Essensia Tropical Tour: New Gardens With a Side of Vino

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Walk through the Palms Hotel lobby and you'll find two large double doors at the end. They open onto a vast dining terrace belonging to the restaurant Essensia. Walk down some stone steps, onto a pebble-covered pathway, and stroll past loads of lush foliage peppered with tropical flowers and parrot cages. Beyond the greenery, you'll find the restaurant's newest little helpers.

Six large, raised plant beds sit nestled outside, near the water. Hidden away from the harmful elements are organic, chemical-free plant beds.

Herbs, spices, and veggies are all organically grown here. They include cilantro, chives, basil, thyme, parsley, sage, celery, collards, kale, cabbage, radishes, carrots, and tomatoes.

Wanna see for yourself? Beginning around Easter, you can! Tours will be offered for a moderate (but as of now undecided) price and will show both the grounds and the garden. Added as a bonus are a glass of vino and a freshly cut sample from the garden.

And for you green thumbs out there, there will be a few good pointers.

"It's a little tour with a lot of tips," head chef Julie Frans says, "for people who are interested in learning how to grow their own garden."

Moxie in the garden isn't required to stroll about this place. The walk alone is enough to put your mind at a Zen-like level of relaxation. Te glass of wine won't hurt either.

"The only thing being sprayed is a little bit of sesame seed oil," Julie says, "but that's just to keep the bugs at bay. It's completely safe and edible."

IIf you end up at at the tail end of the tour, you can still experience the garden for yourself. Fresh garden crudités will be on the menu daily.

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