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Enjoy Gardens Great and Small at This Green Exposition

Enjoy Gardens Great and Small at This Green Exposition

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2019 Arkansas River Valley Lawn & Garden Show, March 15-17

Entering the great hall for the Fort Smith Convention Center to find it a blooming, growing, green exposition is a local rite of spring for gardeners and those who want to start gardening.

The River Valley Master Gardeners present this educational, entertaining three-day show as part of its mission. The Master Gardener program is a community organization under the wing of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Guest experts and local Master Gardeners are scheduled to share free lectures and how-to demonstrations. The theme for the 2019 show is “Small Gardens.” Everyone can grow a garden no matter how small their space – even in containers. Small gardens have a big beneficial effect on the environment and wildlife preservation, not to mention beautifying and providing food for the soul and body.

The convention floor itself sprouts astonishing living gardens and water features surrounded by living trees, shrubbery, grass and beautiful blooming flowers. Enormous display gardens, some with pools and running waterfalls, are created by local landscapers.

Living plants and flowers from orchids to vegetable garden starts will be offered by growers and greenhouses. Vendors sell goods sch as garden ornaments, lawn and garden tools, outdoor furniture and storage buildings, gazebos and trellis structures, herbal products and fresh honey and preserves.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Plant Health Clinic Portable Lab will be present all three days of the show to look at physical samples and/or pictures of plant disease problems in the landscape and garden. Take samples of problem plants.

The show also hosts the Fort Smith Council of Garden Clubs' annual flower design show and horticulture judging as well as the Fort Smith Art Center Photo Alliance's photography contest. Children can play garden-themed activities and crafts and see a garden train.

Proceeds from the Lawn & Garden Show help to support the many projects of the Master Gardeners. The group maintains demonstration gardens at The Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing, where it also holds classes and activities for the public.

Master Gardeners give many hours of service in tending to the public landscape and flower gardens in city parks, at Miss Laura’s Visitor Center, the Clayton House and other locations, making all of Fort Smith more green and beautiful.

The Master Gardeners practice environmentally-friendly gardening to encourage the health of honeybees and other pollinators, increase food garden yields and to improve soil and conserve water. All of their knowledge is shared with the public through its educational programs.

Admission $5, good for all three days. Kids 11 and under, free. 10-a.m.-6 p.m. March 15-16; ;10 a.m.-5 p.m. March. 17. Fort Smith Convention Center, 800 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith. Free parking.

Seminar Schedule

Friday, March 15
10:30 a.m. Moles and Gophers Jessie Taylor
11:30 a.m. Fire Ants: What to do Jayson McGaugh
1 p.m. The Right Herbs in Small Areas
Tina Marie Wilcox tends to and teaches at the Ozark Folk Center heritage herb gardens. Know the beauty, culinary and medicinal value of herbs.
2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Yoga For Gardening Health Sessions
led by Terri Hargrove, Yogaterrium
2:15 p.m. Flower Arranging Kay Schlaefli
3 p.m. Landscaping Small Yards Joe Neumeier
4 p.m. Growing a Lemon Tree from Seed Susan Horton
5 p.m. Why is my Crape Myrtle Black? Jayson McGaugh

Saturday March 16
10 a.m. How and When to Plant Tomatoes Mary Smith
11 a.m. A Garden in Straw Bales Leslie Wagner
12:15 p.m. Pruning Roses Thell Hallsted
1 p.m. Container Gardening Robert Vaught
2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Yoga For Gardening Health Sessions
led by Terri Hargrove, Yogaterrium
2:15 p.m. Propagating Succulents Susan Randolph
3 p.m. Preparing the Garden Bed Robert Vaught
4 p.m. Pollinators Neelendra Joshi
5:15 p.m. How to Read Your Soil Test Jayson McGaugh

Sunday, March 17
1 p.m. Companion Plants Berni Kurz,
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension horticulture specialist.
2 p.m. Turning Your Trash into Soil Joanne Olszewski
3 p.m. Saving Our Diseased Tomatoes Sherrie Smith

This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith. 

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online