Seed World

Disney to Spotlight the Magic of Seeds

Walt Disney World Resort will plant an ASTA garden as part of the 2017 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, announced two members of Disney’s Horticulture team today (Jan. 30) at the American Seed Trade Association’s Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference.

From March 1 to May 29, more than 7 million guests will walk the grounds taking in the beauty of the plants, creativity of the designers and new ideas to experiment with back at home, shares Eric Darden, Disney Horticulture specialist.

He told attendees that the garden will be located in front of the Living with the Land Pavilion and will help to tell the story of seeds and the importance of plant breeding. As an example, he explained that the display will feature kale from 100 years ago and then a few varieties available today.

While the garden design and language for the sign is still being finalized, the entry sign will read something similar to: “Throughout time, the tiny seed has played a pivotal role in feeding the world. Protecting a new plant inside its strong coat, a seed waits patiently for growing conditions. Early farmers chose their most successful plants and collected the best seed for future crops. Later, they learned to mix pollen between plants to select desirable traits. Modern breeders use technology at molecular levels to produce new and improved varieties. The food we eat, clothes we wear and fuel that powers our car all began with a seed planted in the ground. Today’s plant breeders create higher yield and variations in color, size, hardiness, taste, nutrition and disease resistance. Better seed = better life.”

The announcement came on the heels of Darden and Debbie Mola Mickler, also a long-time member of Disney’s horticulture team, sharing the role that plants, seeds and landscaping play in creating the Disney experience and the evolution of horticulture and landscape design at theme parks.

Fun Facts:

  • For 20 plus years, Disney has served as a host site and partner for the All-America Selections Trial Gardens.
  • The horticulture techniques and philosophy still being used in all Disney parks circles back to Morgan Bill Evans.
  • Horticulturists maintain 4,200 acres of landscapes on Disney property.
  • Disney uses 3.5 million bedding plants per year.
  • Once created, a character topiary can last for four to five years.