For several years now I have been touting the idea of the Garden Home, a place that blurs the lines between indoors and out. It is my belief that a Garden Home is not just about beautifying our surroundings or extending our living space; it also helps us stay close to the earth and reminds us to be good stewards of our environment.
Although I've been able to teach the Garden Home ideal through examples of gardens that I have designed for clients and my own urban garden, it has been a long held dream of mine to have a property where I could create the full expression of my design ideas. The Garden Home Retreat is the realization of this dream.
Located on a high plateau overlooking the Arkansas River valley, the Garden Home Retreat combines the spirit of a classic American farmstead with many of the current innovations in earth-friendly living. The site includes a traditional style Greek Revival home that has been uniquely adapted with the latest energy efficient construction methods. The extensive gardens are designed in the ferme ornée (ornamental farm) style as extensions of the home's living space and showcase exciting new varieties of flowers and vegetables.
In the 5 years since we first broke ground the Garden Home Retreat has grown from a house and two terrace gardens to include a stone fruit orchard, one acre vegetable garden, gift shop and conference center. We raise sheep and heritage poultry. Twice a year we host a garden to table dinner celebrating locally raised foods and great chefs from around the country. Along with being the set for my television and print projects, the Retreat also serves as a working model to teach lessons in garden design, sustainable living and good stewardship.