Favorite Gardens in Tennessee

Kristin Luna
| February 22, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
A paved garden path leads to a pavilion in the woods. Plants bloom in the foreground. Mike Kerr

Most years, Tennessee emerges from its winter slumber in April with an explosion of greenery and wildflowers of all colors.

Gardens in Memphis

The 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden (above) is the centerpiece of the local garden scene, but hardly the only place to go for plant inspiration. The Dixon Gallery & Gardens (below) near Audubon Park mixes greenery with art; not only is the 17-acre property a certified arboretum, but it features an array of exhibitions, both fine and decorative arts, plus a permanent collection of more than 2,000 objects.

A small reflection pond with a fountain in the middle. Topiaries in containers are on the right. The Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville

Cheekwood holds post in one of Nashville’s oldest neighborhoods, Belle Meade. The gardens of the 55-acre estate built in the 1930s change with the seasons—expect tulips in the spring, pumpkins in the fall—though the permanent attractions like the art museum, sculpture garden and the model train are always worth visiting no matter when you go.

A small family strolls down a garden path. Hydrangeas bloom in the foreground. UT Gardens

UT Gardens, Knoxville

In Tennessee’s eastern division, Knoxville’s UT Gardens (also known as the State Botanical Garden of Tennessee, above) offers the crème de la crème in horticulture with 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropical plants, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses, as well as an outdoor learning laboratory that is free to the public and open year-round. The main campus of the State Botanical Garden of Tennessee is in Knoxville with additional locations in Crossville and Jackson.

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