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PacificEdge | December 18, 2017

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Edible landscaping comes to Brisbane’s Southbank

Edible landscaping comes to Brisbane’s Southbank
Russ Grayson

To wander without intent…

 

Wandering without intent other than that of getting from South Brisbane station to Highgate Hill took us along the Southbank parklands that follow the wide brown waters of the Brisbane River. It’s a fine walk and there’s even an artificial beach of real sand fronting an equally artificial lake with its own lifeguard, an asset for those thoughtful enough to bring swimmers when mid-summer’s sticky heat raises a sweat even when you’re not moving.

Southbank’s lake and beach is a popular venue.

The garden

Epiucurious Garden… that sounds interesting, went the thought that passed through my head when I saw the sign. Fiona, too, had noticed it and because she is someone attracted to things botanical and edible, like ants attracted to spilled honey, she was already heading that way.

It seems the council is delving into edible landscaping here. It’s a neat garden, this Epiucurious Garden, formal in layout but interesting nonetheless. I puzzled over the name. Clearly named for the philosopher, Epicurius of Classical Greece, I thought how his name has been co-opted by luxury-loving, affluent and over-consumptive foodies when Epicurius had really been interested in basic foods, modest shelter and the good company of convivial friends.

It is not a large garden but it is one with community engagement, according to the signage. Here we found a garden growing different sweet potato varieties, green and purple-leaved of different leaf shape, beans climbing trellises, dragon fruit climbing palm trees, an orchard of young citrus and more. An adjacent pond with a fountain, a shelter and seating encourage people lo linger. There were families picnicking here next we passed by.

Beans climb trellises from their mulched garden bed.

The Epicurious Garden would interest anyone interested in the botany of edible species and edible landscaping. If this is you it might be worth a few of your minutes when next walking along Southbank. You find it towards the southern end of Southbank.

Cocoyam, Brisbane potato, produces an edible, starchy corm surrounded by cormels that have an earthy, nutty taste when cooked.

A green, heart-shaped-leaved sweet potato contrasts in colour and leaf shape with the lobed, purple-leaved variety.

A shelter and seating beside the young citrus orchard form a linger node in the Epicurious Garden.

Garden beds of different varieties of sweet potato.

Palm trees in your backyard? Why not use them for growing dragon fruit?

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