Harbor Garden House

Comfortable, quiet, and private vacation rental home on the inner harbor in Ocean Springs, Mississippi


November 2017

Newly renovated 1700-square foot, 3-bedroom, 1.75-bath house with sunroom, two porches, covered carport, herb and vegetable gardens, fruit trees, wireless Internet, cable tv, firepit, and private woods with walking paths. Fully equipped kitchen. Rocking chairs, down pillows, memory foam mattress in the master bedroom, complimentary bicycles, horshoes, and other comforts and distractions. If you need to work or want some quiet time alone, there's a study/office with a desk, comfortable couch, and a separate entrance.

Located on a quiet dead-end street on a hill above the inner harbor with live oaks and banana trees, directly across the inner harbor from Shearwater Park (The house is barely visible among the trees in the linked photo.) and the entrance to Shearwater Pottery.

There's excellent bird watching, wooded walking paths, five blocks from downtown Ocean Springs. The property is a Certified Wildlife Habitat per the National Wildlife Federation. (But don't fret about wildlife in the house.)

Available for rental. Contact Don at HarborGardenHouse@gmail.com for details, rates, and reservations. The house is listed on airbnb.com and TripAdvisor.com, but you can also call Don directly at 228.806.1009. The basic rate is $175/night with substantial discounts for week-long or month-long visits.

More information and photos:

Facebook - with lots of photos

Google Places - location and driving instructions, detailed contact information, comments

Airbnb.com - Explore the house and grounds, check availability, and make reservations on AirBnB.com.

Tumblr - A photo blog for guests and potential guests to help you get to know the house and the local area. It features nature observations, good food opportunities, local events, fishing tips, and updates on the house and grounds.

Trip Advisor - Another booking service, similar to the Airbnb.com listing.

Harbor Garden House vacation rentaVacation rental, Gulf Coast, Ocean Springs, ms

It's November. What's fresh and interesting in the garden?

Herbs: There's turmeric, oregano, sweet basil, African blue basil, fennel, chives, tarragon, thyme, mint, rosemary, sage, bay, lemongrass, and Greek oregano. (Cilantro, parsley, French arugula, and arugula are planted and will be ready to use soon.)
This will be a banner year for ginger and turmeric. The rhizomes are still growing and getting larger, but there's plenty for harvesting now.
Wildflowers: The Gulf Coast has a beautiful fall wildflower season. It's slowing down, but there are still some very attractive goldenrods, mist flowers, and others on the property. The beaches and barrier islands are still in bloom, too.
Vegetables: The near-monsoon rains recently really hurt the garden. Around Thanksgiving there should be a few mirlitons for creating classic Gulf coast dishes, like shrimp and tasso stuffed mirlitons. I have a great recipe and usually have a batch of homemade tasso to share. I have a few bell peppers and Seminole pumkins next door at the red house that might be available for a special occasion.
Fruit: The kumquats, grapefruits, Meyer lemons, and calamondins are ready to enjoy. There are still a few wild persimmons for snacking. The guavas and pomegranates should begin bearing well next year. The apple banana tree has a stalk of bananas and I'm hopeful that they'll ripen before the cold weather shuts them down for the winter.
Other Growing Things: The loofa gourds are nearly ready to harvest and dry for bath sponges. The passionflowers are done blooming but there are still a few bright orange and black caterpillars feeding on the vines. The tiny deep red blossoms on the trellis by the back deck are cypress vine. There's a good crop of awapuhi (pine cone) ginger blossoms; the liquid inside them is famous for being a good shampoo and conditioner for your hair.
Local Food: You can find fresh (often caught that morning) shrimp from the boats in the harbor. Expect to pay about $2.50 per pound for smaller shrimp and $4.00 to $4.50 per pound for larger shrimp (16 count or larger). Local fresh shrimp are the greatest food bargain you'll find and the taste is superb.
Critters and wild things: All the usual summer suspects are here: cardinals, catbirds, bluejays, various doves, thrashers, towhees, wrens, titmice, and gulls, pelicans, and terns in the harbor. Hummingbirds are coming to the feeder. There were at least six broods of birds raised on the property, including mockingbirds, wrens, great crested flycatchers, titmice, bluejays, and cardinals. A Mississippi kite was spotted soaring over the house earlier this summer. The bald eagles have returned from wherever they go in the hottest part of the summer. I've heard great horned owls almost every night lately.
Toads and frogs are still calling in the woods on wet nights. The two ephemeral ponds are full of water and there are still tadpoles. With all the rain we've had, the spring is flowing well. The box turtles are very active.

Vacation rental - Harbor Garden House vacation rental ocean springs, ms

View of house and garden from the harbor side in early summer, showing pole beans and tomatoes. Guests have picking privileges, including the turmeric and ginger in the foreground and the herbs nearer the house.