A love of gardens and plants have been prevalent throughout history at many major event spaces and attractions. Recently, the love of gardening is breaking into the sports world and has become the center of attention at some major league baseball (MLB) stadiums. With interest in gardening continuing to become more and more popular, even the players and faculty have joined in to help create these gardens. Here are some of our favorite gardens in the MLB.
- The San Diego Padres have taken gardening to the next level. The Petco Park bullpen has a garden featuring herbs, tomatoes, and 18 varieties of peppers. This has not only become popular with the fans, but the players have tended to the garden and use what they grow for their own salads and other meals. Luke Yoder, Petco Park’s director of field operations, has been tending to the Padre's garden. Yoder said during an interview, “If you name it, we’ve grown it or have it,” They have grown over 18 varieties of peppers from 15 countries. Yoder says, “The pitching coaches and players like to play with them and pop one every once in a while, to get them going.”
- The Chicago Cubs may have one of the most well-known and historical park in all of MLB. The ivy you see today was added in 1937 with many other stadium additions that year. The ivy is common Boston ivy a clinging woody vine of the grape family, native to eastern Asia. It was added primarily to make the stadium look better, which it certainly does but was also an attempt to cushion the outfield wall made out of brick. The wall still stands today and is not one you want to crash into unless you aren't that concerned for your health.
- The Colorado Rockies have a notoriously beautiful view outside Coors stadium; however, they brought that view inside. In 1996, to bring a little "piece of the mountains" into the stadium, the team installed fountains, trees, rocks, and waterfalls to the outfield. The trees are Colorado Spruce, Pinon Pine, Bristlecone Pine, Con Color Fir, Limber Pine, Gamble Oak, and Curl Leaf Mahogany. They also put in Kentucky Bluegrass to bring everything together. The Rockies have also created a garden behind the centerfield wall. The garden is 600-square feet and designed to mimic a baseball field with beetle-killed pinewood raised beds terracing upwards from the garden's "infield" to the outfield stands. The garden produces an assortment of vegetables and herbs. They included tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, purple kale, chives, parsley, thyme, and rosemary used by Coors Field chefs in the Mountain Ranch Club restaurant and the build-your-own salad stations in the ballpark. The garden uses organic soil and irrigation drip lines made from recycled materials.
- Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, has a unique and beautiful meadow for fans to walk through when entering the stadium. This project was made to commemorate the 1969 season when the Mets went from never having had a winning record to gaining a World Series championship. Bullpen coach Joe Pignatano found a wild tomato plant somehow growing beyond Shea’s right-field fence. Pignatano said in an interview, “We got some tomatoes off it, but most importantly, we won the whole thing. After that, I kept up the garden as long as I was with the Mets, as a good luck charm.” In 2013, they created a more inviting feeling into the park by building a garden made up of tall grasses, native plants, and trees.