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460 East Washington Street
Iowa City, IA

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Chauncey Swan Park Edible Landscape

Located in the heart of downtown Iowa City, Chauncey Swan Park is an ideal place for a picnic and people-watching. The famous Iowa City Farmers Market is held during the growing season in the parking ramp next to the park.

Two low-maintenance edible landscaping beds were designed and implemented by Backyard Abundance in the spring of 2012. The northeast corner bed emulates a forest ecosystem with shade-loving service berries, black currants, ostrich ferns, alpine strawberries, Oregon grape hollies, and wild ginger. The sunny bed along the Washington Street sidewalk features many perennials: thornless blackberries, chokeberry (aronia) shrub, yarrow, anise hyssop, and a variety of culinary herbs used as ground covers.

Activities and Experiences

  • Sample culinary herbs throughout the growing season and see how they are used as ground cover to reduce weeding.
  • Eat blackberries, chokeberries, serviceberries, and strawberries.
  • Adopt a favorite plant and gather cups of water from the fountain to nurture it.
  • Rub the leaves of plants to discover interesting smells.

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