The four quilt gardens are the grand centerpiece of the Heartland Harvest Garden, their design a play off the patchwork of Midwestern fields. Where the four gardens come together there is a fine arbor draped in akebia vines and sheltered with sweet shoot bamboos—a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy this grand place.
Old Missouri Crops Garden
Here you can see the major crops of the Midwest, beginning with the greenery of winter wheat, followed in spring by oats, rye and barley. Other crops normally grown in the Upper Midwest thrive here in spring, including canola (rapeseed), sugar beets, Durum wheat and flax.
In summer the crop rotates to sunflowers, soybeans, beds of corn and sorghum and southern crops as peanuts, cotton, rice and sesame. Many visitors have never had a chance to see what these commercial crops actually look like up close, if at all. Hedgerows of native and heirloom fruit and nut trees and shrubs surround the garden.
Missouri Star Orchard Garden
Need ideas for how to grow fruit in your own backyard? This garden provides backyard-sized spaces anchored by four arbors. You'll see how to grow everything from classic to unique fruits. The harvest starts from the ground up with strawberries and herbs serving as groundcover. Blueberry, gooseberry and elderberry bushes grow alongside trellised raspberries and blackberries.
You will find beautifully trained “espaliered” apples plus peaches, pears and cherries and unique fruits like pawpaws, jujubes, persimmons and medlar. A hedgerow of Asian pears, apples and Cornelian-cherries surrounds this garden.
Kansas Star Forage Crops Garden
The rich rangelands and pastures of Kansas are brought down to size here so you can see the grasses and legumes used for cattle forage. Although not technically edible, these plants are a critical part of the food chain for everyone who drinks milk or eats beef!
Look for native, warm-season rangeland prairie grasses that are green in summer and warm tones in fall through winter. The grasses include buffalograss, gramas, little and big bluestems, indian and switchgrass. Cool season grasses that are green in fall and spring and often dormant in the summer provide a color contrast. These include fescue, timothy and orchardgrass. Alfalfa and clovers complete the pattern for unique color and texture combinations that must be appreciated when viewed from silo observation deck.
Villandry Quilt Garden
Chateau Villandry outside Paris inspired this formal quilt garden with a different pattern in each quadrant. Here vegetables and other edibles are planted three times each year for spring, summer and autumn harvest. The themes change annually so you will always see something different from year to year. Expect gorgeous vegetables and herbs, often from places around the world. The garden is bordered by strawberries on its western “barn” side, blueberries on its south side and dewberries and fruit trees on its other two sides. Who said a vegetable garden couldn’t be gorgeous!
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 »