Master Gardeners Of Hamilton County Hosts Its 31st Annual Spring Garden Tour

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Master Gardeners of Hamilton County will host its 31st annual Spring Garden Tour On Saturday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, from 1-6 p.m.

Each place represents a work of art and a passion for nature.

Officials said, "We join in welcoming you to celebrate the spring season with a leisurely stroll among perennials, herbs, native wildflowers, shrubs and more. This year we have four private and one public garden, all conveniently located atop Signal Mountain. In keeping with our mission of education, we are pleased to feature McCoy Farm and Gardens which has been a Hamilton County Master Gardener project for several years. There are several specialty beds and a swing-along-bridge within the 38 acres of tranquil wooded and open spaces."

Purchase tickets the day of the event at any of the gardens.

1. Frances Jones, 304 South Palisades.

Dr. Frances Jones has spent years working on her gardens, but she can’t compete with the natural beauty that made her fall in love with her Tennessee acreage in the first place. The view from her land, which overlooks the Tennessee River and the city of Chattanooga from Signal Mountain, still amazes Frances. When Frances and her husband purchased the property, it was just one woodland lot. Now, the single lot has grown into an acreage full of impressive gardens and large pieces of art for Frances and visitors to enjoy. Trial and error resulted in what are now sprawling gardens, with 1,500 different types of plants. Frances purchased surrounding pieces of land when they became available, expanding her natural palette. In the sunny garden in the front of her house, she has wildflowers, as well as more exotic plants such as bamboo. Junipers and dwarf crepe myrtles punctuate the yard. In the shady garden in the back of her house, she grows her azaleas and rhododendrons.

2. George Taylor, 809 Fairmount Ave.

The valley of the garden is hemmed in by large exposed natural rock formations on two sides, deeply shaded with large numbers of rhododendrons and azaleas. Also, there are viburnum, hydrangeas, hostas, and other plants. Stone paths wind thru the gardens. A wood deck and walkway surrounds a water feature that includes two ponds with a connecting water fall containing gold fish and one large Koi. A second and third smaller pond provide the sound of bubbling water on very quiet days. 

3. Louise Russell, 207 Flint St.

A family garden in progress since 1963! What began as a playground for our children and friends is now a playground for my swimming pool friends. Surrounded by native plants, perennials, and spring ephemerals my passion extends to include the late summer Joe Pye weed and Lobelia cardinalis. While goldenrod adds color and food for the bees and birds the pleasant surroundings also include raised beds for vegetables and a koi pond focal point I lovingly refer to as my tad pole hatchery!

4. McCoy Farm & Gardens, 1604 Taft Hwy.

McCoy Farm and Gardens, where history, community, and pollinators converge on Walden’s Ridge. Step back in time at this lovely mountain property with its renovated country manor, woodland walking trails, apple orchard, and recently restored gardens. These gardens, three years in the making, involved removal of invasives, design of an overall plan, preparation and execution, and many hours by Hamilton County Master Gardeners and other dedicated volunteers. The horseshoe shaped gardens are designed to provide monarch butterflies and other pollinators with food and shelter among over 100 species, many of which are natives, using renewable techniques and conservation practices. The gardens enhance this special retreat and are a focal point for community events, educational opportunities, private parties, and something as simple as a meditative moment. Come and enjoy.

5. Linda Davenport, 327 Creekshire Dr.

This Mountain Cottage Garden has been ten years in the making and is truly “for the birds”! The owner, a Master Gardener and lover of birds and wildlife, common to this region, has installed bird houses and feeding stations, a butterfly house and the planting’s to keep them happy in this welcoming habitat. It all began with the creation of many rock garden beds, planting of many River Birch, Magnolias and flowering shrubs, Hydrangeas and perennial beds. It includes 150 feet of a newly created cutting bed of wildflowers and perennials. Passing through arbor after arbor, you will discover a rose garden surrounding a fountain, a mountain meadow and more perennials to enjoy. As the garden slowly inches into the surrounding woodlands, the goal is for the manicured to become unified with the natural.

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