Date: April 2, 2011 | Story: Diane Carroll | Styling: Diane Carroll |
Family time at the Moody household often finds Edward, Angela and their young daughter, Eden, walking the rows of their vegetable garden, sampling cherry tomatoes, examining peppers, picking blackberries or simply stopping to smell the flowers. The bucolic setting might seem at odds with the stately Georgian home and the formal landscape surrounding it, but creating a balance between family friendly and entertaining elegant is just what the Moodys had in mind when they began planning their gardens and grounds.
“My husband and I both like a formal design style with structure and symmetry, which certainly fits with the lines of our house, and in most areas we stayed true to that,” says Angela, “but we also wanted more informal places, including a comfortable guesthouse and a vegetable garden we could tend.”
The Moodys’ home sits on eight acres of rolling countryside in West Little Rock, and when they purchased the estate six years ago, the landscaping was limited to the perimeter of the house and an adjacent pool. “What began the landscaping process for us was the idea of a natural progression that would lead you through more of the property,” says Angela, “with a formal entrance and allee of trees up front, directing you to the house, and then back through the patio, pool and gardens.”
As avid supporters of a variety of philanthropic causes, the Moodys also envisioned the grounds as prime space for charitable fundraisers. “We felt we could offer a unique setting for hosting events,” says Angela, “and Edward and I are honored to volunteer often in a fundraising capacity.” With entertaining in mind, the Moodys updated the pool and enlarged the patio to incorporate a full-service outdoor kitchen, breezeway and covered seating area, surrounded by ample green space for tables or a band.
A new guesthouse flanks the edge of the entertaining area and offers tranquil quarters for visiting family and friends. Gardens surround the new space, highlighting a mix of colorful blooms to soften the setting. “Within the formal structure, we opted for less formal colors,” says Angela. “Red, purple and yellow work well with our house and are vivid from a distance, reminding us of fields of lavender or bright poppies we’ve seen during trips to Europe.”
From the patio, a path leads to the vegetable plot, complete with a garden shed and stone walkways. During the spring and summer growing season, it boasts more than a dozen kinds of vegetables, a wide range of herbs, several types of berries, melons, and more. “I grew up with a garden, Edward enjoys it too, and it was something I hoped we could pass on to Eden,” says Angela. “Now, it’s one of our favorite ways to spend time together.”
Guesthouse architecture John Jarrard, Little Rock
Guesthouse interior design, furnishings Cobblestone & Vine, Little Rock
Landscape design/installation Landscape Associates Inc., North Little Rock
Plants Arkansas Garden Center, Cantrell Gardens Nursery, River Valley Horticultural Products, Little Rock
Pots, statuary Cantrell Gardens Nursery, Little Rock
Tile Arkansas Stone Importers, Little Rock; Elder Distributing, Maumelle
Welcoming Homes, Warm Hearts
Arts, education and health-related causes, including Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma
True to their goal of opening their home and garden to support philanthropic causes, the Moodys have hosted a myriad of events, including fundraisers for the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Argenta Community Theater, Arkansas Zoological Foundation, CARTI, Easter Seals, the St. Vincent Foundation, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Women & Children First.
Next month, the Moodys will host the 24th annual Garden Party to benefit Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, Inc. The evening will feature silent auction items, original art and restaurant gift certificates, and will include a cocktail buffet and music by the pool.
Wednesday, May 4
6 – 8 p.m.
For tickets and more information: (501) 801-0001 or http://ppaeogardenparty2011.eventbrite.com