The Knoxville Federated Garden Club is hosting its first Garden Tour in several years. The Knoxville Garden Tour will take place on July 13 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
There are five gardens around Knoxville included on the tour. The gardens are at the homes of Lori Pearson, Arvilia Bailey, Karin Graham, Linda Graves and Joyce Smith. Members of the Knoxville Federated Garden Club selected the homes to include in on the tour. The tour also includes stops at Brooks Garden and Bessie Spaur Butterfly Garden.
After a several-year hiatus from hosting the Knoxville Garden Tour, members of the Knoxville Federated Garden Club decided it was time re-start the event. Club member Sandra Chrisman said the club wanted to showcase some of the gardens in Knoxville and show off the work of its members. Three gardens on the tour belong to Garden Club members, while two other gardens belong to former members.
Each garden on the tour has personal touches unique to each gardener. Some of the gardens have glass sculptures hidden amongst the plants, while others have birdhouses, various sized planters and even fairy gardens. Each piece has its own story to tell, as some were created by the gardener’s family members or others were purchased at craft shows from around the state.
The gardens on the tour have taken years to grow and develop. When Lori Pearson moved into her home 15 years ago, there were no flowers or trees in the yard. Pearson has since planted everything that is in her garden today.
“It’s a learning experience,” says Pearson. “I think you have to have a love for being outdoors and learning. I grew up in a family that loved to plant, so it’s kind of in my blood and in my soul. There’s nothing better to me than having color after the winter.”
Since Pearson’s family inspired her love of gardening and planting, she has found ways to tie them into her garden. She has included rocks found on the farms of her parents and brother, and also has several stained glass sculptures that her sister created. Pearson says that by having these pieces, she has created a sister garden.
Arvilia Bailey’s garden has been 20 years in the making. Since moving into her home over two decades ago, Bailey has tried planting at least one new flower every year. Now, her extensive garden has plants blooming in every season except winter.
Members of the garden club consider Bailey to be extremely knowledgable when it comes to gardening.
“If we have questions, we ask Arvilia,” says Chrisman. “She is a good resource.
Bailey is a dedicated gardener, normally spending around three hours working in her garden during each night in the summer. Every morning, she likes to go outside and say “good morning” to each new blossom that has grown. She says that over the past twenty years, gardening has become her passion.
“I found out that working in the flowers was my joy,” says Bailey. “It was my therapy, it really was.”
Although she has been recovering from a broken leg this spring, Bailey has still managed to plant and maintain a beautiful garden, one that has quite the reputation around town.
Equally as impressive is Karin Graham’s garden, which features two different gnome gardens, a windmill, small fountain, trellis, shed and personalized mailbox, alongside a countless variety of plants. Graham says her garden has a whimsical feel to it, thanks to a wide array of decorations she has placed throughout.
Linda Graves’ garden is centered around a gazebo in her backyard that is surrounded by plants. Looking at her yard filled with a variety of flowers, you would never guess that Graves first started gardening in a small corner with the help of her aunt Esther. Over the years, Graves continued to expand her garden until it grew into what she takes care of today.
When moving from Pleasantville to Knoxville several years back, Graves decided to bring some of her favorite plants in her garden along for the move. She enjoys growing lilies, clematis and Canadian roses, all of which can be found in her garden.
Joyce Smith’s garden fills the entirety of her backyard. With bottle trees, various sculptures, an abundance of plants and a gazebo with a hammock inside, Smith’s garden gives a sense of peace while displaying the hours of hard work she has spent working on it.
Tickets for the Knoxville Garden Tour are available for purchase at Candi’s Flowers, Knoxville Hospital Gift Shop, Hy-Vee Garden Center and Furniture Boutique. Tickets can also be bought on the day of the event at Brooks Garden or any of the homes included on the tour. The tour will take place rain or shine.
Addresses for the tour can be found on the Knoxville Federated Garden Club’s Facebook page.