In 2006, Eric Tschanz relayed the results of Powell Gardens’ visitor survey. “Our visitors want a food garden,” he simply said. “And we want it to be the biggest and best in the country!” In 2009, the Heartland Harvest Garden, twelve acres in size with eight of those in cultivated gardens, opened its gates to the public. Its overarching mission was to immerse the curious child, the busy consumer and the experienced gardener alike into our food’s seed-to-plate story. Seventeen uniquely-themed galleries draw guests through the garden, ultimately rewarding them with a taste of the day’s harvest.
Favorite garden stops include the Apple Celebration Path, Vineyard, Author’s Garden, and Fun Food Farm. However, the undisputed showstopper of the Heartland Harvest Garden is the Quilt Garden, a one-acre Villandry-style display of vegetables, edible flowers and herbs arranged in a modified quilt pattern. Visitors are rewarded with a commanding view of the potager garden from 40 feet as they climb the stylized silo adjacent to the barn. Back on the ground at the barn terrace, a tasting station and café offer savory gifts of the garden: the closing chapter in the seed-to-plate tale.
- Maurice Jennings Architect