You all know how I love tulips, especially pink ones.
So, while I was reading through my Instagram and began to see photos of pink tulips posted by internationally renowned garden and lifestyle expert, P. Allen Smith, I just had to know what was going on. Lucky for us, P. Allen was happy to share about his beautification project. Looks like Little Rock is getting beautified…tulip style! Read on for the details.
|Mayor Mark Stodola, P. Allen Smith, Sharon Priest
PPT: What’s the background for the March Tulip Madness project? Is this a beautification project you participate in/lead annually? If so, is it always with tulips or was that new this year?
green, or in this case pink, areas in urban spaces, especially in my own city.
I love Little Rock, so I’m particularly dedicated to doing help in the revitalization
of downtown. I talked with Mayor Mark Stodola, and we came up with March Tulip
Madness 2013. One of my sponsors, Van Zyverden, supplied the city with the
bulbs and we worked with Sharon Priest of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership
to implement our idea.
For the project, we filled planters around the city with 25,000 bulbs, and
distributed 1,000 Sun Valley cut tulips to restaurants in the downtown area.
I’m committed to beautifying urban
spaces, and I’ve participated in city renewal efforts in other ways as well. I
provided the historic Mt. Holly Cemetery on Broadway in downtown Little Rock
with New Dawn roses, and now the popular climbing white rose has spread all
over the city. I also partnered with the city to provide and plant antique
roses at the Governor’s Mansion in 2007. All the roses that we planted are from
the early 1800s, around the time Arkansas became a state.
partnered with Little Rock for March Tulip Madness. We had worked with North
Little Rock for the past two years, and wanted to work on both sides of the
choose pink tulips?
different types for the planters: Menton, Pink Impression and Negrita, which
when combined created a pleasing pink and purple display. I choose mid and late
bloomers to take full advantage of the season.
Choosing plants for downtown areas is a challenge. You have to consider the
harsh urban landscape— the heat coming from the concrete, the level of sunlight
reflected from surrounding buildings, the water requirements. The planters have
to be hand watered by parks department employees, because the planters lack an
irrigation system. So, it’s important to choose the best and hardiest plants.
we’re planting Double Pink Knockout Roses in Little Rock’s planters.
exuberance of spring, it requires a lot of frenetic energy to manage all the projects—
the planting, getting everything started, managing the farm. I tend to have a
million projects going on during the spring, which, while I choose to do it,
doesn’t leave much spare time. I
actually prefer the fall season. After I’ve completed all my spring projects, I
can really slow down and enjoy the beauty of my work without having to do
PPT: You’re hosting a spring garden party at your home….give us all
the details!! Who will you invite? What will you serve? Describe the scene.
PAS: Moonlight and Roses is a spring
garden party focused on antique roses. In Little Rock, the beginning of May is
the sweet spot for roses. They are simply spectacular that time of year. Mike Shoup, a key figure in the renaissance
of old rose varieties and who I’ve known for 25 years, will inspire us with his
knowledge. Guests will be served beer and wine in my traditional English rose
garden, which encompasses about 18,000 square feet and is close to the bank of
the Arkansas River. We’ll eat a meal from one of my cookbooks and listen to
live music—all outside, all under the stars. And we’ll end the night with a
bonfire. There are still tickets available, so I’m inviting all of PPT’s fans
to join me on my farm!
I’ve been very pleased by the amount visitors I’ve had this year. We planted 280,000 bulbs on Daffodil Hill, and as always, people have really enjoyed seeing the bright blooms. I’m also quite excited about the rose season, because we’ve planted almost 1,000 rose bushes.
Wow…thank you, P. Allen for inspiring all of us to beautify our own towns and create a seamless blend between garden and home. I have my sights set on a tour of Moss Mountain Farm one of these days! If you’d like to learn more about P. Allen, check out his website or one of his many books. These are 2 of my personal favorites.