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.
The large post oak in front of the house is named Big Sister.
On 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.
The 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.
A 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.
The room on the right side of the house is the kitchen.
Behind the house in the gardens are three other buildings. One is seen here.
My 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.
Most 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.
This is the side door into the art studio.
A 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.
Gerbera Daisies with Petunias
We did not go into the two smaller houses in the back because the doors were closed.
This shows the slope down to the first path behind the house.
I 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.
Allen designed these white towers.
Although 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.
This hexagon or octagon (can’t remember) building was on lowest side of the garden paths.
There was straw on the floor, but I don’t know the building’s purpose.
In the background is the river. Many of the gardens are organized and neat but informal in the plantings.
Pathways led to some garden rooms or sections that are somewhat closed off.
As I remember, these are testing beds. There were small signs in several beds throughout the gardens that indicate that different growers had provided plants.
These gates open to a more formal garden style.
This 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