You may recall that I attended the first annual Garden2Blog event held in and near Little Rock, Arkansas, last year and hosted by P. Allen Smith. Allen is the creator of P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and P. Allen Smith's Garden to Table, both airing on PBS, as well as the author of several books, including his most recent, P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. I was privileged to get to attend again this year, along with 23 other garden writers, on May 1st and 2nd. This is the first of several posts about that event.
Our first stop on the first day was a return to Marlsgate, the southern plantation home of David Garner, located just outside Scott, Arkansas. If you recall, last year, we toured David's home by candlelight because of the power outage caused by severe storms. And we didn't really get to see much of the gardens since it was raining or threatening rain during our visit.
As I walked from one "garden room" to the next, the thought occurred to me that I would have absolutely loved growing up here as a child. I imagined the scenes that I would have created as I let my youthful spontaneity take charge.
I was Alice gone down the rabbit hole...
I was a southern belle strolling the elegant grounds on a hot summer day...
I was a famous poet, stringing words together in the quiet shade of the majestic trees or on the wraparound porch...
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Marlsgate is a treasure hearkening to another time. David's love of "ruined finery" (his words) and his wry wit has charmed visitors time and time again and I dare anyone to escape the ambience they bring to a world that has all but forgotten how things used to be.
Marlsgate is opulent, to be sure, but one minute of hearing David tell its story of taking it from ruin to regal and you know that it is a very special place, now reflecting the joy of life from the very special person who lives there.