Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Coun­try liv­ing can be ele­gant. P. Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm is a per­fect example.

Back in May I was sur­prised and pleased to be invited to join a bunch of other blog­gers to visit P. Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm in Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas, for Garden2Blog13. Even if you don’t rec­og­nize his name, you prob­a­bly rec­og­nize his face. P. Allen Smith is the gently-Southern-accented spokesper­son for Proven Win­ners plants, is a tele­vi­sion gar­den celebrity and has a whole slew of books on food and gardening.

A grand old oak tree dominates the entrance to P Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm home, Little Rock, Arkansas

A grand old oak tree dom­i­nates the entrance to P Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm home, Lit­tle Rock, Arkansas.

Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm is about a 45 minute drive from Lit­tle Rock. Although not a pub­lic space—after all, it is his home—even the aver­age Joe can tour the farm with reser­va­tions and a paid ticket. Smith and his highly pro­fes­sional staff do such a vol­ume of tour busi­ness that they have built pub­lic restrooms and opened a gift shop. Still, we were wel­come to wan­der not just the gar­dens, but also his ele­gant home.

Robin Ripley and P. Allen Smith

Robin Rip­ley and P. Allen Smith

The Greek Revival house at Moss Moun­tain Farm looks as if it has been there for decades. In fact, it was built just built less than five years ago but with the ben­e­fit of metic­u­lous research into his­toric houses. Like many older houses, the house looks as if it has been expanded here and there over the years. Even the exte­rior patina of the paint is art­fully aged and chipped to resem­ble a his­toric home. (I’ll share some pho­tos of inside the home in a sep­a­rate post.)

Coral red chairs make an accent statement on the front porch of P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm home.

Coral red chairs make an accent state­ment on the front porch of P. Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm home.

Aside from enjoy­ing wan­der­ing through the orna­men­tal and veg­etable gar­dens I par­tic­u­larly appre­ci­ated the intel­li­gent and inter­est­ing pre­sen­ta­tions from Jobe’s Organ­ics fer­til­iz­ers and Star Roses and Plants. There was a cool hands-on demon­stra­tion from Troy-Bilt of their lawn care prod­ucts. (I’m still dis­ap­pointed I didn’t win the big prize of that one). Bon­nie Plants, which I didn’t real­ize I have been buy­ing for years, gave a fun pre­sen­ta­tion. And Laguna Ponds pro­vided a multi-part, step-by-step demon­stra­tion of how to build a pond.

A view from the gardens of P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm home

A view from the gar­dens of P. Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm home

I have lots of pho­tos to share of inside his ele­gant home and, of course, the gar­dens. Come back again to see more.

View of the Arkansas River Valley from Moss Mountain Farm

View of the Arkansas River Val­ley from Moss Moun­tain Farm

 

Update: Tour the inte­rior of P. Allen Smith’s home here.

 

Robin

One of the real dilem­mas for me as a gar­dener is that I want to travel and visit gar­dens dur­ing the summer—but I also want to be home work­ing in my own gar­den.  So unless work car­ries me to a place where I can visit gar­dens in my down time, I’m on an offi­cial vaca­tion or a gar­den is fairly close by, it’s hard to pry me away from home to go gar­den hopping.

But the Gar­den Blog­gers Buffa10 was an event I wouldn’t miss. This is the third year that gar­den blog­gers have staged a meet-up, orga­nized and hosted by vol­un­teer gar­den blog­gers. The Austin, Texas, gar­den­ers kicked off the idea and spread out a won­der­ful wel­come mat. Gar­den­ers in Chicago hosted last year. This year Eliz­a­beth Licata (Gar­den­ing While Intox­i­cated and Gar­den Rant) and Jim Char­lier (Art of Gar­den­ing) put together four days of fab­u­lous­ness in Buf­falo. I had heard from Eliz­a­beth about the hotbed of gar­den­ing activ­ity in Buf­falo, but I had no idea Buf­falo was such a charm­ing city.

As you can see, we were able to wan­der into the pri­vate sanc­tu­ar­ies of Buf­falo home­own­ers, many of whom had gussied up their yards in prepa­ra­tion for Gar­den Walk Buf­falo.  Most of the gar­dens we vis­ited are small, lush gar­dens in cozy neighborhoods.

Frankly, I found myself drool­ing over the tidy homes, well-maintained gar­dens and the idea that it was all so com­pact and bountiful.

These gar­den­ers have invested some time and love in cre­at­ing their out­door havens.

These were not just show houses though. It was clear that peo­ple lived in and enjoyed these gar­dens. There were pets, areas for din­ing, tools and whim­si­cal artwork.

If you’re a gar­den blogger—or are look­ing for another rea­son to become one—this event should con­vince you that there are some def­i­nite perks to shar­ing your gar­den sto­ries. What you don’t see here, but can see from many of my fel­low blog­gers’ blogs, is the great group of peo­ple who came together for the event. Many of us are old friends from pre­vi­ous years. We were happy to add new friends to our crowd. It was a beau­ti­ful and boun­ti­ful event on many levels.

Robin
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