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Gardening is Beautiful: A Review of P. Allen Smith's Website

Posted Apr 20 2010 9:30pm
Thyme for the Garden by Patricia Marie Warren @ TakeRootandWrite.com  
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness,
as that one which I have had always,
that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden.
~Abraham Cowley, The Garden, 1666

Lylah's Garden

There is a desire in most of us to create beauty. Those of us who garden find beauty in God's creation and try to capture it in our own small space. My friend, Lylah, has created a place of such beauty. I've never gotten to visit it in person, but she takes me on journeys through it's lovely paths every time she posts to her website, La Maison Et Le Jardin .

Lylah's blog is a diary of her love for family and the beauty she makes for them and herself to enjoy. I feel blessed that she shares that with me. My goal with my own garden is to create the same sense of joy here that I feel when I visit her through the virtual world.

Making such a place from the ground up takes a lot of effort, but that effort is worth every minute. When the garden brings us peace, we have an escape from frustrations-a place to meet with God in quiet communion. If we plan well enough, we can also bring that peace into our homes. A mason jar of home-grown daisies on the dining table is, to me, more beautiful than a vase of store-bought roses.

One of my favorite places to get garden ideas is on P. Allen Smith's website . The site is divided into sections so it is easy to focus on one small task at a time. There are lots of pictures and videos demonstrating techniques, as well as links to other resources. The website navigation is simple. Each topic is reached through tabs.

About Allen

This tab has a short biography and P. Allen Smith's gardening journal. You might even find an opportunity to hear him speak on gardening in person through one of his many lecture tours.

Garden

On the Garden tab there is also a list of monthly gardening to dos. This the spot to get started. There are instructions for beginning gardeners, Garden Basics, and specific gardens such as container gardens and kitchen gardens.

Garden Home Retreat

This tab guides one through developing your entire property, large or small, in to a garden retreat. There are tours of homes, photo tours that teach how to incorporate some of P. Allen Smith's designs into your own space, information on raising poultry, sheep, and horses, and an invitation to visit his own Garden Home Retreat in Arkansas.

Food & Recipes

A favorite of mine, this tab shows yummy ways to use your own produce. There are articles that discuss everything from herbs to cooking oils to fruits.The recipes are scrumptious and I love that they rely on healthful, homemade foods instead of processed foods.

In The Home 00PALLENSMITH

Here is where the ideas for using your outside in the house, bringing the serenity of the garden up close and personal. He covers a variety of topics including the holidays, entertaining, and sustainable living.

Source Guide

If you don't know where to find the things it takes to make your garden into a peaceful retreat, the Source Guide is a good place to look. Companies that sponsor P. Allen Smith's website have links on this page. They are listed under the headings of Partner of the Week, Garden Home Building, Garden Home Furnishings, Garden, and Containers, Structures, and Ornaments. If you don't choose to purchase products, you will find ideas that you might be able to convert from found objects, which is the basis of sustainable living anyway.

Videos

OK, this is definitely my favorite spot. There are plenty of videos to get you gardening. This week's featured video is on good garden soil. You will also find videos on food preparation, pet care, wildlife, and many more topics.

Where to Begin

It's time to choose just one place to start so the task of creating beauty with your garden doesn't overwhelm you. My first task is to turn a weedy spot into a fruit garden with a small patio for my little bistro table. I don't intend on getting involved with any other gardening projects until this one is complete. I have an acre and a half to transform. I've given up on making the honey-do list. The very number of tasks is daunting. So instead, I focus on this one spot until I am satisfied it is complete. If this is the only thing I get done this spring and summer, I will be happy. And this time next year I will be eating berries and cream on my scones in my fruit garden.

I'll meet you back here in two weeks and we can share again! (Also, the winner of last month's drawing will be posted. Make sure you comment on Small Space Gardening to get your name in the hat.)

Patricia Marie Warren, columnist of Thyme for the Garden @ TakeRootandWrite.com

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