Judith White has been with the Red Dirt Master Gardeners for five years now, but she has continually improved and built upon her backyard garden for the last 28 years. She insists everything has been moved around at least three different times and every plant is placed with purpose.
Her historical farmhouse style home in the Highland Park area is lavishly garnished with beautiful blooms and greenery. Among the vast collection of flora and fauna are Hostas, Nile Lilies, Rose of Sharon, Asparagus Ferns, Japanese Maple trees and Twist and shout Hydrangeas. Her raised bed, “key-hole” garden contains tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Growing all these varieties on such a large scale didn’t come without its own set of challenges.
“There was a large area where I couldn’t seem to grow anything,” said Judith.. “When I visited England and I saw the pockets of plants and pathways, I knew this was the solution for this area.”
When she isn’t digging around the soil in her own backyard, she is improving the aesthetic of her community. White and her Red Dirt Master Gardener companions are preparing to take care of the bed around Miller County Courthouse. They’re initiating educational programs the Gateway Farmer’s Market on the Arkansas side and they are working on gardening discussions for children at the local library as well.
“Summer will have Back to Nature for kids, a full day for children to go out in the country. We will set up stations where a forester may talk about trees or a farmer can bring their livestock and talk about where milk comes from. So many children just assume it only comes from the grocery store. The event will focus on exposing kids to nature.”
Miller county extension agency has information on the programs that will commence this fall. That program will enable individuals to become a Master Gardener and assist with community projects like the ones White mentioned.
White and her husband, Larry, are both involved with Keep Texarkana Beautiful as well, an initiative to beautify the Texarkana area.