Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Trip to Moss Mountain

Sometime in August, just for fun I submitted a photo to a Garden Safe photo contest. Three winners would receive a weekend trip to P. Allen Smith's Garden Home Retreat outside Little Rock, Arkansas on a ridge called Moss Mountain for an October harvest festival celebrating the (organic) harvest from the farm, and celebrating local food. Those of you who know me, know a local, organic food harvest festival is right up my alley.

Much to my surprise, I was one of the three contest winners. Last weekend The Lawn Man and I flew into Little Rock National Airport to stay at the beautiful, historic, 5-Star Capital Hotel, (with an elevator big enough to accommodate, as the concierge explained, General Grant and his horse.)

Everything was world-class. Every detail was attended to. It was an absolutely wonderful experience from the turbulence-free flight late Saturday morning until we crossed the threshold of Home Sweet Home late Sunday afternoon.

Thank you to Garden Safe for sponsoring this event, and thank you P. Allen Smith for an absolutely wonderful time, fantastic company, delicious food and drink, beautiful sights, great music, gorgeous weather, . . . all of it. Such a memorable experience!


  1. That is so cool you won and got to enjoy the trip!! Demerits for not telling me beforehand, even though there is no reason whatsoever I needed to know. HA! But I want to see your photo -- and am wondering if the two other winners were garden bloggers, too. And what was the festival itself like? The fall light is absolutely gorgeous in all your photos!

  2. How wonderful for you and Lawnmower Man! Love the tour photos! xogail

  3. We thought so too Monica! I didn't want to mention it ahead of time on social media since I've read warnings about burglaries when people advertise that they are out of town.

    The photo was just one of the left side of the border around the patio, much like so many I've posted before. I think they own the photo now. I had to select one that hadn't been published, including internet publishing.

    The other two winners aren't bloggers, but both are on facebook. We had a really nice time as a group - gardeners never seem to run out of things to talk about! We were kind of on our own at the event, but ran into each other a few times, and went back and forth together in a limo. We ran into one of the couples again at the airport going home too.

    The festival was high-energy, full of conversations with folks we hadn't met before, and lots of fun. Mimi was there - you may remember her from IGC and the Odyssey II cruise. She took us on our tour of the gardens. I didn't get a chance to talk to Allen this time - too busy taking photos I guess! But the other two winners did have a chance to hang out with him and got their pictures taken with him.

    The bluegrass band played throughout the event, and there was LOTS of food and drink, from appetizers when we arrived (the cheese with praline topping was awesome,) through dessert at the end of the evening. There's a little shop on the farm with lots of nice decor and books, and there was a book signing too. I kept the slideshow in chronological order, and hopefully that gives you a feel for what it was like. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

    It was a wonderful weekend getaway Gail. Even non-gardeners like the Lawn Man could enjoy it - there was something for everyone, and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

  4. Well, that all sounds like a great time. He sure knows how to throw a party! Praline-covered cheese? I've never heard of it, but it sounds super! Nommers.

  5. How cool is that!

    The place looks beautiful and it looks like it was an awesome party.

  6. How thrilling!!!! Loved the slide show! I want to take a bath in that tub off the sleeping porch! :) The gardens are magnificent! What a wonderful experience that must have been.

  7. Monica, it was Brie cheese - not sure if the topping would actually be considered praline or caramel (tasted like praline, gooey like caramel.) Whichever it was officially, it was delicious! And yep, he definitely knows how to throw a memorable party.

    MBT, pretty cool, that's for sure. It was a really gorgeous place, and a fantastic party.

    Holley, definitely a thrill!

    I thought the same thing about that tub. What a great view from the bath!

  8. I'm a big fan of P. Allen Smith. I've watched this place grow on PBS. How wonderful that you were selected. The video just got better and better as it went on. Thanks for sharing...Balisha

  9. What a great trip, so lucky to get to visit Smith's home and gardens.


  10. How exciting, Linda! Looks like such a wonderful place to visit, even without the fabulous gardens, though that would certainly be the star attraction for all of us. I'm so glad you won and The Lawnmower Man was able to go, too.

  11. How fun! Congrats on being one of the winners!

  12. You lucky girl!!! I follow him on FB and love the pics and info. It looks like heavenly place to visit

  13. Balisha, I really enjoyed watching the construction of the place on the show. Visiting there, I would never have guessed the place is only five years old. It looks very established, and the house has a very authentic, period look. Glad you enjoyed the video!

    Eileen, I definitely felt lucky! I used to say I never win anything . . . guess I'll have to change that mindset.

    Rose, it was very exciting. I agree - it would be worth visiting even without the gardens. There was so much cool stuff to see there. Thank you!

    Thank you Rose - it was a blast!

    Thanks Debbie, I never expected to be one of the winners - lucky indeed!

  14. Wow, Garden Girl, that must have been great fun! Congratulation to your win. I just imagined how the General and his horse went into the elevator :o).
    Have a wonderful day and kind regards

  15. It was great fun Alex! I was surprised how huge that elevator was - bigger than most elevators in downtown Chicago's tall buildings. It was just the right size for the General and his horse.

    Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

  16. That's so cool! Congrats!

  17. How wonderful, Linda! Must have been a memorable journey ... so happy for you :)


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