P. Allen Smith’s Gardens on Moss Mountain Arkansas

P Allen Smith, Moss Mountain ArkansasIt was a pleasantly warm summer day as we made our way along a winding road in north central Arkansas to a place called Moss Mountain.

Moss Mountain may not have name recognition for some travelers, but if you’re a gardener or a fan of the PBS program P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, you know how beautiful this destination promised to be.

P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home

Moss Mountain Arkansas, P. Allen SmithIt’s not fair to call P. Allen Smith the male version of Martha Stewart. Dedicated to agriculture, history and an unpretentious life, Smith is passionate for authentic and original home decor,  surrounding himself with textures and landscapes that would cultivate the beauty in any of our spirits. His late grandmother and her gifts for cooking, gardening and caring for others is the inspiration for much of his work. His mission is to reconnect with a life that much of our society has lost.

Moss Mountain, about 30 minutes north of Little Rock, is his home and studio. The 400-acre farm includes an orchard, a one-acre vegetable garden and dozens of flower gardens. Included in the 38 varieties of roses on the farm are cuttings from some of Thomas Jefferson’s personally-cultivated roses at Monticello.

Moss Mountain Arkansas, P. Allen Smith

In the spring, nearly 300,000 daffodils paint the hillside pastel yellow, heralding the arrival of the growing season on Moss Mountain.

Tours of Moss Mountain

Just about every weekend in the spring, summer and early fall months, Moss Mountain is open for public tours. Sometimes Smith is there and conducts the tour personally, as we were lucky enough to enjoy. He was generous with his time, his insight and his home, although he would never tell us what the P stands for in his name.

Moss Mountain Arkansas, P. Allen SmithWe had lunch in the barn, strolled through the garden, and of course, browsed the gift shop. I found myself entranced by the fat and happy heirloom chickens roaming about.

But the most important reason to go to Moss Mountain is for the little unexpected thing that happens while you are there – you relax. You breathe deeply of the fresh air. You smile.

And that in itself is worth the journey.

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