Posts Tagged ‘Vegetables’

We’re all at the mercy of the weather, espe­cially gar­den­ers. Even P. Allen Smith and his gar­den at Moss Moun­tain Farm is at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Remem­ber that beau­ti­ful film scene in the Keanu Reeves movie A Walk in the Clouds where all the work­ers fran­ti­cally build fires and dance with fans between the grape vines? A killing frost has descended on the val­ley and they are try­ing to keep the vines and grapes from seri­ous dam­age. They end up sav­ing the crop and romance was born.

P Allen Smith Moss Mountain Farm View from the House

Most of us don’t have dozens of ded­i­cated field work­ers to bat­tle the earth-cracking drought, biblical-proportioned floods or the weird, unsea­son­able weather that, strangely, seems to come about every other sea­son. We just suf­fer along and accept that we are part­ners with nature in the cre­ation of a gar­den. Some­times our part­ner is our friend. Some­times our part­ner is our enemy.

P Allen Smith in the Vegetable Garden at Moss Mountain Farm

Smith in his expan­sive veg­etable gar­den at Moss Moun­tain Farm

When 25 or so blog­gers vis­ited P. Allen Smith’s gar­den over­look­ing the Arkansas River Val­ley, it was dur­ing this year’s  unsea­son­ably cool spring. Huge swaths of the South and Mid-Atlantic had been blan­keted under some weird pres­sure sys­tem that fooled our flow­ers and veg­eta­bles into think­ing it was March rather than May. As we were squired around the 650-acre estate, more than one of Moss Moun­tain Farm tour guides rushed to explain, “It’s been so cool, every­thing is behind in blooming!”

P Allen Smith Rose Garden at Moss Mountain Farm

The for­mal rose gar­den at Moss Moun­tain Farm fea­tures a sym­met­ri­cal lay­out with a cir­cu­lar cen­ter lawn and brick folly.

Of course, there was noth­ing to explain since most of us on the tour had gar­dens at home that were sim­i­larly tardy. But even more, every­thing was per­fectly lovely and there were plenty of blooms to admire.

Rose Garden detail at P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm

Early spring in the rose gar­den at Moss Moun­tain Farm

(Is it more appro­pri­ate to say there is a gar­den or there are gardens?)

When you have 650 acres, there are many very sep­a­rate and dis­tinct areas.

There is the veg­etable gar­den, expan­sive enough to grow food for a small city. There are two rose gar­dens. There are peren­nial gar­dens and annu­als and a daf­fodil field and pond gar­dens and ter­race gardens.

(Well, that set­tles it. Gardens.)

Garden at P Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm

Gar­den at P Allen Smith’s Moss Moun­tain Farm

Indeed, plants there in Arkansas did seem to be a bit behind what you might expect for May. Nev­er­the­less, it was a lovely gar­den stroll and I expect it would also be lovely in the fall and even in the dead of winter—just a dif­fer­ent kind of lovely.

 

Robin

I heard that lovely “beep…beep…beep” sound today that I asso­ciate with spring. No, it wasn’t a bird call. It was Chris, my UPS dri­ver back­ing up after drop­ping off two big boxes of flower bulbs for my Mary­land garden.

Spring! I love to walk around with the lit­tle dogs and see the gar­den awake.

young yoshino cherry tree

I snapped my annual shot of a cute Papil­lion next to the young, flow­er­ing yoshino cherry tree. This year’s super­model is Sarah.

daffodils

The mixed daf­fodil bulbs are up and bloom­ing by the dri­ve­way and near the hay field. There is a house I pass on the way to town with thou­sands of daffodils—all of the same vari­ety. It’s quite a dis­play. But I love the mix of all the dif­fer­ent types of daf­fodils all min­gled together. You can’t see them in this photo, but there are bunches of lit­tle mus­cari bulbs min­gled among the daffs.

The edge­wor­thia that began bloom­ing sev­eral months ago will soon be los­ing its flow­ers. This is a shrub that goes the extra mile with all-season inter­est. You can just see the flow­er­ing quince that’s about to burst forth in the background.

edgeworthia

Edge­wor­thia chrysan­tha ‘Snow Cream’

And speak­ing of plants with stay­ing power, I love this let­tuce mix that made it through the win­ter! But sadly, it is now chicken food since it is bit­ter. No wor­ries though. I have a whole new crop of spinach and let­tuce planted in the potager garden.

A mixture of lettuces in the potager garden

Let­tuces in the potager gar­den sur­vived through the winter.

This year I am all about con­tain­ers. The pan­sies and orna­men­tal oregano make nice early spring tran­si­tion plants. But I have big, big, big plans this year for containers!

ornamental oregano

Happy spring!

 

 

Robin
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