The 3.5-acre edible display garden with a pavilion and kitchen opened last month at the Dallas Arboretum. Photos courtesy of Dallas Arboretum.
Nov. 28, 2017
A new exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum makes the case for growing your own fruits, veggies and herbs.
The 3.5-acre edible display garden, with a pavilion and kitchen, known as “A Tasteful Place,” opened in October. It was inspired by the movement toward growing and eating fresh, sustainable, locally-grown food.
Now visitors to the Arboretum can get tips for doing just that.
“People want to eat food that’s been grown locally, and this garden will teach them how to do that in a hands-on practical manner,” said Terry Lendecker, spokeswoman for the Dallas Arboretum. “It was an idea that came about from having to relocate an herb garden.”
Activities and events offered at A Tasteful Place include daily tastings of recipes developed from featured vegetables in the garden, heritage recipe swaps, hands-on cooking classes and demos, garden-to-table dinners, gardening demos, parent/child cooking classes, nutrition presentations and a variety of other special events.
Activites at the garden include cooking demos, classes and garden-to-table dinners.
The programming is year-round and created with the help of P. Allen Smith, A Tasteful Place program consultant, lifestyle and gardening expert and television host.
Lendecker said this healthy garden program has been years in the making as everything came together just right.
“The Dallas Arboretum has been trialing and testing plants for many years through its award-winning Plant Trials Program, but six years ago, we started trialing vegetables of all varieties to see how they would grow in this climate,” she said.
Lendecker said what really sets A Tasteful Place apart is the Potager Display Gardens, which are four individual quadrants that comprise the ornamental kitchen garden, or “potager,” which is a French term that means a productive working garden that is also visually beautiful, drawing on European gardening principals and artful arrangement.
“The Potager Gardens are a signature element of the development with in-season vegetables, herbs and flowers, planted ornamentally and interspersed with flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects,” Lendecker added.
Plants are grown seasonally and there is a planting schedule of what the Arboretum is growing each month.
Dave Forehand, Dallas Arboretum vice president of gardens, said the Arboretum continues to break new ground with this exhibit and trial gardens.
"There are few other gardens in the country doing what we're doing here and at this level,” he said.
The project cost around $12 million, raised through donations.
Admission to the Dallas Arboretum gives visitors free admission to A Tasteful Place.
“A Tasteful Place is a collaborative effort of many alliances with individuals and groups around the city that support the Dallas Arboretum,” Lendecker said. “The garden was developed as a living, learning, growing experience that will help guide people toward understanding how to prepare foods and eat more healthfully.”