Several brides and grooms have taken their vows amid the blooming dogwoods, posing for wedding photos against the sculptural backdrops of aging stone structures at this formerly secret garden. Now that a nonprofit group has worked to restore the garden, the greenhouses and trails are open year-around to the public.
Perhaps the most well-groomed area so far is where rotund stone structures line the path toward a stone greenhouse with climbing ivy and a soaring ceiling. Several special events have been hosted here in recent years.
A few steps down, a tiny, modest stone greenhouse still holds some little plants awaiting their turn to dress up the grounds.
The stone structures and the remaining established plants are part of the artistic endeavors of Joe Howell, who loved to design garden landscapes for himself and clients. As Senior Gardener Mathew McMillian told me, you had to really know Joe if you wanted access to his private plant collection back in the day. Now, everyone can enjoy viewing the garden and even reserve it for a special event.
Another area of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum
is the original site of the CB Howell Nusery, which the nonprofit group plans to use in future development. On our walk along much of the grounds recently, my daughters and I didn't even make it to those greenhouses.
We did, however, enjoy walking along mixed stands of mature trees, seeing stacks of rock set aside for projects, and navigating through the bamboo forest.
Labels: garden, green, outdoor, sustainable