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A Kitchen Garden Finds Its Rhythm in Beaumont, Texas


May 12, 2022

Magnolia GC Creates a Potager at McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum

The Magnolia Garden Club recently collaborated with the McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum located in Beaumont, Texas, to install a kitchen garden on the museum’s grounds. The McFaddin-Ward House Museum was one of a number of grand residences built in the early 1900’s by local architect Henry Conrad Mauer. Mauer, who trained at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, incorporated local materials with the most advanced electrical, heating, and plumbing systems of the time. The idea for the garden came from the museum’s director, who involved his education coordinator and members of the Magnolia Garden Club to help with the garden’s design. 

Kitchen gardens, also called potager gardens, are gardens in a space separate from the residential garden. Historically, a potager has been used for growing plants for eating, flavoring foods, and medicinal uses. These plots follow the principles of garden design that creates an area which is not only ornamental, but productive. Garden designers talk about the term “rhythm” as one of the most important elements of design. The rhythm of the garden is the pattern of planting that you establish to guide one’s eyes through the garden. Gardeners can use repetition, progression, or contrast in design to create a “rhythm.” From this flows design elements of line, color, and texture to bring the whole design together.  

Once the design was completed, a workday was scheduled. Volunteers from the Magnolia Garden Club spent a beautiful day laying out the design and planting in the beds. This is the first of hopefully many projects the club will complete in partnership with the McFaddin-Ward House Museum.


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