More Gardens at Moss Mountain

Last post from Moss Mountain near Little Rock.

vegetable1We leave the house heading to the vegetable gardens and the rose garden.  The wood on the front of this buggy is so polished that it is a mirror for some bushes.

vegetableThese are the bushes reflected on the buggy.  Unusual containers – usually hanging wire baskets are filled with sphagnum moss to hold in the soil.

vegetable2We walk on a road by the parking lot…

vegetable3past some fields for sheep.  These are the Katahdin breed of sheep that don’t have wool but hair, so they don’t have to be sheared.

vegetable4The entrance to the vegetable garden.

vegetable5These small buildings are probably tool sheds.

vegetable6The light was strong by late morning and washed out the pictures.  Different kinds of lettuce along with chives?  In the background is a long wire archway.  It is tall enough to walk through, like a tunnel.  If you have watched P. Allen Smith’s TV show, you know he uses these to grow vine plants, like squash.

vegetable7The plant growing up the pole is Hyacinth Bean.  I asked the young girl who was our escort if they were edible.  She replied that she guessed so since they were planted in the vegetable gardens.

I have only seen them grown for the beautiful flowers in summer, so I looked on the internet.  From what I gleamed, if you eat the beans when they are young and green, that’s okay.  But older dry bean have a high amount of cyanogenic glycosides, which are not good for you.  However, these are also found in seeds of some fruits, in some vegetables, and nuts. Mature or dry beans should not be eaten raw.  The process to cook them sounds a lot like boiling pinto beans.  All this is from a book Eat the Weeds.

More than you wanted to know?

vegetable8Kale

vegetable9As we leave the vegetable garden, we pass between two stag statues and walk down a steep path towards the rose garden.

vegetableaThis overlook is at the end of the gravel path.  To the left and right are arching walkways down the hill.

vegetablebbThis view looks back up to the lookout spot.

vegetablebThe rose gardens are formal with an European look.

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vegetableeThis was early May, so some of the roses were not in full bloom.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t find any scented ones.

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vegetableffReally like this feature – a castle look.

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vegetablehLeaving the rose garden, we take a lower pathway back to the house.

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vegetablejIt seems that much thought was put into the views of the house from all angles.

vegetablekThe screened porches on the first and second floors at back of the house.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures from this part of our trip.  Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.

“Know who you are and be who you are.”  P. Allen Smith

Upstairs at Moss Mountain

As we head upstairs inside the house at Moss Mountain, notice the pictures on almost every wall.

upstairsLovely staircase that almost makes me want one, except that I’d have put these poor old knees through torture every day.

upstairs1At the top of the stairs is a collection of Native American pictures.

upstairs44Off the main hallway is a guest powder room.

upstairs2A guest bedroom has two twin beds: one on either side of a medal trunk used as a table.

upstairscIn the hallway landing is a mini study with book shelves and eclectic items.  If there had been more time, I could have stood in this area and read book titles and studied pictures for hours.

upstairsdAn interesting greeter.

upstairseNot sure what this light fixture was originally or what object it is supposed to look like.

upstairsfAllen likes his books.  As do I.

upstairs11The master bedroom is spacious.

upstairs3A desk in the corner with more pictures.

upstairs111Still in the master bedroom.

upstairs4And an en suite bath.

upstairsgAt the back of the house is a screen porch with beds for guests.

upstairsiAnd, of course, a wonderful view.

upstairshAt one end of the room is a metal tub.  Not sure if it is actually functional or decorative.  There are towels hanging on a small ladder to the left.

upstairs5This casual living area is on the third floor.

upstairs6Where there is a large bedroom with four beds for Allen’s nieces and nephews.

upstairs7Cute.  It seems he enjoys whimsy.

upstairs8I like the beaded boards on the walls and ceilings everywhere on the third floor.

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upstairsaAnother view of the Arkansas River.

upstairskAs we head down the stairs, more pictures and busts of American founding fathers or composers?

upstairslThat concludes the tour of the house.

“Who is the happiest of men?  He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy as though it t’were his own.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

House at Moss Mountain

The visit to Moss Mountain near Little Rock included a house tour as well as all the gardens and animal pens.

mossmkkThe group is gathering to hear the introduction to the tour and how it will all unfold.  With 80 attending, 40 go inside the house at a time.

The house has three stories and a basement, where media equipment is kept and the editing is done for his shows.

Notice that the entry door is on the left side of the house.  Also, there is a bumped out room to the left of the house and one to the right side.

Built in the Greek Revival style that was popular in the US during the 1800’s, a pedimented or triangular gable can be seen at the top of the side of the house. Other characteristics include the symmetrical overall shape and the columns on the front porch.

livingareaaaA wide hallway runs to the back of the house with two large living areas on the right.  At the back of the house is a large screened porch that stretches across the width of the house.

livingareaffJust as we entered the door, to the left is a small area that gives the first clue to P. Allen Smith‘s interests.  He is obviously a collector of colonial style pictures and artifacts.

livingareaWith 40 people in the house, my pictures will definitely include people.  The front living room has a rather formal feel.

True to the Greek Revival style, no crown molding is used.

livingareahThe three small pedestal tables between the couches are interesting, but no history was given.  Many sofas and chairs are slip covered.

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livingarea44Tucked under the window is an antique tea caddy.  Because tea was a valued commodity, it was kept in a locked container.  The lady of the house carried the key and unlocked it when needed.

livingarea222Pictures and books are everywhere. The apple picture is one of Allen’s.  He painted other similar pieces of fruit.

livingareabbIn the corner is a pear painting from that series.

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livingarea1Looking from the living room into a more casual area that I would call a den, note the thickness of the wall.  The heating and cooling return ducts are above the doorway.  On either side are storage closets.  Clever.

livingarea555In the more casual living space.

livingarea66On the right is a glimpse of the screened porch.

livingareaccThe picture on the left shows Allen with Presidents Clinton and Bush.  On the right, he’s with Prince Charles and someone I don’t recognize.

livingarea5The kitchen is in the room on the right side of the house.  This kitchen is different than the one used on his cooking shows on HGTV.  So I’m guessing that kitchen is in one of the buildings behind the main house.

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livingarea7Fresh flowers in vases scattered around the house.

livingarea8The screened porch has a fantastic view.  Several zinc covered tables are placed around the property, including outside, indicate either that he likes them a lot or that zinc is very sturdy and long lasting.  Maybe it is both.

livingarea9These plantation style shutters block out the west sun.

livingareagI didn’t count the number of dining tables in the house, but there are at least three.

livingareabAt the far left side of the porch is this small sofa.  It is set back into a nook that protects it from the weather.

livingareaeWalking back out into the main hallway.

livingareadOn the left side of the house is a studio.  This part is storage for vases and other decorating items.

livingareacBeyond that, under the staircase is a small guest bathroom.

livingarea33Across from the staircase.  The living space is spacious and contains many items of interest.  It seemed to reflect a man with many interests and talents.

This is just the first floor.  Another post will feature upstairs.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”  George Moore

Moss Mountain

The next stop on our trip early in May was Moss Mountain, the farm of P. Allen Smith.  He is considered a plant and animal guru.  His program on HGTV features short vignettes about flower and vegetable gardening as well as raising farm animals and cooking.

mossmThe large post oak in front of the house is named Big Sister.

mossm1On specific days each month, tours of the farm and house are open to the public.  Reservations are necessary, and it’s not cheap.

Allen was not there that day, but the whole day was orchestrated very well.

Lunch was served at noon.  We ate in a room in the barn that had round tables to accommodate 80 people.  The large white tent has long tables for larger groups.

mossm4The house was built in 2007-2008 in the Greek Revival style, which was popular in the south during the mid 1800’s.

I had assumed that the property was inherited, but it was found by his friend who had flown a plane over the area and described it to Allen.

mossm2A dry rub of sulfur was put on the brick to provide an old house look.  The room protruding out on the left side is an art studio.  He also does some painting.

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mossm6The room on the right side of the house is the kitchen.

mossm7Behind the house in the gardens are three other buildings.  One is seen here.

mossm8My pictures don’t do justice to the gardens.  Behind the house are two parallel walkways through the bushes, flowers, and trees.  They are on different levels since the ground slopes down towards the Arkansas River.

mossm9Most of the flowerbeds were designed like this one with tall shrubs in the back, shorter ones in front of those, and low annuals in front.  Lots of manpower needed to plant all those flowers.

mossmaaThis is the side door into the art studio.

mossmbA corner bed where a pathway from the house joins another walkway.  The lime green plant is Stonecrop Sedum.  It was used in several places to frame a bed.

mossmbbGerbera Daisies with Petunias

mossmccWe did not go into the two smaller houses in the back because the doors were closed.

mossmdThis shows the slope down to the first path behind the house.

mossmddI was surprised that pots around the garden contained agaves.  That area is in the same plant zone I’m in:  8a, used to be 7b.  Some years during cold winters, they would freeze.  Maybe they do bring them inside, but that looks like a heavy metal container.

mossmeAllen designed these white towers.

mossmeeAlthough I don’t know the size of the gardens around the house; I’m guessing it would be two or three acres.

Most of the rose bushes around the house appeared to be Knockouts.

mossmfThis hexagon or octagon (can’t remember) building was on lowest side of the garden paths.

mossmffThere was straw on the floor, but I don’t know the building’s purpose.

mossmgIn the background is the river.  Many of the gardens are organized and neat but informal in the plantings.

mossmggPathways led to some garden rooms or sections that are somewhat closed off.

mossmhAs I remember, these are testing beds.  There were small signs in several beds throughout the gardens that indicate that different growers had provided plants.

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mossmjjThese gates open to a more formal garden style.

mossmkThis grassy area is between two rows of trees leading to this statue and hedge.

One of the amazing things about Moss Mountain is how much has been accomplished in a few years.  There will be more posts about this tour.

“It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.”  Old Cowboy Adage