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» Articles » Garden Tours » Sam's Town Casino: Tunica, MS

Sam's Town Casino: Tunica, MS

by Douglas L. Bishop on 11/26/2011 19:00

So how does a trip to a gambling casino fit into a gardening website?? Well, just stretch your imagination a little bit, hang on, and here goes.

Yes, we did indeed take a road trip to the wilds of northern Mississippi to view for ourselves the much publicized habitat said to be the nesting and feeding grounds of those migratory animals known as “gamers” (gamblers).

We located the territory, observed the animals, and even joined in their strange ritual of depositing money into machines. Since this exercise felt far less stimulating to us than it appeared to be to some of the other animals, we decided to explore other elements of the surrounding habitat.

Not that there was anything wrong with the confines of the encampment—good food, comfortable sleeping quarters, and climate controlled atmosphere (though a bit smoky), we just felt like we would be healthier breathing the outdoor air for awhile.

And—ta dah—this is where the garden tour really begins. Try this next time you visit a hotel or other encampment known primarily for its luxurious interior—go outdoors and see if they don’t have well-manicured grounds, often as nicely maintained and as interesting as some formal gardens you may have visited.

Such was the case at Sam’s Town. A stream of flowing water across from the entrance at the front of the building added an air of tranquility to the grounds and served as the focal point for plantings of Japanese maple trees, reeds, palms, aquatic plants, and a well-groomed expanse of lawn grass. The little stream was also home to a fairly large gathering of good-sized goldfish (Koi?).

I always like to take note of what other landscape gardeners have done to see if I can incorporate any of their ideas into my home landscaping.

From the front gardens on over to the parking lot and into our car to explore more of the surrounding territory to see what we could see. And we saw a lot of good stuff.

The surrounding fields were planted in cotton, soybeans, and milo (we learned from talking to a resident of the area). And the vast extent of these farm fields was amazing. After all, we were now in the flat and expansive reaches of the Mississippi River delta lands—beautifully planted agricultural acres as far as the eye could see!

Additional exploring led us to the discovery of a great natural area and educational site we didn’t even know existed—the Tunica RiverPark and Museum.

This was worth the price of the whole adventure. A great nature trail that led us past towering gum, sycamore, and cottonwood trees and then looped around and back to the museum which housed much information and displays about the Mississippi River and the surrounding area.

So, no complaints about the gambling casino—good food, comfort, fitness center, and outdoor pool for swimming and relaxation. But next time you visit Sam’s Town or any other luxury destination, take the opportunity to explore the grounds of the facility and look around at the nearby gardening, farming, and landscaping sites.

The natural world always offers an added gift and a welcome stop on your journey through life.

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