Garden Travel

“Garden2Blog 2012” Event – Day 1 – P. Allen Smith Brings Elegance To Gardening

This year’s #G2B12 Event with P. Allen Smith and 20 of my closest blogger friends was kicked off near Little Rock, Arkansas in a garden designed by P. Allen Smith. Discovering the elegant gardens and home of Marlsgate Plantation owner, David P. Garner, Jr., while having Allen as our personal guide on the journey was fantastic.

Marlsgate is a Greek Revival Mansion with a traditional garden. It sits in the middle of sweltering Arkansas heat in the south. There are oak trees and green fields which frame the home. David’s charismatic personality and southern charm delighted all of us as he toured us through his antique-filled living quarters. Whenever you turned to ask a question, his white hair and comedic air drew you to him. In fact, while David’s home is known as one of the most resplendent plantation homes built in the Arkansas Delta, David  is such a personality he outshines his home and gardens by far – what an absolutely great experience to meet him.

With David’s artistic flare and Allen’s design concepts, the plantation’s focus in the gardens has grown into a classic look which is a refection of the opulent plantation era.

As much as the home and gardens delighted me, the opportunity to spend time with amazing writers and friends from around the country was entirely the most exciting and wonderful part of the trip. We talked gardening in depth – I collected all sorts of wonderful tips and ideas to share with my readers later in the season.

Below is a photo of two of my best friends with me at Marlsgate who both write about gardening. Check them out online – Christopher Tidrick [left] writes From The Soil (here is a link to some of Chris’s gorgeous photographic coverage of #G2B12) and Michael Nolan [right] is the Garden Rockstar.

Above are my good friends Mimi San Pedro, Chief Operating and Marketing Office for Hortus Ltd. and Shirley Bovshow, the Principal at Garden World Media and beautiful garden television show host. Shirley writes the Eden Makers blog.

What a wonderful and inspiring experience to connect with garden friends and see such elegance and traditional “bones” in a garden. Interestingly, as you can see by the photos above, these gardens were filled with paths, pruned and shaped boxwoods, and structure. Marlsgate’s gardens are elegant and genteel; meant for quiet walks with lovers and silent meditation. Beautiful!

*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that attendees at Garden2Blog 2012 including myself received transportation, accommodations and meals during the event. Event sponsors provided samples and product giveaways at no cost or obligation. All opinions are my own.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence
    May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Excellent post, Shawna. I miss you already…good thing I can see you everyday on social media.

    Keep up the good working speaking about the living a green lifestyle, as well. You have a voice that is passionate! We need to be hearing you often.

  • Reply
    Shawna Lee Coronado
    May 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I totally miss you and can't believe it's only been a few days – it seems like forever and I have to see you again soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Tidrick (@
    May 9, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Great post. 🙂 So glad we all got to share this trip together.

  • Reply
    Shawna Lee Coronado
    May 9, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Totally awesome! 🙂

  • Reply
    garden girl
    May 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Nice post, and love the photos, Shawna. I didn't take nearly enough, and especially not enough shots of all the fantastic people at G2B12.

    It was wonderful hanging out – glad we caught up with each other at the airport and had time to chat while waiting for our flight. See you soon!

  • Reply
    Shawna Lee Coronado
    May 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Love! Love! Love! 🙂

    It was great catching up with you. Keep thinking positive – your work is awesome!


  • Leave a Reply