This weekend is a perfect time to see thousands of tulips in bloom in Salem. The Fulton County Master Gardeners planted 14,000 bulbs last fall for residents and visitors to enjoy this spring.
“Several beds already bloomed and some are coming on,” explains Ralph Moore, president of the group. “This weekend will be good.”
More than 12 varieties of tulips were planted around town and especially around the courthouse square. There are early, mid and late bloomers. “The late blooming is coming on now,” says Moore. “The reds and yellows are in bloom right now but the tulips come in all different colors. We plant as big of a selection as we can afford.”
This year’s tulips reflect $3,000 worth of bulbs. The Master Gardeners raise the money for the bulbs each year with a barbecue dinner fundraiser. This year’s event is Friday, April 20 at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. “From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. we’ll serve barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, chocolate sheet cake, and a bottle of water,” Moore says. The cost is $8 at the door.
When the bloom is over, the Master Gardeners pull some of the bulbs and store them for replanting the next year. “Those planted in beds we will pull,” Moore explains. “If they’re planted in the city park we will leave them. Some of those re-bloom. We replace bulbs every year.”
Each fall, the group orders new bulbs and starts the planting process in November. “There’s only eight of us so it’s quite an undertaking,” Moore adds.
About the area
Located in North Central Arkansas, Salem and Fulton County are a sportsman’s paradise. Less than 25 miles away, Lake Norfork offers water skiing, swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities as well as excellent striped bass fishing. The lake is also good for largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass fishing and the bays and backwaters are loaded with fast-biting bream and other panfish.
Smallmouth bass fishing and canoeing are tops at the nearby South Fork River, where you can also enjoy the spectacular scenery. Also near Salem are the Spring and Strawberry rivers, both good float streams with the added bonus of rainbow trout and walleye in Spring River, and the smallmouth bass, crappie and bream in the Strawberry River.
Fulton County is a popular deer and turkey hunting area. Or, bring your camera for some great wildlife photography.
Salem City Park has a walking trail, picnic pavilions, children’s play area, and a lake that is stocked with fish.