Arkansas Flower and Garden Show goes beyond blooms

The full schedule has been announced for the 2014 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show on Friday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

The show, which benefits educational scholarships to Arkansas horticulture students and beautification programs across the state, features 80 vendors, a display garden competition, demonstrations, how-to sessions and silent auction.

The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show is more than just the annual show in February. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance gardening and beautification in Arkansas, promote local horticultural businesses and educate the public about gardening, landscaping and floral design.

"Horticulture plays a vital role in Arkansas’ economy, bringing in billions of dollars and providing employment for thousands of people," says Arkansas Flower and Garden Show Executive Director Krista Quinn. "It’s also an important part of our daily lives – from the food we eat to the green spaces we enjoy. The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show seeks to support young people interested in learning more to ensure a prosperous and green future for our state."

Keynote speakers include 501 LIFE contributor and executive chef Don Bingham, landscape design lecturer and author C. Colston Burrell, Janet Carson and Dr. Dustan Clark of University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Master Gardener Don Greenland, Lissa Morrison of Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Arkansas Master Gardener Lucinda Reynolds and Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia Nurseries.

501 LIFE contributor Don Bingham is among the presenters at the 2014 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock.

Friday speakers include Burrell on "Finishing Touches: Details in Garden Design" and "The Art of Perennial Combinations"; Clark, an Arkansas poultry specialist, on "Backyard Poultry: From Community Zoning to Your Breakfast Omelet"; Greenland on "Grow Your Own Groceries"; and Morrison, lead gardener at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, on "Taming the Wild: Arkansas Natives Come Home."

Saturday speakers include Bingham on "Outdoor Arkansas Party Time!"; Carson on "Ornamental Edibles/Edible Ornamentals"; Reynolds on "Remarkably Reliable Plants for Arkansas"; and Staddon, director of new plants for Monrovia Nurseries, on "Behind the Curtain" and "Your Urban Farm – From Plot to Pot."

Monrovia Nurseries will sponsor a drawing for plants following each of Staddon’s presentations.

Gardening how-to sessions will be held each day on the stage in the center of the show floor. Friday topics include:

  • Repotting, Dividing and Maintaining Potted Ferns Jim Fielder, Faulkner County Master Gardener
  • Rain Gardens For Water Quality Raven Lawson, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
  • Lasagna Gardening: Not What You Think! Cathie Connaughton, Faulkner County Master Gardener
  • The Heritage Herb Gardens Experience at Historic Arkansas Museum Marcella Grimmett, Arkansas Unit- Herb Society of America
  • Natural Goat’s Milk Solutions for The Ultimate Healthy Lifestyle Tammy Sue Pope, Tammy Sue’s Critters
  • Glass Art for the Garden Pat Proctor, Historic Arkansas Museum
  • January to May: Irises in the Garden Susan Rose, Central Arkansas Iris Society
  • How to Choose a Landscape Professional Danny Townsend, Perfect Places
  • Proper Care and Planting of Landscape Trees Jeremy Bemis, Bemis Tree Farm
  • Trends in Outdoor Kitchens & Entertaining Megan Thomas, Antique Brick Outdoors
  • Gardening: That’s Entertainment! Dale Wallace, About Vase
  • Fairy Garden: It’s a Small World After All Chris Olsen, Botanica Gardens

Saturday topics include:

  • Composting: What Goes In? What Comes Out? Jan Spann, 501 LIFE contributor and Faulkner County Master Gardener
  • Roses for Everybody! Mary Evans, Arkansas Extended Learning Center
  • To Dye or Go Natural: Modern Options For Mulches Buddy Olsen, Horticare
  • Go For It!  Make Your Party Yours! Justin Hoadley, Events Rental & Floral (Conway)
  • Magical, Mystical, Mythical: The Folklore of Bottle Trees Susan Rose, Pulaski County Master Gardener          
  • Historic Arkansas Museum- Pulaski County Master Gardener Project of the Year Leslie Patrick, Historic Arkansas Museum; Joellen Beard and Valerie Smith, Master Gardener co-chairs
  • Puppin’ and Bloomin’ Broms The Bromeliad Guy, Michael Seal, The Funny Farm
  • Bamboo: A Million Uses for a Renewable Resource Dale Almond, Arkansas Bamboo Connection
  • Artemesia: Herb of the Year 2014™ Tina Marie Wilcox, Ozark Folk Center
  • Gardening Under Glass: Terrariums Sharon Mayes, Pulaski County Master Gardener
  • "Must-Have" Culinary Herbs for Containers Mary Wells, Faulkner County Master Gardener
  • Bees in the Garden: "That is Entertainment" Larry Kichler, Central Arkansas Beekeepers    
  • A Vintage Garden Tea Party Scott Brents, Fairy Tale Florals          
  • Birds & Other Wildlife in the Urban Garden Jane Gulley, Pulaski County Master Gardener
  • Container Facelifts Judy Bradsher, Botanica Gardens

Sunday topics include:

  • Roses for Everybody Mary Evans, Arkansas Extended Learning Center
  • Personal Produce Garden Mike Stewart, U.S. Victory Gardens
  • Alternative Containers Sharon Mayes, Pulaski County Master Gardener
  • Getting the Most From Your Sprinkler System Bryan Roseberry, Roseberry Landscape Services
  • Sustainability: Small Livestock Damian Thompson, Chris Wyman & Kids, Dunbar Community Garden
  • Butterflies & Flutterbys: Easy as 1-2-3 Bailey Barham and Carol Carlan, Pulaski County Master Gardeners
  • The Urban Chikkin Guy! Ron Robinette, Pulaski County Master Gardener (door prizes)
  • Horticultural Party Favors! Donny Moore, Bella Flora Florist & Gifts
  • The Garden Girl Grow Bucket Kit Cheryl Anderson, Garden Girl Farm Fresh Produce & More

Sunday is also Family Day, during which kids accompanied by one or more adults may attend two free 30-minute gardening workshops at which they will learn about butterflies and growing plants from seeds. Faulkner County Master Gardener and retired teacher Betty Baxter will direct "Sensational Seeds", and Faulkner County Master Gardener and retired teacher Sheryl Whited will teach "Bring on the Butterflies."

Other events include a silent auction, featuring garden-related items and gift certificates. The silent auction opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and bidding ends at 3 p.m.

Proceeds from the silent auction and the general show provide educational scholarships in horticulture-related fields to students in Arkansas colleges and universities. Since the show began in 1992, the nonprofit organization has awarded more than 30 scholarships to students studying horticulture and landscape architecture in Arkansas. In addition, proceeds support the Greening of Arkansas grant program, which provides grants for community beautification projects throughout Arkansas. More than $40,000 has been given in the last eight years to communities to beautify public areas such as parks, community entrances and schools.

Show times are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors 60 and older. Children 16 and under receive free admission. A three-day pass may be purchased for $12. Participants may park for free at Dickey-Stephens Park and take the shuttle provided by Arkansas Destinations for $1 round trip per adult.

The event is sponsored by Fiser Kubota and Twin City Tractor. Other sponsors include Central Arkansas Water, Dr. Steve and Merilyn Tilley, Clark Trim and Henrik Thostrup, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Carol and Allan Mendel.

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit

The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show is a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the discussion, dissemination and exchange of the latest information and new ideas on gardening, landscaping and horticulture practices to the public through educational programs and materials, demonstrations, displays and exhibits. Proceeds from its annual show provide educational scholarships in horticulture-related fields to students in Arkansas colleges and universities. In addition, proceeds support the Greening of Arkansas grant program, which has provided more than $40,000 for community beautification projects throughout Arkansas.