The Police Station-Extension Garden is located at the intersection on 9th street and Highway 62. Although it is a small garden it is very visible as you enter Mountain Home from the west.
This garden was initially installed by the class of 1999, and several of the plants are still original to the garden. The Crape Myrtles that were originally planted are now lovely trees. Several of the bushes and flowers have been changed through the years.
Our focus now is to make the garden simpler and less crowded -- requiring less maintenance throughout the year. This year we have thinned out the flower beds, added a garden path, and made a map of the garden. In the fall we are installing a small retaining wall on the back of the garden to correct the erosion that has been accruing over the past years. Adding additional perennials in this space this fall and next spring will be a continuing goal for the next year. In the front of the garden we will still be using a small area for seasonal annuals.
Judy Niziolek, Co-Chairman of the Police Station-Extension Garden
The Master Gardeners Fairgrounds Project consists of the two flower beds at the entrance to the Education Building at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. If you are at the Baxter County Fairgrounds take a minute to look over these lovely beds. There is always something of interest. Since the beds have herbs, perennials, bulbs, roses bushes and annual flowers, there is always something in bloom throughout the season.
These beds are tended to by many dedicated Master Gardeners. Due to the long stretches of cold weather we had last winter, many of the plants and several bushes did not survive and had to be replaced this year. Generally we spend two hours once a month maintaining the beds. Also, volunteers water weekly through the summer.
Everything has grown well and there has been a full season of color for this year. Our volunteers have worked very hard at keeping these beds in shape.
Mike & Judy Kuenzli co-leaders
In 2000, the First Presbyterian Church had several members who were also members of the Master Gardeners (MG). The area of what is now called the Memorial Garden, was planted in nothing but Bermuda Grass. The Pastor at that time, Chuck White, approached the church members who were also MG’s and asked if there could be anything done to make the area more attractive and welcoming. With some research they found that the area did have an automatic watering system and a garden would be feasible. It was then agreed that the Church would provide the funds through donations for the plants, mulch, and miscellaneous costs, and the MG’s would provide the planning, gardening expertise and the labor. And a partnership was formed.
At that time the Master Gardeners were holding the monthly meetings at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. In 2002 the Fair board advised that they could no longer use the fairgrounds for their meetings and the members approached Pastor White about meeting in the Church’s Fellowship Hall. With some conditions, the Session and Pastor White gave their approval and the partnership was enhanced. Each year the MG’s provide a donation to the church that is to go into the Memorial Garden Fund and the Church has made the facilities free to the MG.
Over the years, a bell tower, fountain, patio furniture and umbrellas, and benches have been donated for the area. Slowly the more expensive perennial bushes and flowers and bushes were purchased and the cheaper annual flowers were purchased for color and to fill in some bland areas. Approximately 300 man hours of work were needed for the MG’s to accomplish these tasks each year. The result of the efforts of the partnership are now evident in the colorful and beautiful area we have now. As a Master Gardening project, the garden is open to everyone to enjoy the beauty and serenity the site offers.
The Rapps Barren Historical Settlement in Cooper Park became a BCMG project in 1999. The cabins that create the settlement were moved to Cooper Park in 1992 from locations around Baxter County through the efforts of the Historical Society. The central location in Cooper Park has served as a way to preserve these examples of early structures in the county for the education and enjoyment of our citizens and visitors.
BCMG maintains gardens at the Shotgun Cabin and the G.W. Jones Cabin. Over the years members of BCMG have added many native, heirloom and pass-a-long plants to the gardens that early settlers might have enjoyed. Some of these include native butterfly weed, purple coneflower, monarda and coreopsis. Varieties of iris, rose campion, peonies and lily of the valley are some of the pass-a-longs. Even the common day lilies and some maples were donations from local resident Nellie Mitchell in 2000. There are two species of dogwood trees and an unusual wahoo at the Jones cabin. Even “weeds” such as poke are allowed to bloom in front of the cabins. Early settlers might have eaten the young leaves in poke salad.
Many native trees are found around the nearby duck pond and in the area around the cabins. There is a guide to their locations, though many trees have been lost due to the ice storm or thinned for safety and proper growth by the parks department.
The BCMG members meet at the Rapps Barren Settlement on the fourth Tuesday morning, spring through fall, to maintain the gardens, share some garden education and work on special projects. The gardeners enjoy meeting the walkers and visitors while they dig and often share cuttings, garden advice and ideas with them. The Park celebrates History Day each October and BCMGers attend to help visitors learn about the plants in the garden. New plant i.d. markers are helping too. Many thanks to the gardeners who have shared their plants and their hard work throughout the years.
In maintaining the gardens at the Shotgun and Jones cabins at Cooper Park BCMG plays a small part in keeping the history of Mountain Home alive.
Visit our web site for directions and more information.
Thanks to Master Gardners - Anne Carriere. Angela Reagan, Marylou Knasiak, Carol Russell-Lesher, Lisa Wolf, Jenni Rowland and Frank Sinning pictured below.
Submitted by: Jo Strickland
Pictures provided by: Judy Brieske
Baxter County Master Gardeners every year donate gardening books to the public library system. Electronic devices are becoming popular so this year they donated gardening books that can be read on electronic devices. An electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices.
e-Books for Children
1. Kids Container Gardening. Cindy Krezel 2010 ebook
2. Gardening Lab for Kids. Renata Fossen Brown 2014 ebook
3. How to grow a School Garden. Arden Bucklin Sporer Rachel Pringer 2010
4. Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life. Marta Mc Dowell 2013
e-Books for Adults
1. The Vegetable Gardeners Bible. Edward Smith 2009
2. Wild Fermentation DIY. Sandor Katz. 2011
3. Attracting Beneficial Bugs to your Garden. Jessica Walliser 2013
4. Botany for Gardeners. Brian Capon 2013
5. All New Square Foot Gardening. Mel Bartholomew 2013
6. Rodale's 21st Century Herbal. Michael Balick, Andrew Weil 2014
7. Carrots Love Tomatoes. Louise Riotte 1998
8. Animal Vegetable Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver 2008
9. Incredible Vegetables for self-watering containers. Edward C. Smith 2011
Baxter County Master Gardeners donated the cost for 13 ebooks to the public library for 2014.
Coming this summer we will have water everywhere in the Native Garden at Clysta Willet Park. The Mountain Home Department of Parks and Recreation has generously offered to design and install a sprinkler system at the Native Plant Garden along the Nature Trail next year. They have also generously offered to replace the two Paw Paw trees (Asimina triloba) in the garden. These replace trees planted last year.
Clysta Willet Park and Nature Trail is a 14-acre site donated to the City of Mountain Home in 1977 by Clysta Bertha Willett-Smith. In the 1990’s as a result of grant requests by the City of Mountain Home and with a cooperative effort of various organizations four trails were created: Scout, Sycamore, Woodland and Wildflower, with the subsequent addition of the Keller Park Trail in later years.
In 2002 the Baxter County Master Gardeners adopted the portion known as the Wildflower Trail as a sanctioned project. Since that time, Master Gardeners in conjunction with the City of Mountain Home Park and Recreation Department and various other organizations have created seven gardens that contain a variety of native plants. Over 100 native plants are displayed, which include flowering shrubs, understory trees, warm season grasses, shade loving and sun loving plants including self-sowing annuals, biennials, and perennials.
When the gardens were first developed, all watering was done by hand carrying the water in. The Department of Parks and Recreation installed a water source, though we have no record of when that occurred. Over the years, Master Gardeners maintained the watering. At times, MG who lived close by would maintain a watering schedule. At times, MG would set up a section to be watered; and Joe Melder, Supervisor of the Department of Parks and Recreation, would turn off the sprinklers when he left work for the day.
The sprinkler system will certainly be a great asset for us in our maintenance of the Native Garden, and is greatly appreciated. A special thanks to the Mountain Home Department of Parks and Recreation, and to its Director, Billy D. Austin, and Joe Melder, Superintendent for their generosity and assistance.
In a continued effort to provide a teaching opportunity for visitors about the value and beauty of native plants for use in the home garden, Baxter County Master Gardeners in cooperation with the Mountain Home Park and Recreation Department, recently purchased and planted 5 native trees at the Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail. While over 100 varieties of native plants have been cataloged at the garden, one of the areas needing enhancement was a display of a variety of native trees. Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail is located at 1634 Rossi Road in Clysta Willett Park, previously known as Twin Lakes Park. This garden has been a sanctioned project of the Baxter County Master Gardeners for the past 12 years. A core group of Master Gardeners spent over 450 hours in 2013 maintaining the garden. This 14 acre site offers a diversity of woodland habitat for a variety of wildlife and native plants. There is something in the garden to provide year around interest with peak color performance in the early to mid-summer months.
Brochures on Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail are now available at the Gastons Visitors Center on their brochure rack. Stop by and pick one up and come visit this lovely garden.
Submitted by: Carol Badsky and Cecilia Gasiecki
Edited by: Joan Burr
The Norfork Fish Hatchery is located on Highway 177 below the Norfork dam. The Hatchery is visited by 280 thousand people each year, making it one of the most visited areas in Baxter County.
Our Hatchery project began in 2008 with the understanding that it would be funded by the Friends of the Hatchery and worked by the Master Gardeners. Cheryl McConkey was the first project leader. During her term we created a flower bed in front of the visitor center. Cheryl researched and selected all the plants, choosing Arkansas natives and attracters of bees and butterflies. The next year we decided to include the beds in front of the office and at the entrance sign. In 2012 Sally Stidham and I became co-project leaders. We expanded our garden on the south side of the visitor center filling it with easy-to-grow sun-lovers and Arkansas natives. We also made nametags for all our plants, and Bob Jenkins created a book with all our plants and the care of them. He also provided pictures of each plant and created a picture board of our project and events.
During 2013 our group mulched all of our beds, brought in a ton of sand and created a Japanese garden, did general maintenance of gardens and seasonal plantings. We also added a rain barrel at the visitor center and added a watering system to the gardens there. So far this year we have cleaned our beds, pruning and weeding as needed. At our last meeting we made a three-section compost bin out of recycled pallets. After enhancing our gardens we meet in the heated/air-conditioned visitor center and discuss gardening problems and try to find solutions. We also discuss future needs of our gardens. At this time we partake of refreshment usually provided by Sally, Rich Goller, or Harold Marks. At the end of our meeting we have a drawing for a door prize. Each year in July we meet for a potluck lunch and enjoy visiting together.
We also support the Hatchery Outdoor Adventure. This is an event put on by the Friends of the Hatchery that provides educational opportunities for children. In the past this has included Archery, fly fish casting, fish ink painting, a watershed display, looking at bugs under a microscope, catching real trout from a fish tank, fishing Dry Run Creek, Lawn fishing, BB gun shooting, S-more making, water safety, river boat safety, fly tying, and projects from Master Gardeners. In 2011 we made Chia heads with the kids. In 2012 we made bird feeders from recycled water bottles. In 2013 we made planters from old shoes, filling them with plants grown by hatchery MG's. Each year this event grows bigger. Last year there were over 400 kids registered and l,000 visitors. Sally and I are very grateful to our MG's who support this event. This year the event will be on September 6th from 9 am to 3 pm. The kids will be making and decorating sun visors. They will earn their decorations by identifying various plants.
This is a big project and we would not be able to do it without the support of our helpers. Our dedicated and much loved workers at the Hatchery are Bob Jenkins, who is also our photographer. Miriam Emerick, Susan Pitchford, Barrie Hazelton, Ken Braswell, Fred Struthers, Donald Beard who also takes care of the watering of our gardens, Rich Goller, Barb Goodlet, Libby Stewart, Harold Marks, Denise McCormick, Mike and Ivy Wilcox and Bob Dunston, and from the new class we were happy to have Rod and Kathy Gilmore, Darrell Stewart and Pam Posner join us. Each and every one of these people bring
something special to our group and we are grateful to have them. If you would like to join us at the Hatchery, the next scheduled meeting is on April 7th at the Hatchery visitor center.
Hope to see you there. Dianna Hall
For more information and pictures ..... Click Here
Submitted By Dianna Hall
Edited By Joan Burr
Master Gardener Projects
Read about all of our lovely projects the Master Gardener program supports in Baxter County.