Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Tour of Moss Mountain Farm–Part One

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I recently had the opportunity to visit and tour P Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm and I have many, many pictures to share. In fact, I have so many pictures that I am dividing them into 4 posts. I hope you will come back for the other posts, or better yet, follow the blog by entering your email here and you will be notified by email each time a new post is published. If you missed my last post with the tour of the Garden Home you can see it by clicking here.

big sister

P Allen Smith purchased 600 acres along the Arkansas River in 2006 and proceeded to build the Garden Home and develop 50 acres of the property. Of course the garden will always bea work in progress and what a wonderful work it is. There are seven huge oak trees on the property and the one in front of the house is now called Big Sister! The big trees have lightning rods to protect them from storms and lightning.

moos mountain farm aerial view

The photo above came from the Moss Mountain Farm website but I wanted you to see an aerial view to get the lay of the land. Allen Smith has a firm that does landscape design and has written several gardening books. He has used foundational garden design principles to divide the acreage into several spaces or garden rooms. Other than the paved driveway at the front of the house, there is very little hardscape. By hardscape I am referring to concrete, block or stone walls or pathways. All the other pathways are gravel and most of the garden walls are live plant material. You can also see in the photo above how well balanced and symmetrical everything is.

question-answer session with P Allen Smith

Before we chose a date to take the tour, we called to see if Allen would be there on that day. Sometimes he is at the tour and sometimes he is not. We chose a date when we were told he would be there.

family photo with P Allen Smith

He is as personable in person as he is on television. It was just liking talking to an old friend. He greeted the crowd, then had a period for questions and answers then took time to pose for photos with anyone who wanted one.

garden home exterior 1

As I stated in the last post, the Garden Home was built in the Greek Revival style to reflect the original home that was built there in 1840.

garden home exterior 4

garden home exterior 3

There is an event center building next to the house where receptions and other events are held.

event center

It looks somewhat like a barn on the outside.

event center patio with planters

It also has a large patio area with beautiful planters that can also be used for parties and events.

lunch in the event center

Our tour included lunch in the event center.

grilled chicken lunch

Our lunch was a grilled chicken salad which is a recipe in his new cookbook. The desert also came from the new cookbook.

You can purchase the cookbook by clicking here.

shop and parking area

The building above has a small gift shop, restrooms, and a small chicken area.

garden home exterior 2

There is extensive use of boxwoods throughout the garden.

boxwood foundation plantings

Boxwoods were used as foundation plantings and as path markers.

boxwoods marking the garden path

more boxwoods

driveway border with flagpole

In the photo above, you can see another one of the giant oak trees in the background.

driveway border garden

The hardscape of the driveway is softened by a beautiful border garden.

driveway border 2

If you look closely, you can see that the driveway garden is enclosed with boxwoods.

driveway border boxwoods

You get a pretty good view of the boxwoods in the photo above.

driveway border 3

I don’t remember if this garden was irrigated or not but I do remember that all of the plants used here are very tolerant of heat and sun.

driveway border 4

Notice that he used a very limited color pallet for this garden.

driveway border 5

I was taking notes on my phone and unfortunately I was not able to keep up so I didn’t get all of the plants names but I do remember that this garden includes purple fountain grass, petunias, coleus, sweet potato vine, sunpatients, and angelonia.

driveway border garden planter

The same plants were used in the urn.

driveway border goups of 3 a

driveway border groups of 3 b

I’ve said for years, if you want to make a big impact, have a mass planting of a single color. Because this is a pretty large area, using a lot of single plants would not be very effective. All of these small plants were planted in groups of three. That way, each color does show up and it makes a pretty nice impact!

driveway border groups of 3 c

driveway border groups of 3 d

I hope that you enjoyed this part of the tour and will come back for the others!

I usually only post one time per week but I will speed these up so as not to drag it out so much!

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