The Heritage Herb Garden, at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, graces the grounds with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas and helps us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.

 

The Ozark Folk Center’s Heritage Herb Garden staff and the Herb Society of America-Ozark Unit along with state and federal interpreters collaborated to create a demonstration garden at the Arkansas Flower Show at the State House Convention Center in Little Rock on February 20 to 22, 2015. In participation with the theme of the show, “I Dig Arkansas”, we designated our 30 x 30-foot garden space to be a representation of the state of Arkansas.

 

All 52 Arkansas State Parks, Blanchard Springs Caverns and Hot Springs National Park were seen in poster and/or interpretive display form. The gardens within the boundaries were planted with colorful, organic gourmet greens from the park’s greenhouse, herb specimens and pansies. Native trees and plants were placed throughout to remind folks of the importance of conserving the Natural State. An Ozark spring, a cypress swamp, a replica of the Louisiana Purchase monument and agricultural fields were built. A compost and soil educational display explained how soil is formed and what can be done to improve growing conditions. Archeology and historical preservation areas were displayed. Wildlife of Arkansas was prominently illustrated. Quartz crystals and diamonds were shown as resources that we can dig in Arkansas.

 

We were awarded the coveted American Horticultural Society Environmental Award. This award is presented for an exhibit of horticultural excellence which best demonstrates the bond between horticulture and the environment, and inspires the viewer to beautify home and community through skillful design and appropriate plant material.

 

This past Saturday, February 28, 2015, the Ozark Seed Swap was postponed due to road conditions. A new date will be announced in this column and at www.OzarkFolkCenter.com in the near future.

 

Meanwhile, registrations are open for the Ozark Folk Center’s spring herbal workshops. Spend two Ozark Folk School days with Susan Belsinger, immersing yourself in Herbs-Hands-On, March 25 and 26; on March 27, you may continue with Susan for Medicinal Herbs-Hands-On or sign up for that class only. The three-day Herbs in the Greenhouse, Cold Frame and Garden will take place during the same time frame with Tina Marie Wilcox. In April, the Medicinal Herb Fieldtrip and Workshop, from the 3rd to the 4th features Doug Elliot, Bo Brown, John Michael Kelley, Sasha Daucus and Susan Belsinger who will be teaching with lectures, song, smells and tastes, stories, song and walks. Full details are available at www.OzarkFolkCenter.com/Herbs/Events. or by calling the Ozark Folk Center at 870-269-3851. If I don’t see you in the pasture—I’ll see you in the future!