Moss Mountain Farm:
A Visit to P. Allen Smith’s Country Estate
By Sandi Butler Hughes
You may know lifestyle guru, P. Allen Smith: he is an acclaimed designer, a 5th-generation horticulturist, best-selling author, and passionate conservationist. But did you also know that he is a welcoming host to visitors at his country estate, Moss Mountain Farm? Located 30 minutes from Little Rock in Roland, Arkansas, a visit is an experience in beauty, learning, and genteel Southern hospitality. For Memphians, it is an ideal getaway for gardening inspiration, a girl’s weekend, or as a stop en route to Northwest Arkansas.
Moss Mountain Farm is Allen’s country home, and he offers fall and spring tours to share his design styles, eco-friendly building practices, and gardening and preservation techniques. The three-story Greek Revival-style home is poised atop a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River. His authentic design approach pays homage to the history of the farm and the 600 acre estate.
The day begins with refreshments under a tent as you check-in and soak in the beautiful landscape. The tour goes on, rain or shine, and you can also expect to walk about two miles, so dress accordingly and wear your walking shoes. Guests are divided into small groups and led on a guided tour of the gardens including Allen’s Terrace Garden, the Hidden Rose Garden, Hydrangea Allée, and his one-acre Vegetable Garden. The tour guides are often accomplished gardeners in their own right and are available to answer many of your gardening questions. Next, you’re welcomed into Allen’s home, and again the tour guides point out interesting details about the home, the decor, and the sustainable features incorporated into the design.
After working up an appetite, a scrumptious farm-to-table lunch is served in Grange Hall. Seasonal recipes from Allen’s book, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, are served, including a slice of Allen’s famous buttermilk pecan pie with homemade whipped cream for dessert. Allen was at the estate the day we toured. He gave a delightful lunchtime talk and answered questions. He was as warm as he was welcoming. The afternoon concluded with a guided tour of Poultryville to meet the chickens and other animals. Allen has worked diligently to conserve America’s early poultry breeds, which led him to start the Heritage Poultry Conservancy.
The Fall Tour Season begins in September at Moss Mountain Farm. The summer splendor moves into cooler weather and beautiful mums, gourds, and pumpkins take the spotlight. During the spring, Daffodil Hill at Moss Mountain Farm boasts over a million - yes, a million - blooming daffodils. Whatever the season and whenever you visit, garden abundance and beautiful design are the allure of Moss Mountain Farm; inspiration is what you get to take home.
Tour information, an abundance of wonderful recipes, gardening tips, and much more is available at pallensmith.com.
Moss Mountain Farm: A Visit to P. Allen Smith’s Country Estate