The Church Garden was begun May of 2000. There was nothing there but Bermuda Grass. The church asked the Master Gardeners to plan out and execute a garden. The church would pay for all materials and let us design it as we wanted.
This quickley became a learning field! Killing of grass was started in May and was finally planted in November. We found an inoperable sprinkling system by trial and error. We dug up the "lawn" that had plastic mesh under the grass. That was very labor intensive! The Master Gardeners learned how to replace the old system and get the water up and running.
Plants were bought and a wish list of things was presented to the church and paid for. It was mentioned that a fountain would look nice and the money appeared and a fountain was purchased. Then came the benches and later on the tables and chairs. All picked out by the Master Gardeners.
Soon after the garden was done the Master Gardeners were invited to use the fellowship hall for their meetings at no charge. It came at a very good time as the fairground was going to start charging the MG's a fee for using the building there for their meetings. The church named Kay Kunkel to be the liaison between the church and the Master Gardens. She still holds that position.
It has been 16 years since the gardens were started and there have been quite a few Chairs and Co-Chairs. The Master Gardeners have made a beautiful garden that has been maintained with love and dedication by many Master Gardeners.
The Memorial Garden is located at the First Presbyterian Church at 1106 Spring Street in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
Memorial Gardens is showing off it's fall colors and still looking great. As you know, we maintain the gardens here at the First Presbyterian Church in exchange for use of their Fellowship Hall for our monthly general meetings. We need to make sure that we give these gardens the attention they deserve.
In 2016, we would like to initiate an "Adopt a Garden" program at Memorial Gardens. We'd like to see members adopt a section of these gardens to maintain (deadhead, weed, water). There is a sprinkler system, but it doesn't always reach everything. For those with other jobs or commitments, it offers an opportunity to get in your work hours at a time convenient for you. Sections would be the two boxes in front of the church, the east side below the stained glass windows, or the juniper beds. We would still have our monthly PED to do other projects and to explore some learning opportunities.
If you'd like to participate in this program at Memorial Gardens, please get in touch with Deb Anderson.
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.
Master Gardener Projects
Read about all of our lovely projects the Master Gardener program supports in Baxter County.
Baxter County Master Gardener Program • University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture • © 2013 BCMG