Wonder and Wander at Moss Mountain Farm

A few weeks ago when we were sure that the animals would be lining up two by two, I was invited to tour P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm. I donned my boots and my favorite sun hat which I figured could double nicely as an umbrella when the moment came.

Even though the yard was crawling with bloggers and those of the social media bent the land and home gave off quite a calm serene feel. As if you could just start walking without a care and let the mind wander…. and wonder. 
Meandering the garden paths in the mist and thunder.

Wishing you could waste the day on the sleeping porch as the clouds rolled over the river.

Pondering the vegetable patch.

And traipsing through wet fields and muddy roads to visit chickens.

I was especially captivated by an original painting of Allen’s hanging in the front parlor. A larger landscape of rolling hills and pasture land.

This was his family’s farm in Tennessee. If you stared long enough you could see the trees and grass almost sway with wind. And imagine the work happening on the homestead. I love pieces of art that hold personal history. 

The house is full of windows big and small that open up to a view that seemed to never end.

They all invited you to lounge on a cushion or rest your shoulder into a windowsill and just take in the drizzle and fog of the Arkansas River Valley.

By the time we were leaving I was damp and muddy and all my curls had sprung despite my big hat. But it was a wonderful, wanderful day.

“I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.”  -William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Walking the walk

I was rather sad Saturday morning. I knew I couldn’t and didn’t want to spend the day with my face in a tear soaked pillow. I had to find a project. Be productive.

I’m obsessed with keeping a clear path around my beds and through the yard. But I can’t always get my landscape team (husband and oldest son) to be as proactive as I would like them to be. And there is only so much I can do with my weed-eater. So I have been researching (Pinteresting) all kind of garden walk ideas.
http://www.pinterest.com/jeanettad/in-the-garden/

I finally found one that I liked and still looked very natural. Ben doesn’t want full on sidewalks throughout the yard. And he rolls his eyes every time I mention pavers.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/100557004154741079/
So on Saturday after a good cry I jumped up and started cutting some leftover wood.  I took a large cardboard box from the recycling at work to lay down over the knee high grass. Then fit the wood planks in snugly between the raised beds.

The plan is to fill in between the boards with river rock. There is a place in town by the river that sells it for $7 a ton. Awesome landscaping deal there.  Once the rock is down I’m going to sprinkle in concrete then spray it with water to set everything.

I can’t wait till it’s all finished!

Mother’s Day Off

So my family has finally usurped my reign over the remote today in honor of Mother’s Day.  They have had enough of non stop HGTV/DIY’s Rehab Addict & Salvage Dawgs and I only got a little ways into the Alaska: The Last Frontier’s Mother’s Day Marathon.  So I have been relegated to the top of Luke’s bunk bed for my solitude.  I guess Ben is right: if it isn’t something I want to watch there’s no way I’m staying in the room.  

But today was a fine day.  In fact my whole Mother’s Day weekend was a smashing success.  Mom took the kids on Friday and I was able to spend Saturday working in the garden, and pretty much staying at home by myself.  Which I never get to do.  There’s is always some one here.

Mom and I broke with tradition and instead of heading out on our Mother’s Day shopping and junking spree we opted for Ben and the kids to cook for us.  I picked out a new rose bush for myself and put together a lavender arrangement for mom.  We have both been on a paring down kick.  So buying her “a thing” would really be defeating that purpose. I recently bought myself a huge lavender plant and I knew she loved the smell.  So fragrant.  So relaxing.  And what mother doesn’t need something to help her do that.

The arrangement was a cinch to put together.  I bought a nice pot in a light green color I knew she would like, 3 lavender  plants from the herb section and a bag of potting soil.  

I got a larger container because I wanted to give them room to spread out but the 3 plants were looking rather sparse in the big pot.  So I picked up a couple of larger quartz rocks from the garden and grabbed some seashells and other beach finds to decorate and fill the pot.  I was rather happy with the way it turned out and mom was so excited. 

After more than just one helping of the dessert spread we adjourned to the yard.  Me to pull some weeds and finish placing the squash plants and her to snap pictures of our lush green yard and the roses that are popping out everywhere.

So we like to turn Mother’s Day into Mother’s Day Off.  A chance to lay around and watch our TV shows.  Or a chance to take care of all those things you enjoy doing but never have time.  A day to not have to serve as a taxi cab, short order cook, chief bottle washer or hostile situation negotiator.

Ready to get gardening

I am itching to get my hands in the garden.

Last night I was up until midnight laying everything out using the free garden planter on the Smart Gardener website.  I cannot say enough about how much I love this app. In my early years my gardening attempts were plagued with over planting, forgetting to mulch, or to fertilize.  Smart gardener now send me gentle email reminders of my tasks in the garden. 

I long for all of these duties to be like second nature.  I want to be a habitual gardener where the ebb and flow of the seasons tell me when to plant, when to harvest, when to save seeds, when to till up and weather down for the winter. But that probably won’t happen until I’m not running kids everywhere. So until then I’ll use Smart Gardener.

The Arkansas Flower and Garden show is this weekend.  Be sure to stop by and see all the lovely ladies of Arkansas Women Bloggers at booth 17.  The unofficial official “Social Media Megaphone of Arkansas” (they are handling the social media so be sure to follow them on twitter with the hashtag #afgs2014).  I’ll be catching it on Sunday. This weekend coincides with our yearly celebration of Ben’s birthday and we are heading to the races again.  I’ve been looking forward to the corn beef sandwiches all month.
But when I get back it’s time to get busy.

View my garden plan and many others at Smart Gardener.