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A great day for a garden party

June 9, 2017

Martha Ray and I were invited to a garden party at the home of Judy and Larry Nash in Wheatley today. We got a bit delayed leaving Little Rock as I had some nails in my tire, which resulted in a new tire!  We finally made it and what an event it was! Judy and Larry are gracious hosts, and they know how to make people feel welcome.    

They are the glue that holds their Monroe county Master Gardener program together, but they invited Master Gardeners from Arkansas, Phillips, and Prairie Counties in addition to all the Monroe County Master Gardeners.  It was a great turnout.   Social gatherings help to bind a group of volunteers together, and getting to tour this phenomenal garden in addition to eating and drinking great food is simply a bonus. The Nash garden is a wonderful mix of evergreens, tropicals, perennials, bulbs and annuals.  They had three pawpaw trees absolutely loaded with fruit–more than I have ever seen. 

The agapanthus was stunning  along with crinum lilies, daylilies  and rain lilies.   The semi-tropical royal poinciana was in full bloom.  and the tropical plumeria plants had buds about to open.   Everywhere you turned in this garden, there were surprises, from seating areas or fountains, statues or blooming plants.   Master Gardeners were taking pictures fast and furious.  This small evergreen caught the attention of several.  Distylium ‘Vintage Jade’ is a member of the witch hazel family with small red flowers in the winter. I have not seen many blooms on it in the past,  but it is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub.  While it is touted as a full sun plant, in every planting I have seen it used it was growing in light shade. They also have both the purple and the white vitex plants, both of which were in full bloom.    This plant blooms best in full sun, and can be a bit bushier replacement for crape myrtles.  The bees and the butterflies love it.

All the Master Gardeners that were in attendance had a great time learning about each other and the plants in the garden. There were a lot of pictures being taken, and cuttings being shared.  That is also the beauty of Master Gardeners.  They want to share what they have done, and will share plants along the way.  Judy and Larry are no exception and kept encouraging people to take a cutting of that–it roots so easy!

This is a small group of Master Gardeners who does big things!  I think it is a great idea for other multi-county groups to emulate.  Not only do you learn gardening, but you grow your volunteers!

Thank you Judy and Larry!

It was a delightful day in the garden, but it is getting hotter. They are predicting our first 90+ days this weekend. I did water tonight when I got home and had some friends by to see the kitchen.  It is so much fun to entertain again.  I think the Nash’s like it just as much as I do! Great day.



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