Arley Hall Comes to Arkansas

After years of hospitality from the Ashbrook family at Arley Hall I’m excited to welcome Lord Michael Ashbrook to my home. I can only hope that it’s half as inspiring to him as my visits to Arley have been to me.

I stumbled upon Arley when I was a graduate student at the University of Manchester. While exploring the grounds I struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman who turned out to be the 10th Viscount Desmond Ashbrook. He introduced me to his wife Elizabeth and we became fast friends. Over the years I’ve developed quite an attachment to the people and gardens at Arley.

So I’m excited to welcome Lord Ashbrook to Arkansas. He’ll be here to give a lecture about the estate and gardens that have been in the family for more than 500 years. If you are going to be in Little Rock that day I encourage you to plan to attend. Here are the details.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Bring your lunch! Drinks will be provided.)

Where: Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall

How: It’s a free lecture, but you do need to reserve a seat. Email the school at or call 501-683-5239.

Lord Michael Ashbrook

The double herbaceous border is the crown jewel of the garden, planted in 1846.

Lady Elizabeth Asbrook and me walking down the Ilex Avenue. These evergreen oaks (Quercus ilex) were planted in the 1850s.

Arley Hall stands on the site of the original house built in 1469.

8 Responses to Arley Hall Comes to Arkansas

  1. Beverly Avery says:

    Simply incredibly beautiful! I can’t imagine how it must feel to walk through such a magnificent garden and calming it surely is. Thank you so much for bringing it’s beauty to us.

  2. Rita Hopper says:

    Fortunate you are to have those incredible folks visit your place after showing their place on your show. Wish I were close enough to go, but CA is a far piece from there!

  3. Linda L. says:

    Allen, I am so happy for you that your friends will be here to walk through your gardens. They will see bits of themselves in some of your garden designs. Make sure you take them to some of the great places in Arkansas, especially those Little Rock restaurants. Have fun!

  4. Cindy Menn says:

    What fun! Garden folk do seem to migrate towards one another. Moss Mountain Farm is so charming, Lord Ashbrook will have a stellar time I’m sure of it.

  5. Jennie says:

    So happy for all of you. It will be a special time. Take notes and let us know what he reports.

  6. Nancy Clendenen says:

    Unfortunately I did not get word of this till March 31 3 days after the event. I would have loved to come

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