Southern Gentleman Farmer > P. Allen Smith

Thursday, August 5, 2010

P. Allen Smith and farm friend.

I've always admired P. Allen Smith's teaching style of smart, guided, and informative gardening methods.  Whether it be with the dos & don'ts of container gardening, the process of making an at-home trash can compost bin, or putting together a recipe in the kitchen with fresh harvested garden veggies.  Smith's blend of casual southern charm, hands on work ethic, and nothing has to be "too perfect" mindset works twofold.  He sets the tone for an at-ease lifestyle while also laying out specific guidelines and making deliberate decisions that yield a successful & bountiful garden.  Smith surrounded himself with gardening and farm life from a very young age.  He continued his passion of garden design with an advanced degree from the University of Manchester in England.  Upon returning to his native town of Little Rock, Arkansas, Smith cultivated a career based on hosting local garden design workshops and taking on residential garden design projects.  His successful how-to influence with satisfied clients led to local TV spots, followed by the Weather Channel enlisting Smith to host 90 second gardening segments.  Today, Smith is the author of numerous gardening books, host of his own TV show, a correspondent for the Today show, and launching for the holiday season, a line of wreaths and centerpieces.  Be on the look out as well for Smith's upcoming collection of  items for your pantry - rubs, spices, and other delicacies - based on whats growing in the garden.

Container Garden Tip - P. Allen Smith's 3 Shape Rule:  "Create a focal point with something tall and spiky, add mass with somethinground and full, and soften the edges with something trailing or cascading. Choosing from each of these three groups makes for a more dynamic design. In fact, they'll complement one another so well, it doesn't really matter if the plants ever bloom. This method lets you use plants that have great-looking foliage as well as those with colorful flowers."

Today's Home section of the NY Times featured Smith's 650 acre home, Moss Mountain Farm, about a half hour from Little Rock.  Smith purchased the land 5 years ago and began building an environmentally conscious & eco-friendly Greek Revival home.  The property plays host to an amazing and ever evolving gardener's paradise and serves as the backdrop for Smith's TV show.  Check out this link for more detailed photos of Moss Mountain Farm.  

Moss Mountain Farm

Check out the video below as Smith discusses the various complementing plants he envisions for a future rose bed.

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