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Heartland Harvest Garden: Authors' Garden

Rosalind Creasy: An Edible Landscaping Pioneer

Rosalind Creasy

The term "edible landscaping" often is credited to Creasy, an award-winning garden writer. Her "The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping" was published back in 1982. Since then, she has written a 10-book series on edible gardening and most recently, "Recipes from the Garden," published in 2008, and an update to her original in 2011. 

In her design for the Authors' Garden, Creasy uses recycled materials to demonstrate a point: Fruits and vegetables can be grown in a beautiful, classy way as part of a traditional home landscape.

A set of open barn doors marks the entrance to her garden, where raised beds made from strips of corrugated tin showcase vegetables, herbs and flowers. A series of graceful arches form a walk-through tunnel covered with cherry tomatoes, while down the path, a fountain-like cascade of berries serves as a focal point. A big iron kettle holds container plants.

"There's an unwritten rule in this country that edible plants should not be grown in the front yard," Creasy said. "I say bring them forward!"

Creasy also emphasizes the importance of connecting-in a near-primordial way-to the food we eat: "The average family is so far removed from growing food that they don't know even realize what they're missing. Live out of the garden and you will live differently."

 

Barbara Damrosch: An Authoritative Voice

Barbara Damrosch

Barbara Damrosch, author of "The Garden Primer" and "Theme Gardens," has designed an intensively planted garden that illustrates the quantity and variety of fresh produce one can grow for a typical family right here in the Kansas City area.

Visitors to her 60- by 70-foot garden are greeted by a Scarlet Runner bean-covered arbor that leads to a row of square beds planted with popular summer vegetables: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes and the like. Beans, cherry tomatoes, blackberries and other edibles are supported by a fence. Blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb and asparagus, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and sunflowers all have their own designated beds.

The back of her garden features a movable greenhouse built on tracks. In the spring, it sits over a bed filled with seedlings of summer crops such as tomatoes, to give them a head start. The greenhouse is self-venting in summer heat. In late fall, it rolls to an adjoining bed so that winter crops such as carrots, spinach and other greens can receive protection. A sheet of special fabric, suspended just above the crops, provides extra insulation. Protecting winter crops with cold frames is also demonstrated.

"I wanted to show ways in which a family could make the most of the space they have for a food garden," Damrosch said. "Crops are closely planted, and when one comes out, another one goes in. Vertical growing saves space, too. Plant families are grouped together for a simple crop rotation. And devices for season extension make home food production a year-round activity, even when winters are cold."

Damrosch's garden also illustrates just how visually pleasing a kitchen garden can be: "A well-maintained kitchen garden can be as beautiful as a yard filled with flowers."

Did you know? Architect Fay Jones designed the Meadow Pavilion's four-layered redwood trellis with several angled ends to create a moving shadow. Learn more »

 

The Vineyard in the Heartland Harvest Garden is a gorgeous space for an outdoor wedding.

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The Byron Shutz Nature Trail includes interpretative signs along the way.

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Fountain Garden

Have your next meeting or retreat in the serenity of Powell Gardens.

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