By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves | Shot on location at Shults Greenhouse in Hot Springs
Antique Brick & Block and Better Lawns & Gardens share a business partnership and award-winning displays at the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show – celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. With the mission of promoting gardening and beautification in Arkansas, the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show supports local horticulture businesses and offers educational opportunities about gardening, landscaping and floral design. This weekend event also has a philanthropic purpose. Proceeds support college scholarships in horticulture-related fields in Arkansas as well as The Greening of Arkansas grant program, which awards beautification grants to communities throughout the state.
On opening night, festivities include live music and extended hours plus live cooking demonstrations by local chefs and a large-scale model train display for children.
Representing her family businesses, Antique Brick & Block and Antique Brick Outdoors, is Manager Megan Garner Thomas, who says they’ve been participating in the event since 2010. In 2014, they partnered with Better Lawns & Gardens and transitioned from simply selling product to showcasing display items as they would appear in a yard. The two family-owned and operated businesses had so much fun bringing their creative design teams together and winning multiple awards, they did it again the following year and are collaborating again this year. David Munsey III, general manager of Better Lawns & Gardens, says his family’s business has been participating for three years. David is also assistant chairman of the show this year, with plans to be chairman next year.
HE said // SHE said
Why do you remain involved?
David: We’re all supporting each other in the industry and it’s a good way to kick off the spring season.
Megan: The wide array of vendors, the mission it supports and the family atmosphere it promotes keeps us coming back.
How does the show benefit the state?
David: It shows what can be done with landscaping and gardening and how to do it.
Megan: It encourages healthy living, sustainable resources and enjoyment of everything our state offers.
Something surprising about the event?
David: In celebration of the 25th anniversary, there will be great food and drinks on opening night.
Megan: It isn’t just another expo; I love hearing what communities benefit from The Greening of Arkansas grant program… Oh, and the free wine tastings!
Favorite garden to visit?
David: My parents’ garden on their 10 acres.
Megan: Mine – my husband and I live in the city with a large vegetable & herb garden with plans for chickens and possibly honeybees in the fall.
Favorite season and why?
David: Spring because everything is fresh.
Megan: I can’t pick just one; spring for longer, warmer days; summer because it’s the gateway to fall, and what’s not to love about crisp air and the colorful Arkansas landscape?
Favorite flower? David: Lily / Megan: Hydrangea