What’s Working: Gardens of Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — A celebration of Madison County Gardens starts May 5 and runs all weekend long.

The showcase of spectacular outdoor spaces is also a fundraiser for Madison Ridgeland Academy.

The kickoff party is set for this Friday evening, in historic Livingston, in Madison County. It will be under bistro lights in the town square. There will be an auction, live music, and delicious food. The Garden tour begins Saturday morning at 9.

The youngest students at Madison Ridgeland Academy learn in what’s known as the Jungle Room. Theresa Brown is their teacher.

“Success begins when they first come to school, and these precious little ones are just like seeds, so we love to help them blossom and grow beginning in the Jungle Room and going all the way through their high school years,” she said.

Jenny’s garden is a great place to do that on campus. Amanda Smiley is the Elementary Principal.

“This is in honor of a student who was lost when she was in 4th grade,” she said. “She passed away, and her family worked with MRA to have this garden here, just in honor of her.”

Jenny’s Garden has been enhanced over the past year to become a butterfly garden.

“Our students had caterpillars and grew them into butterflies,” Smiley said.

The beautiful outdoor classroom is just one of the stops on this year’s Garden Tour.

Starting Saturday at 9 a.m., you can get a good look at some of the most breathtaking outdoor spaces in all of Madison County.

Leslie Dixon is the Director of Advancement at MRA.

“We have every level of gardener,” Dixon said. “We may have a master gardener on tour. There may be water features that somebody did themselves. Somebody can come and learn how to do a water feature. We have a lot of beautiful outdoor kitchens. Hardscapes, softscapes, so just a little bit of something for everybody.”

In the past, even MRA teachers have featured their gardens.

“I just wanted to show all my teacher friends that you can take a small and make it into a wonderful backyard. and a relaxing area,” Brown said.

MRA’s biggest fundraiser of the year comes together through a partnership between the school and its community. Tours run Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from Noon until 5.

Take as many stops as you need to make your garden grow.

Tickets are available at MRA, at any stop on the tour or online.

Vendors will also set up tablescapes at MRA so folks can get ideas on table settings and flower arranging, and there will be a $10,000 draw down.

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