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Earth Day Celebrations in Savannah, and Our Urban Gardens

April 20, 2013 by Teresa Jacobson

The gardeners at bed and breakfast Azalea Inn & Gardens in Savannah, GA

The gardeners at our eco-friendly bed and breakfast – Azalea Inn & Gardens in Savannah, GA

Gardens have been featured before here at the blog for Azalea Inn & Gardens

Today we’re bragging, again.

As Earth Day approaches next week (officially on April 22) we are going to give you the scoop on Earth Day celebrations in Savannah, and our urban gardening adventures.

No celebration is complete if we can’t celebrate ourselves…Don’t you agree?

We are so committed to fresh, seasonal and local to the point that we tend our very own urban garden.

Celebrating the Gardens at Azalea

Here we are, today, celebrating our Gardens. We actually have two. One, an ornamental landscape and the other an edible landscape. The best of both worlds!

Our edible landscape is full of tomatoes, squash, eggplant, herbs, cucumbers, and other goodies. Our ornamental landscapes mimic traditional plants that were grown in the early days of Savannah settlement and we hope you’ll come and find your favorite.

The Mini Farm at Our Eco-Friendly Bed and Breakfast

Last year we called our edible gardens a “Mini Farm” and the story is quite a good read if you like to see urban gardening at its finest, and really investigate all the produce varietals that will be showing up in our guests’ full gourmet Southern breakfasts each morning. As a truly eco-friendly bed and breakfast, we’re doing our best to improve every day and every year.

We use a method of space conservation called square-foot gardening. We grow our food on trellises to maximize the yields from the least amount of space. Smart space utilization IS so important, especially downtown in the historic district of Savannah. We’re right at the south edge of the Savannah’s historic district so our guests get all the amenities without all the noise. Be our guest, during Earth Day, and all other days. You’re always welcome at Azalea.

Now THAT'S an urban garden. The grounds at Azalea Inn & Gardens, a B&B in Savannah, GA

Now THAT’S an urban garden. The grounds at Azalea Inn & Gardens, a B&B in Savannah, GA

Celebrating Earth Day in Savannah

This year (2013) the Earth Day celebrations will be held on Saturday, April 20 in Forsyth Park. Everything from music to edible landscaping will be featured. So, if you’re in town, make sure to check it out. More information about Earth Day in Savannah can be found here.

Whether you’re planning to visit Savannah this weekend, or need to start planning for next year – April in Savannah is a real treat and we hope to see y’all soon.

Azalea Inn and Gardens, a Savannah GA bed and breakfast inn, invites you to reserve your room today to experience our beautiful gardens and enjoy the best of our historic city.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to follow Azalea Inn & Gardens on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Savannah Inn Cultivates a Garden of Eating – Part 2

April 14, 2011 by Teresa Jacobson

Garden of Eating

What an exciting concept – a small Savannah inn cultivates a Garden of Eating! The same historic bed and breakfast that began a recycling program two years before the city did is breaking new grounds – literally.  Azalea Inn and Gardens has teamed up with local farmer, Adam Mentzer of Adam’s Farm to develop a high-yield square-foot garden in the urban locale of historic Savannah’s former garden district.  In the 2005 commissioned research of 217 E. Huntingdon Street it was discovered that the grounds on which our Inn is located were once part of the original 5-acre garden plots given to each new settler in James Oglethorpe’s Savannah colony.

Several consultations later, Adam presented the innkeepers with a design, a budget and a plan.  Construction began on March 5, compost was hauled in on March 18 and planting commenced on March 24.   Jake designed and installed the irrigation system over the course of those few weeks and completed the installation and hook-up on April 9.  The garden is springing to life with seeded crop pushing leaves through the soil and seedlings taking hold and growing.

We opted for a variety of produce to grace the raised beds installed throughout the small plot area choosing many varieties of tomato (Brandymaster Pink, Morning Light yellow, Cherokee Purple, Amana Orange and Supersweets), members of the squash family (cucumber, gourd Cucuzzi snake, 8-Ball Squash, Zucchini,  and two forms of eggplant), the melon family (Galia, Athena, and other curcurbits),  peppers including Aristocrat and Anastar along with Ancients, several beans (Kentucky blue pole and purple and yellow bush beans) and a variety of root crop from scarlet queen red turnips to fennel and carrots and potatoes.

We also threw in some strawberry varieties for good measure and a bed dedicated to herbs.  Finally, a customer of Jake’s, a blueberry farmer, had given us four plants and we were pleased to see they were beginning to put forth fruit.

We are excited to see how our garden grows and the delight we anticipate in the eyes and on the palates of our guests as they enjoy the bounty of “Our Garden of Eating” at our inn.

Welcome to Our Garden of Eating – Part 1

April 5, 2011 by Teresa Jacobson

[singlepic id=172 w=320 h=240 float=left]I spent a bit of yesterday trying to take pictures of our garden… of eating… but found that the pictures were not inspirational.  I squatted close to buds peeping from the grounds, noting the similarities between melon, squash and eggplant spouts.  Beans, whether purple bush, yellow bush or Kentucky Blue, were equally difficult to differentiate.  Thankfully, our consultant farmer, Adam, gave us a layout of the gardens.  But still… my excitement at planting produce for use in the inn was not being magically translated to these flat images.  I needed to be reminded of why we had undertaken such a large project for our tiny urban footprint.

[singlepic id=170 w=160 h=120 float=right]I pulled pictures of last year’s bounty, and it short-lived existence, which produced the desired effect.  I remembered.  I can now compare our minimalist garden plot of last year to Azalea Inn and Garden’s new mini-mini farm situated in the tight space that comprises the long narrow building lots of the downtown historic Savannah and the incorporation of the old plot in a new and more productive way.  Last year’s “Let’s give it a whirl” garden yielded an abundance of tomatoes (Sweet 100’s, Big Boy, Pink Brandywine, to name a few),  fragrant basil, tarragon, sage, dill, chives, garlic chives and lavender, a tiny crop of green peppers, one lone stalk of asparagus, scallions, and near the end of summer, six cantaloupes of varying sizes.

[singlepic id=171 w=160 h=120 float=left]We put our largesse to good use: roasted cherry and yellow teardrops tomatoes for Eggs Pomodoro, chopped herbes into everything imaginable, used up the bell peppers in two batches of Confetti Potatoes, left the asparagus for next year (hopefully), and served the cantaloupes proudly mixed with watermelon and topped with a ginger-lime syrup (house made, of course).  We were quite frankly sad to turn the earth over at the end of the season and return to buying produce.

In early March of  this year, we attended a “Met Your Makers” dinner at the local “earth-to-table” restaurant, Cha Bella, to meet the producers /growers of all things nurtured by the earth (or nutured in loving hands of dairy farmers and artisan bread craftsmen) and used at the restaurant.  There we met Adam Metzger of Adam’s Farm, the young up and coming hydroponics producer of all things vegetable for use at Cha Bella.   Adam was more than willing to take on an urban garden project in historic Savannah, as long as we were willing to get dirty too.

Part 2:  Design, build, plant.   Coming soon.

New Garden at Azalea Inn and Gardens

May 12, 2009 by Teresa Jacobson

Jake and I finally moved into the apartment in the house next door in early March.  The entire back yard was a neglected child with tangled hair and dirty features –  that is, overgrown bushes, patchy grass and dirt, and too-many-to-count small oak tree sprouts.   Jake’s eye had that gleam again, the one I hadn’t seen since we finished the gardens surrounding the inn.  My sons have jokingly stated that whenever Jake finishes a garden he starts to look around for a new home.  Apparently that’s pretty close to the truth.

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