07.07.2020 change 07.07.2020

Botanic Garden invites visitors to EAT its vegetable carpet

Vegetable carpet in the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden, credit: the University of Warsaw Botanical Garden Vegetable carpet in the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden, credit: the University of Warsaw Botanical Garden

An edible carpet made from vegetables has gone on show at the University of Warsaw’s Botanic Garden.

Made up of 26 species of herbs and vegetables, including cabbage, kale, leek, chard, marjoram and carrot, the veggie carpet has a tradition stretching back over 150 years. 

Traditionally, the carpet was planted with low plants with uniform growth and colourful leaves usually consisting of begonias, bloodleaves, joyweeds and heliotropes. 

This year, however, it was decided that for the first time it should be made from vegetables.

Dorota Szubierajska, curator of the ornamental plants department and rosarium at the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden said: “The carpet pattern and design by Diana Zlochevska means that this is not a regular bed with vegetables and herbs, but an extremely decorative, colourful plant bed, which you can also eat. 

“When the vegetable carpet ripens, we will simply eat it together with the last visitors of the garden. This will be a very unusual way to remove the plant bed. 

“Usually, everything disappears in one day and ends up in a compost heap. This year, we hope that everything will end up in our kitchens and pantries.” 

The carpet design was created last December, with cultivation starting in January. First, gardeners sowed seeds in greenhouses before seedlings were moved to the ground at the end of May. 

Now that the harvest is ready, the carpet has begun to be eaten, with the lettuce going first.

Given the large amount that needs to be harvested, garden employees plan to organize a harvest festival during the summer holidays, depending on the situation with coronavirus. 

The 16th-century Chateau de Villandry with its Renaissance style gardens is famous for its decorative vegetable rebates. 

The castle's numerous themed gardens include the famous Ornamental Kitchen Garden, in which vegetables are grown in an ornamental way.

PAP - Science in Poland

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