Crystal Bridges is committed to the use of native plants and cultivars on the Museum grounds. Native plants are adapted to the specific environment, and have evolved in conjunction with the native animals. This means they are better able to resist attacks by local pests, and in some cases are ideally suited to provide food for native birds, butterflies, and other animals, just when they need it. Many of these natives are planted in our landscape beds near the Museum. But others appear in the forest. They take a little more effort to find, and may not be familiar to you.
Fortunately, we have a photo plant guide on our website to help you out! You can browse all the plants currently online, or search based on location or time of year to help you identify those blooms you are unfamiliar with. We are adding new images to this guide regularly.
To encourage our visitors to explore our grounds in more depth, the Trails and Grounds team has developed a monthly education program called Discover the Grounds, featuring experts in the plants, animals, and landscape here at Crystal Bridges.
A new series of Discover the Grounds begins on April 11 with Woodland Wildflowers for the Home Garden, presented by Crystal Bridges Horticulturalist Cody George. A full schedule of upcoming Discover the Grounds programs is below. Most Discover the Grounds programs are free. This year we have added a special Discover the Grounds Workshop in plant propagation which has a small fee. You can register for these programs online (currently only the April through June sessions are available, but we’ll add more in May). Discover the Grounds is sponsored by The Coleman Company.
Saturday, April 11, 9 to 10:30 am Woodland Wildflowers for the Home Garden Learn how to integrate woodland wildflowers in your garden with this lecture and tour with Crystal Bridges Horticulturalist Cody George. Saturday, May 16, 10 am to 4 pm Discover the Grounds Workshop » The Art of Plant Propagation Crystal Bridges welcomes renowned organic farmer Barry Glick of Sunshine Farms and Garden to take participants through a step-by-step process on virtually every method of plant propagation, from seed collecting and sowing to tissue culture. $20 ($16 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Saturday, June 13, 9 to 10:30 am Medicinal Plants Dr. Justin Nolan, associate professor in the Anthropology department at the University of Arkansas, will lead a foraging journey of medicinal plants found on Crystal Bridges grounds. Saturday, July 11, 7:30 to 9:30 pm Lightning Bug Hunt at the Skyspace Join us for a dusk lightning-bug hunt and examination with University of Arkansas Entomologist Don Steinkraus at the Skyspace Meadow. Saturday, August 8, 9 to 10:30 am Water Conservation Water is an important feature of the Crystal Bridges experience. Join museum educator Samantha Hutchison and horticulturist Cody George as we explore the springs and creeks around Crystal Bridges. Saturday, September 5, 9 to 10:30 am Saving the Monarchs by Ecologist Lincoln Brower Meet renowned ecologist Lincoln Brower as he discusses the study on monarchs he has been working on for almost 60 years. After the discussion, Brower will lead a walking tour and monarch watch on the Museum grounds.