The Edible Garden is a feast for the eyes, demonstrating that fruits and vegetables make beautiful landscape plants in addition to nourishing every culture on Earth.
Built on the site of the Garden’s former asphalt parking lot after the SAGE Parking Facility opened, the Edible Garden features three garden rooms: Vegetable Amphitheater, Green Wall and Outdoor Kitchen.
Upon entering, edible perennials such as paw paws and tea camellias whet the visitor's appetite while non-edible plants like strawberry begonia, Saxifraga stolonifera, and marlberry, Ardisia japonica, provide whimsical plays on edible plant names. This area is anchored by the deciduous conifer, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, or dawn redwood, which was planted in 1980. This species is known as a "living fossil." It is a prehistoric plant that was thought to be extinct until 1941 when a grove of them was discovered in China.
In the vegetable amphitheater, an intricately woven tapestry of edibles rises above guests. Vegetables are combined to create interesting combinations of texture and color, much like an annual bed. 'Golden Delicious', 'Gala' and 'Liberty' apple espaliers ring the top of the amphitheater. In the center of the amphitheater is a small aquatic pond that features edibles that can be grown in water such as lotus, Nelumbo nucifera and rice, Oryza sativa.
Seasonal row crops reminiscent of southern agricultural fields lead visitors from the amphitheater to the water wall. A vertical perennial growing system focuses on Saxifraga stolonifera and Tiarella. The original individual plastic modules are filled with 80% expanded slate, 15% coarse river sand and 5% worm castings. There are several pots around the Outdoor Kitchen that will feature commonly used herbs and vegetables.
At the end of the garden lies the Outdoor Kitchen, which is surrounded by fig trees, Ficus carica. The three different cultivars, 'Celeste', 'Desert King', and 'LSU Gold' allow figs to be in season most of the summer. This state of the art open-air kitchen is where cooking demonstrations, classes and chef-helmed dinners take place. To one side of the kitchen is a traditional edible garden planted in rows where herbs and produce are grown for use in cooking classes and demonstrations.
The fresh produce of the Edible Garden comes in handy in the Outdoor Kitchen, where a variety of tasty programs bloom in warm-weather months.
Rent the Edible Garden & Outdoor Kitchen
Host a fresh experience surrounded by delicious vegetables, fruits and herbs. The Outdoor Kitchen provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for any event.