Plant It Pink Festival

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Graceful is a word commonly used to describe the tulip, but I think tenacious is also a way to portray this spring flower. Just imagine the will power it must take for that little bulb to push up through the ground and bloom. Grace and tenacity are also two words that I would use to describe those who are battling or have battled breast cancer. That's why I chose tulips to paint the streets pink for our first Plant It Pink Festival in North Little Rock's Argenta District in central Arkansas.

Last fall I teamed up with the Argenta Arts Foundation, the City of North Little Rock, AY magazine and the Argenta Downtown Council to plan a spring celebration to honor families affected by breast cancer. This weeklong event begins March 25, with proceeds benefiting the Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

With the help of Komen volunteers we planted 25,000 tulip bulbs in 28 beds along Main and Maple streets in Argenta, as well as in 50 containers that will decorate the area.

Saturday March 26, 2011 is the official festival day. It's free to the public. There will be food trucks, live music and a pink fire truck. Join me for a spring garden discussion at 9 a.m. followed by a Susan G. Komen Honors Walk down Main Street.

Get Involved

There are two ways you can honor breast cancer survivors through the Plant It Pink Festival.

Sponsor a tulip bed or container.

Click here to learn more about sponsorships.

Tulip Bed - Marker recognizing sponsor or memorial/honorarium, name or memorial designated on Tulip Map, four tickets to the March 25 reception, name/logo listed in AY magazine.

Tulip Container - Marker recognizing sponsor or memorial/honorarium, two tickets to the March 25 reception, name listed in AY magazine.

Attend a ticketed event.

Click here to purchase tickets for an event.

  • Friday March 25 – Reception with a full bar, food, & live music. Tickets are $50.
  • Tuesday March 29 – Tales from the South will feature Southern writers presenting short stories about the impact of breast cancer in their lives. Tickets are $50 and include dinner.
  • Wednesday March 30 – Lunch and lecture with Dr. Susan Klimberg of UAMS. Tickets are $20.

Tulip Varieties Planted

  • Menton
  • Ollioules
  • Komen 'Hope Blooms'
  • Mixed Pink from Van Zyverden
Plant It Pink Argenta

Tulip Design Tips from P. Allen Smith & Associates

  • Tulips are forever elegant and orderly. Use them to punctuate well-defined formal spaces like a front walkway or a boxwood parterre. A classic red tulip like 'Apeldoorn' adds the perfect pop of color to an evergreen backdrop.
  • Generate a long sequence of tulip blooms by planting early, mid, and late blooming varieties in the same space. We like to plant 'Christmas Dream,' 'Blue Beauty', and 'Mariette' together. Try adding Dutch iris, hyacinths, and daffodils to the mix. You'll have a full 60 days of show-stopping color.
  • Tulips make containers easy and gorgeous. For some serious abundance, pack bulbs 'shoulder to shoulder' in a large container in the fall. Plant violas or pansies on top and leave the container in a cool protected area over winter. We like to use 'Menton' with lavender trailing violas.
  • We love to plant tulips in the vegetable garden. The deep burgundy hues of 'Negrita' and 'Queen of the Night' mix well with cool-season crops like parsley, lettuce, cabbage and kale. Try 'Winterbor' kale, 'Red Sails' lettuce, 'Granada' lettuce, 'Black-seeded Simpson' lettuce, red cabbage and red mustard.
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