important. Each day I get to eat lunch and dinner with my children, it’s a blessing.

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