The Dallas Arboretum is already amazing in its own right. It’s been named one the world’s 15 Most Breathtaking Gardens  by Architectural Digest, is a prime spot for picnics and photoshoots and has seasonal events and displays happening all year long. Now they are stepping it up a notch by bringing an $8M European style potager garden to the property. A Tasteful Place will empower visitors with information about sustainable and modern practices in urban gardening and nutrition.

Bonus Fun Stuff: Short List: Vegan & Vegetarian Dining Options In DFW.

Enjoying the beauty of the famous archway at the Dallas Arboretum

Garden expert P. Allen Smith, along with SWA Architects, Buchanan Architecture and the Arboretum’s horticulture team, lent his inspiration towards this two acre ferme ornee (defined as an ornamented farm). This place is going to be a utopia of edible plants, beautiful views and a teaching kitchen where local chefs will demonstrate ways to take food from the garden and transform it into delicious meals.

Dallas Arboretum in the FallDallas Arboretum in the Fall

Harvest veggies

The groundbreaking ceremony for A Tasteful Place was held on Monday September 12th at 10 am. Upon walking into the Dallas Arboretum, me and my mom were greeted with harvested pumpkins, squash and other yummy displays. Beyond them were seated a crown of press and donors in front of an elevated stage. Among the people on stage were P. Allen Smith, Chairman Mark Wolf (Arboretum’s Board of Directors), VP of Gardens, Dave Forehand.

Board members chatting before the groundbreaking took place

After thanking the donors for their contributions and speaking more about the project, everyone gathered around a plot of dirt with shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking. I snapped some shots while Mom chatted with a volunteer named Jean on the history of the gardens. I can’t wait to see the finished project!

A harvest decorated path leading to the picnic area

One of the biggest attractions at A Tasteful Place will be the Garden Pavilion. It’s going to have floor to ceiling glass walls so visitors will get a 270 degree view of the gardens from the inside! This 3600 square foot building is where the cooking classes, educational programs and garden demos will take place. It’s also going to serve as a venue for private events.

Arboretum farm-to-table gardenArboretum farm-to-table garden

Donors and the planning team get playful with the dirt.

After the groundbreaking ceremony, Mom and I walked around the Arboretum and caught a glimpse of some upcoming fall displays including pumpkin houses and straw horses. The famous 12 Days of Christmas gazebos are popping up everywhere and we can’t wait to see them in all of their festive glory.

P. Allen Smith’s book is available in the gift shop

We even spotted P. Allen Smith’s book ‘Seasonal Recipes From the Garden’ in the gift shop! When you have the chance, you should visit the Dallas Arboretum at least once per season. There’s always new plants, new displays and events happening. The place is so big, you’ll discover something new with every visit. I’ve been several times and still have yet to see the entire property!

Me in front of the pumpkin houses

Mom found a great spot for a photo opp!

I plan on bringing Mom back to attend some of these classes in the future. I’m also looking forward to seeing the Picnic Lawn Overlook area. It’s going to have a great view of the Dallas Skyline towering over White Rock Lake (photo opp!). Guests can enjoy food and wine tastings, seated dinners and outdoor weddings there in the future.

All photos by Gernelle Nelson. Credit and link for any usage.

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