Bzzzz July 24th, 2013

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.)

P Allen Smith Moss Mountain Farm Porch 2013

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.

P Allen Smith House

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

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

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Posted In: Gardening, Lifestyle, Travel

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Bzzzz July 24th, 2010

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.

Posted In: Gardening Life, Travel

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