Cedar House Garden: It’s a Spring Thing

With Spring in full bloom and the addition of the fresh herb and vegetable garden at the inn,  it’s time to get creative!  In the next few weeks we will experience a micro harvest of pepper varietals, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and greens. That bounty will inspire new breakfast dishes for my favorite guests…

This week we introduced a new “Farmhouse Strata” featuring homemade parsley/basil pesto straight out of the garden, topped with heirloom cherry tomatoes, smoked paprika, Dijon béchamel, and a prosciutto crisp!  We will post the recipe, but better yet come visit and I’ll make it for you!

Cedar House Garden of Eatin vegetable beds
Cedar House Garden of Eatin vegetable beds

Garden Sanctuary Thrives Year Round

Cedar House Inn Garden
Our St Augustine Garden Sanctuary Thrives Year Round

Unlike much of the country, we don’t need to put our gardens “to bed for the winter.” In st. Augustine, it’s a great time to tend to our flowers and we take full advantage of shorter days, less intense sunlight and fewer insects and diseases around to attack plants. This allows cool weather seedlings and transplants the luxury of growing slow and strong to maturity. Our beautiful city offers a unique year-round climate that provides most flora (plant life) with what they need, warm sunshine and life giving rainfall.

When you arrive at Cedar House Inn, our plants offer a welcoming respite, a resting place… reminding you of the complexity and continuity of life. They bring comfort with childhood memories of time spent with nature. Our herb garden provides life giving edibles we share as a part of your hand crafted breakfast.

The wonderful colors and patterns that transform with the seasons provide an ever changing masterpiece to be enjoyed from the front porch of The Inn. However, as with the uninvited visitor Hurricane Matthew, the seasons can also provide challenges for plant life to which some may succumb.  Fear not; they are often replaced by an even stronger survivor, Keeping Calm and Carrying On!

We invite you to join us in 2017. You might spend your days and/or nights exploring this amazing ancient city and all its wonders & history and, at the end of your travels, commandeer a rocking chair on our front porch with a cup of coffee or a sip of port and commune with nature’s glory. You might also decide that the focus of your day should be devoted to the relaxing respite of that very same rocking chair skip the tourism part. You’re always welcome to enjoy the Cedar House Inn at the pace that suits you.

Cedar House Inn Garden
Cedar House Inn Garden

Fantastic Fall!

pumpkin_gardenHello from Beth Wilson, Master Gardener of Cedar House Inn…

Fall and all its glory has arrived at Cedar House Inn!

While the summer garden was a feast for the eyes thanks to plenty of sunshine and TLC, both the garden and I are ready to welcome cooler temperatures and a much anticipated seasonal change to the inn.

The summer annuals, joined by a host of feathered friends grazing at the bird feeder in the Red Maple, gave us a wonderful show. We are now making way for bolder colors and lots of flower power. Geraniums, Snapdragons, and New Guinea Impatiens, are some of my favorites.

In addition, Mums are also a classic autumnal feature. Four large specimens are currently gracing the front porch and are beginning to showcase their beautiful palette. When purchasing Mums, I recommend selecting plants that are just getting ready to bloom. Once you have placed your Mums, remember to water at the base of the plant for longer lasting displays. Once the blooms expire, deadhead (pinching the spent blooms off their stem) as needed to make way for more colorful flowers to appear.

The inn’s bird feeder has been robust with flocks of visitors. We use the song bird mix which has attracted a delightful variety of different birds. We welcome a visit from Birders to help us identify them and thank Noel and Bob Brouillard, treasured guests at Cedar House, for the book on Florida’s Birds to get us started!

Helpful Garden Hint: Don’t forget to fertilize in October you will love the results and your flowers, shrubs and trees will reward you for it.

The Green Thumbs Have Arrived!

GardenSignWelcome to our first blog as part of the kick off to the new website!

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to my sister Beth, who (at my urging…) has just moved to St Augustine. Besides wanting her close by, I had a thinly veiled ulterior motive…She is a Master Gardener!

Those who have visited Cedar House know that we have a lovely garden area in the front yard, which could be made glorious in the right hands. Well I am thrilled to say that the “Green Thumbs” have arrived! On that note, say hello to Beth Wilson, owner of Living Art by Beth…

“I have been a Garden Designer for over 12 years in South Florida. When visiting Cedar House over the past four years, Cyndi has encouraged me to work a little magic in the garden adding some seasonal changes and identifying what plant material would thrive in the North Florida area.

When working in the garden many of the gracious guests of the inn have shown an interest and have approached me to comment both on my efforts and to share their own gardening experiences. I thought blog posts on the Cedar House website would allow me to continue that conversation. The Blog will also provide a format where I can introduce tips and ideas for your home garden and to encourage you to follow the changes that will be happening in the garden at the inn.

I consider Cedar House Inn “small space gardening”. Opportunities abound to layer in color, texture and form. For example, we have recently added wrought iron plant stands lined with coco to add height to the space. We filled them with multiples of colorful annuals and perennials. As a result the area has transformed from a one dimensional display to a colorful multi-level feast for the eyes!

One of the questions I am most often asked is “What is the difference between annuals and perennials?” The easy answer is Annuals are seasonal color, switched out in anticipation of the cool and dry months and of course again for the hot and wet months in Florida. Perennials are plants that can live over many seasons or (when properly maintained) for years.

Garden ornamentation can be as classic or whimsical as you prefer. You are only limited by your imagination, but remember, the plants are the stars! For example, a new addition of ornamentation has been added under the inn’s Maple tree. An antique garden bench (crafted from an iron twin bed frame, believe it or not) that I found years ago, has been placed among the ground plantings with a basket filled with Petunias and Blue Daze resting comfortably as if they had just happened there. Adding architectural forms bring visual interest to your garden. Don’t be afraid to experiment as you may be pleasantly surprised at how creative you can be.

Email me with your questions, thoughts and ideas and Happy Gardening!”