Garden Gate Tour

Our Garden Gate Tour is Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Four privately owned local gardens (three in Springdale, one east of Springdale near Hindsville) will highlight native and pollinator plants, backyard vegetable gardening, water features, and creative outdoor spaces. The NWA Master Naturalists will be selling native plants at the Hindsville garden location; a pass to the Garden Gate Tour is required to attend the plant sale.

Also included in the tour is the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO), a Washington County Master Gardener sanctioned project site. Admission to BGO will be free for Garden Gate Tour passholders.

Each garden will feature a “Growing Good Gardeners” education station staffed by representatives from a local nonprofit organization. See individual garden descriptions for more details.

Tour passes are $15 each and will be available through secure online purchase here on our website through June 8 (the day of the tour). On June 8, passes may also be purchased by cash or check at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. 

Artwork by Diane Standefer

The tour is self-guided. You may begin the tour at any location. View a Google Map showing the garden tour locations. Or, if you prefer, click on the map image shown here to enlarge it for viewing and/or printing.

Please note:

  • There are no public restrooms at any of the private garden locations.
  • Each tour participant age 12 and over will need to purchase a pass.
  • Many of the private gardens are not accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons.
  • The tour is not recommended for those with limited mobility due to uneven terrain and unpaved walking paths.
  • We love pets, but please leave them at home with a nice chew toy on the day of the tour.

Proceeds from the Garden Gate Tour go to support educational programs for the public on topics of interest to gardeners. Proceeds from the NWA Master Naturalists plant sale will be used to purchase materials and support activities associated with growing and disseminating native plants to non-profit organizations in Northwest Arkansas.

Questions? Email greenthumbs@wcmgar.org

Gardens on the Tour

“Our Rich Polyculture Garden” is the creation of Washington County Master Gardeners Randy and Pam Butler. Although in an urban neighborhood, the natural cottage-style garden offers an oasis for people and creatures. Perennials provide the backbone, while annuals bring a burst of color in early spring. Perennials and annuals grow, not marching in straight rows but woven together in a symphony of colors. The Butlers have chosen a diverse group of native shrubs and plants that appeal to birds and insects. Plants bloom throughout the growing season and the variety of natives results in a population of native bees and butterflies. Birds feed their young with berries, seeds and caterpillars. The Butlers have learned to use a mix of heights, shapes, colors and blooming times that thrive together successfully, providing a garden they both enjoy and share.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Landscaping with Native Plants.” Members of Wild Ones Ozarks Chapter will have lots of ideas on how you can create a sustainable, low-maintenance yard or garden that will also support birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.

“Ricardo and Nathan’s Garden” began as an effort to do away with a huge lawn, unhealthy shrubs and disconnected sections of yard. As an homage to the history of the house, elements of existing landscaping were recycled to create new flower beds. The owners have chosen a variety of plants, using them in a naturalistic style that encourages plantings to fill in empty spaces for beauty and privacy. Trees will eventually add a tall layer to the evolving landscape. Grasses and shrubs create a connection among the trees while hardy perennials and indigenous plants provide year-round interest. The new environment invites exploration while colors and shapes add vitality that makes the garden full of joy.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Beneficial Insects.” Members of the University of Arkansas Entomology Club will be on hand to introduce you to some “good bugs” and explain why you want them in your gardens.

“The Gardening Robinettes 3.0” belongs to Washington County Master Gardener Ruthanne Hill. She grew up playing in her grandparents’ gardens and greenhouses in Conway, Arkansas. Robinette’s Flower and Garden Plants was THE place to shop for plants. Ruthanne’s parents had a household garden to feed the family and now she is the gardener, thus 3.0, the third generation. She gardens with two goals, aesthetic and gastronomic. Her garden includes native perennials like five varieties of milkweed, coneflowers, coreopsis, with bright annuals mixed in for color and fullness. The gastronomic goal is met with a long herb garden along the front walk. She can cut what she needs while she cooks but still have plenty to dry for the rest of the year. Raised beds in the back yard house the vegetable garden. Ruthanne used vertical structures to grow 665 pounds of produce in 320 feet of space last year. She would love to talk to tour visitors about food preservation and equipment to pickle, freeze, can, dehydrate, infuse, and ferment healthy, tasty food with plenty to share with family, friends and the local food pantry.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Grow Now, Eat Later!” Washington County Master Gardener and expert canner Mary Loftus will be on hand to share tips on canning and food preservation.

“Neighborly Natives” is the garden of Washington County Master Gardener Mariette Spidel. Gardening, house plants, plant propagation and nurturing things that grow are her heritage from grandparents. For eleven years, she has slowly removed the traditional landscape and transitioned to native perennials, trees and shrubs with a focus on host and nectar plants for pollinators and hummingbirds. The garden is a blended showcase of her favorites: agastache, a magnet for hummingbirds, bees and other insects, milkweed for the monarchs, and native grasses. The pollinator garden offers DIY water features for birds and butterflies and a native bee house. The organic vegetable garden leads to the garden shed where visitors can enjoy refreshments.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “NWA Master Naturalists Plant Sale.” Learn about native plants and if you like, buy some plants grown by the NWA Master Naturalists. Proceeds from the plant sale will be used to purchase materials and support all the activities associated with growing and disseminating native plants to non-profit organizations in Northwest Arkansas. NOTE: you must be a Garden Gate Tour ticketholder to purchase plants at this plant sale.

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO) opened in 2007 on eight acres leased from the City of Fayetteville. Themed gardens include the Founders Garden, Japanese Garden, Vegetable and Herb Garden, Children’s Garden, Four Seasons Garden, Rose and Perennial Garden, Shade Garden, Ozark Native Garden, Sensory Garden, Rock and Water Garden, and Butterfly House. BGO’s individual gardens allow visitors to get ideas for their own gardens. To quote BGO’s former operations director, Gerald Klingaman, “We want these gardens not only to reflect the unique character of the Ozarks and its people but to challenge all who visit to see their own gardens with new eyes.”

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Butterflies and Pollinators.” Explore the Butterfly House and learn about butterfly gardening with Kitty Sanders, BGO Butterfly House Mentor and Washington County Master Gardener.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Ask A Master.” Members of the Washington County Master Gardeners will field your gardening questions, show you how to get your yard and garden soil tested free of charge through the Washington County Extension Service, and share details on how you can become a Master Gardener.

Our Garden Gate Tour is Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Four privately owned local gardens (three in Springdale, one east of Springdale near Hindsville) will highlight native and pollinator plants, backyard vegetable gardening, water features, and creative outdoor spaces. The NWA Master Naturalists will be selling native plants at the Hindsville garden location; a pass to the Garden Gate Tour is required to attend the plant sale.

Also included in the tour is the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO), a Washington County Master Gardener sanctioned project site. Admission to BGO will be free for Garden Gate Tour passholders.

Each garden will feature a “Growing Good Gardeners” education station staffed by representatives from a local nonprofit organization. See individual garden descriptions for more details.

Tour passes are $15 each and will be available through secure online purchase here on our website through June 8 (the day of the tour). On June 8, passes may also be purchased by cash or check at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. 

The tour is self-guided. You may begin the tour at any location. View a Google Map showing the garden tour locations. Or, if you prefer, click on the map image shown here to enlarge it for viewing and/or printing.

Please note:

  • There are no public restrooms at any of the private garden locations.
  • Each participant age 12 and over will need to purchase a ticket.
  • Many of the private gardens are not accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons.
  • The tour is not recommended for those with limited mobility due to uneven terrain and unpaved walking paths.
  • We love pets, but please leave them at home with a nice chew toy on the day of the tour.

Proceeds from the Garden Gate Tour go to support educational programs for the public on topics of interest to gardeners. Proceeds from the NWA Master Naturalists plant sale will be used to purchase materials and support activities associated with growing and disseminating native plants to non-profit organizations in Northwest Arkansas.

Questions? Email greenthumbs@wcmgar.org

Artwork by Diane Standefer

Gardens on the Tour

“Our Rich Polyculture Garden” is the creation of Washington County Master Gardeners Randy and Pam Butler. Although in an urban neighborhood, the natural cottage-style garden offers an oasis for people and creatures. Perennials provide the backbone, while annuals bring a burst of color in early spring. Perennials and annuals grow, not marching in straight rows but woven together in a symphony of colors. The Butlers have chosen a diverse group of native shrubs and plants that appeal to birds and insects. Plants bloom throughout the growing season and the variety of natives results in a population of native bees and butterflies. Birds feed their young with berries, seeds and caterpillars. The Butlers have learned to use a mix of heights, shapes, colors and blooming times that thrive together successfully, providing a garden they both enjoy and share.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Landscaping with Native Plants.” Members of Wild Ones Ozarks Chapter will have lots of ideas on how you can create a sustainable, low-maintenance yard or garden that will also support birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.

“Ricardo and Nathan’s Garden” began as an effort to do away with a huge lawn, unhealthy shrubs and disconnected sections of yard. As an homage to the history of the house, elements of existing landscaping were recycled to create new flower beds. The owners have chosen a variety of plants, using them in a naturalistic style that encourages plantings to fill in empty spaces for beauty and privacy. Trees will eventually add a tall layer to the evolving landscape. Grasses and shrubs create a connection among the trees while hardy perennials and indigenous plants provide year-round interest. The new environment invites exploration while colors and shapes add vitality that makes the garden full of joy.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Beneficial Insects.” Members of the University of Arkansas Entomology Club will be on hand to introduce you to some “good bugs” and explain why you want them in your gardens.

“The Gardening Robinettes 3.0” belongs to Washington County Master Gardener Ruthanne Hill. She grew up playing in her grandparents’ gardens and greenhouses in Conway, Arkansas. Robinette’s Flower and Garden Plants was THE place to shop for plants. Ruthanne’s parents had a household garden to feed the family and now she is the gardener, thus 3.0, the third generation. She gardens with two goals, aesthetic and gastronomic. Her garden includes native perennials like five varieties of milkweed, coneflowers, coreopsis, with bright annuals mixed in for color and fullness. The gastronomic goal is met with a long herb garden along the front walk. She can cut what she needs while she cooks but still have plenty to dry for the rest of the year. Raised beds in the back yard house the vegetable garden. Ruthanne used vertical structures to grow 665 pounds of produce in 320 feet of space last year. She would love to talk to tour visitors about food preservation and equipment to pickle, freeze, can, dehydrate, infuse, and ferment healthy, tasty food with plenty to share with family, friends and the local food pantry.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Grow Now, Eat Later!” Washington County Master Gardener and expert canner Mary Loftus will be on hand to share tips on canning and food preservation.

“Neighborly Natives” is the garden of Washington County Master Gardener Mariette Spidel. Gardening, house plants, plant propagation and nurturing things that grow are her heritage from grandparents. For eleven years, she has slowly removed the traditional landscape and transitioned to native perennials, trees and shrubs with a focus on host and nectar plants for pollinators and hummingbirds. The garden is a blended showcase of her favorites: agastache, a magnet for hummingbirds, bees and other insects, milkweed for the monarchs, and native grasses. The pollinator garden offers DIY water features for birds and butterflies and a native bee house. The organic vegetable garden leads to the garden shed where visitors can enjoy refreshments.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “NWA Master Naturalists Plant Sale.” Learn about native plants and if you like, buy some plants grown by the NWA Master Naturalists. Proceeds from the plant sale will be used to purchase materials and support all the activities associated with growing and disseminating native plants to non-profit organizations in Northwest Arkansas. NOTE: you must be a Garden Gate Tour ticketholder to purchase plants at this plant sale.

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO) opened in 2007 on eight acres leased from the City of Fayetteville. Themed gardens include the Founders Garden, Japanese Garden, Vegetable and Herb Garden, Children’s Garden, Four Seasons Garden, Rose and Perennial Garden, Shade Garden, Ozark Native Garden, Sensory Garden, Rock and Water Garden, and Butterfly House. BGO’s individual gardens allow visitors to get ideas for their own gardens. To quote BGO’s former operations director, Gerald Klingaman, “We want these gardens not only to reflect the unique character of the Ozarks and its people but to challenge all who visit to see their own gardens with new eyes.”

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Butterflies and Pollinators.” Come explore the Butterfly House and learn about butterfly gardening with Kitty Sanders, BGO Butterfly House Mentor and Washington County Master Gardener.

Growing Good Gardeners education station: “Ask A Master.” Members of the Washington County Master Gardeners will field your gardening questions, show you how to get your yard and garden soil tested free of charge through the Washington County Extension Service, and share details on how you can become a Master Gardener.