GODFREY – Last summer’s themed garden show, “BEE-Dazzled,” provided a bounty of nectar and pollen for hard-working native pollinators – the bees. The college announced this week that next year’s themed garden show will create a bounty of beauty and bites for everyone.
Lewis and Clark’s third Annual Themed Garden Show, titled “Garden of Eatin’,” will showcase edible (and drinkable!) plants aimed at connecting garden visitors and Lewis and Clark students with their food source. Both beautiful and productive, Garden of Eatin’ will inspire visitors to plant their own gardens and share the bounty of their harvests with friends and neighbors. Plantings will change throughout the summer season from May – September, with the peak time of show and harvest expected in late July and early August.
“The goal of this year’s show is to explain to our own students and campus visitors the benefits of producing food from their own gardens,” Horticulture Manager Kara Mayfield said. “We want people to see not only the beauty that these gardens can offer, but we also hope to demonstrate how flowers and plants are used to enhance our favorite dishes.”
Mayfield said a team from Lewis and Clark, in conjunction with landscape architects from Terra Design, is in the early design stages for next year’s show. But visitors are likely to see colorful displays of edible flowers, like pansies, marigolds and nasturtiums; vine tunnels dripping with vegetables we pickle, such as beans and cucumbers; a hot pepper garden; a pizza garden; and a spirts and suds garden featuring plants we distill for and use to flavor our favorite spirits, such as agave, junipers and 20-feet tall hop vines growing on trellises and buildings.
“We are really excited about some of the preliminary plans that will not only feature things people expect to see in a garden like cucumbers, tomatoes and beans, but it will also feature edible flowers, a sunflower parade, a citrus grove and 250-pound prize-winning pumpkins,” Mayfield said. “We want people to understand where their food comes from, how easy food can be to produce, and how essential growing your own garden can be on your health as well as your budget.”
In 2013 the Monticello Sculpture Gardens introduced its first themed garden show with “Menagerie in Bloom,” which featured a special selection of colorful plantings that bore the names of real or imaginary creatures.
The summer of 2014 welcomed native pollinators to the campus with “BEE Dazzled,” which also attracted visitors from all around the country to witness the flowering vine columns and vine tunnels laden with gourd blossoms, passion vine, morning glory and flame honeysuckle. The show also featured a sunflower labyrinth and numerous flower displays throughout campus, showcasing colorful blossoms that provide food for the docile, yet hard-working native pollinators.
“We’ve noticed more and more visitors to our campus gardens each year as we host these themed garden shows, and the donor support from the community also continues to increase,” Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman said. “This year we saw an even larger number of people tour the gardens and take in not just the beautiful plantings, but also a better understanding and appreciation for the importance of bees on food production. Our shows not only provide beauty for our campus, but they are also an opportunity for Lewis and Clark to further its educational mission for the community.”
The Monticello Sculpture Gardens were dedicated in the Spring of 2012 and represent Lewis and Clark’s efforts to preserve the beauty of its historic campus, which once served as a school for women from 1838-1970 known as Monticello College. The Monticello Sculpture Gardens are a Signature Garden site of the Missouri Botanical Garden. In addition to seasonal and permanent plantings, the Monticello Sculpture Gardens also feature 14 large scale, mostly bronze, sculptures.
The gardens are supported by generous donations made by private donors and groups such as Joan and Chuck Sheppard, The Godfrey Women’s Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Whole Foods.
For more information about the gardens visit www.lc.edu/gardens