Moss Mountain Farm, the Garden Home of P. Allen Smith

Posted by on September 14, 2011

Looking out from the second floor screened porch at Moss Mountain Farm, the Garden Home of P. Allen Smith, centered me in my understanding of the need to blur the lines between my home and garden.

Although rainy and misty, my visit to Moss Mountain Farm was memorable beyond inclement weather. Located 20 minutes outside Little Rock, Arkansas, situated along a ridge overlooking the Arkansas River Valley, it felt like home, where everyone is treated like family.

My travels took me there on business, where a red carpet was rolled out for several garden communicators, in the hopes we would share our experience with others. Reading this, given the purpose of our visit and with no basis of comparison, one might assume we were given special treatment. I may have had to qualify this post, if, on my return flight home, I didn’t happen to sit next to a lovely women, a second grade teacher, returning to Charlotte after visiting her sister for spring break. During their time together, they toured P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm . As I reviewed my photos on my laptop, she was unable to hold back her excitement.

Reliving her time at Moss Mountain Farm through my photos, she shared with me what she enjoyed most. In talking with her, though, it was obvious, I could not pin her down. She enjoyed the entire experience.

Moss Mountain Farm, set in an idyllic setting, blurs the lines between garden and home. It’s no wonder Allen refers to his retreat as a Garden Home. With a nod to the past and the rich heritage of our founding fathers, this “green” Greek Revival cottage, has two terraced ornamental gardens, an acre vegetable garden, orchards, pastures, poultry, and sheep.

Tours can be arranged for groups or with a friend during one of their open days.

With two options — either an afternoon or evening tour, a fresh meal is served with recipes taken from Allen’s cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.

Having sampled many of these meals during my two-day stay, I can share with you how delicious they were; you will not be disappointed. Perhaps a bit pricey for many ($90 for the lunch tour and $150 for the dinner tour), keep in mind the meal and tour are included along with a unique opportunity to visit with Allen as he open’s his Garden Home.

Leisurely strolls along the garden paths, absorbing the breathing taking views, and connecting with the past in a modern day Garden Home, inspired even the garden writers on the tour, many of whom, have seen their fair share of gorgeous gardens.

As the garden writers chatted with each other about our experiences at the Garden Home, and as we focused our camera lenses on various vignettes, we all agreed, it was beyond our respective expectations; and I had very high expectations.

I walked away with a new appreciation of my own Garden Home. I plan to borrow the term, when referring to Helen’s Haven. Indeed, inside my nest is just as important to me as outside. Both are equally important to me and to my family, where we too, like to welcome people and treat them like family.

I hope one day you take the opportunity to visit the remarkable Moss Mountain Farm; when you’re there, tell Allen I said hey.

Helen  Yoest is a garden writer, speaker and garden coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™.

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