Faulkner County Master Gardeners paired with corporate sponsors, Good Earth at Menifee, Conway Corporation and Nabholz Construction to produce a community water conservation demonstration and butterfly garden project.

Master Gardeners began the planting process Wednesday afternoon.

Central Arkansas residents, developers and educators may look to the garden, located at the Faulkner County Natural Resource Center at Amity and Middle Roads, as an “educational and inspirational gardening resource.”
Kami Marsh, Faulkner County’s cooperative extension agriculture agent, said the garden’s three elements, a butterfly garden, an irrigation demonstration and a water conservation garden featuring native plants, would be an educational element not typical to the area.

“There’s not a big public garden between Fayetteville and Garvan Gardens. Every plant here will be labeled,” Marsh said. “People can come see what they might do in their own gardens as well.”
The garden focuses on plant materials and gardening methods that maintain a low-maintenance landscape, while using native plant life and low-water-use irrigation methods. The garden will also give visitors insight on how to avoid the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides.

Molly Jones, Master Gardener member and chair of the project said the purpose of the garden will be to show Conway gardeners how to maintain landscapes with less water.
“The project demonstrates our native plants’ capabilities in a garden setting,” Jones said. “The plants used here are very low-maintenance. We are in a dry area.”

The current budget for the garden project predicts an additional $10,000 for phase two, which will include gazebos and a pergola to be used as an outdoor classroom for community use.

The Master Gardeners are looking for individual sponsors for the expanding project. Individual support could be honored in a variety of ways, for example, with an inscribed paver along the garden’s path or a plant tag.

The Faulkner County Master Gardeners currently maintain 29 projects in the county, including library, museums, courthouses and memorial landscapes.
For more information on the projects currently maintained by the Faulkner County Master Gardeners visit www.uaex.edu and click on County Offices.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)