UACES Facebook Drummer-turned-landscape architect Billy Goodnick headlines silver anniversary show
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Drummer-turned-landscape architect Billy Goodnick joins speaker lineup for silver anniversary show

By KD Reep
For the U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Silver anniversary Arkansas Flower & Garden Show runs Feb. 26-28
  • ‘Crimes Against Horticulture’ author Billy Goodnick speaks Feb. 27
  • Author, columnist, extension specialist Janet Carson speaks  Feb. 27
  • Info at 

(686 words)

(Newsrooms: with photos of Carson -,  Zawislak -, Gulley -

LITTLE ROCK – What made author and teacher Billy Goodnick trade in his studio drumming career for landscape architecture? Blame it on the bonsai. 

“As fate would have it, I stumbled upon the exquisite art of bonsai,” he said “I turned my life on a dime, dropped my drumsticks, and started a journey into the world of plants.” 

Goodnick has since served more than two decades as the city landscape architect for Santa Barbara, California. He’s a columnist, award-winning blogger, book author and in-demand speaker nationwide. 

Billy Goodnick at rostrum
GOODNICK -- Drummer-turned-landscape architect Billy Goodnick joins the lineup of speakers for the 2016 silver anniversary Arkansas Flower and Garden Show


This February, Goodnick will be bringing his knowledge and humor to kick off the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show’s silver celebration on Friday, Feb. 26, with a 10:30 a.m. presentation “Crimes Against Horticulture: When Bad Taste Meets Power Tools.” He’ll have a second presentation at 1 p.m., “Design Like a Pro: Demystifying the Art of Garden Design.”

That evening, Goodnick will host a special guided “walkabout”  of the show’s gardens, offering insights on design and answering questions from the group.

“Everyone can have a garden that’s beautiful, serves their needs, and treads lightly on the planet,” he says, adding, “Sustainable landscape design is a serious subject, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bunch of fun along the way.”

Gardeners and homeowners won’t want to miss the rest of the show’s speakers.

Friday’s lineup:

  • 11:45 a.m., Wally Allen Ballroom -- Jane Gulley on “How to Build 5-Star Hotels in Your Backyard for Butterflies and Birds.” Gulley is a Pulaski County Master Gardener and serves as co-chair of the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center native gardens. Gulleys’ own garden has been featured on television  and her bald eagle conservation program became a nationwide model and led to her induction into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.

  • 2:15 p.m., Wally Allen Ballroom -- Lois Chaplin, a gardener who loves good food, will present “Is Your Yard a Salad?” As a professional at Bonnie Plants, Chaplin helps others enjoy growing their own healthy and beautiful food plants at home. She also is the author of “The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists” and credits much of its success to use by Master Gardeners in the South; which will be available for purchase at the show. Chaplin will be available that evening to sign this book for attendees right after her session.

On Saturday, there’s a strong lineup of Arkansas favorites including:

  • 10:30 a.m., Wally Allen Ballroom -- Jon Zawislak, extension bee specialist, will deliver “Busy Bees: Good for Your Gardens.” Zawislak is a master beekeeper with a background in both botany and entomology, and he is equally at home in the classroom, the laboratory and the apiary.  He conducts research and education on pollinators across the state, and he and his family operate the Walnut Valley Honey Company in Little Rock.  
  • 11:45 a.m., Wally Allen Ballroom --  Gerald Klingaman, retired extension horticulturist and currently director of operations at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks will present “Azaleas Revisited.”  Klingaman will discuss how azaleas are an important part of the Southern garden and have been for more than a century. 

  • 2:30 p.m., Wally Allen Ballroom -- Janet Carson, author, columnist and extension horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Carson will speak on “Silver Plants that Make Colors Pop,” and features silvery plants known to thrive in Arkansas and show how these subtle beauties can create drama in your own garden

Show hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Show tickets are Single day tickets are $10 and three-day passes are $15. Children age 12 and under get in free.

Proceeds from the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show provide educational scholarships in horticulture related fields to students in Arkansas colleges and universities and funds for the Greening of Arkansas Mini-Grant Program.

The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show is produced each year by the collaboration of these partners: Arkansas Farm Bureau, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Federation of Garden Clubs, Arkansas Florists Association and the Master Gardener Program of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.  

For more information about the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, visit or visit extension's Web site,, or contact your county extension agent.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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