Private gardens open to the public this weekend

Shannon HerronOur Town Outdoors

Update: Address for the Hopkins Cottage Gardens has been corrected.

The public is invited to experience three spectacular private gardens during the Dogwood Arts Spring Featured Gardens event, April 20-21, 2024. The gardens are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The event will feature GATOP (God’s Answer To Our Prayers) in East Knoxville, Anderson Estate in South Knoxville, and the Hopkins Cottage Garden in West Knoxville.

Each garden is unique in design and offers a variety of plant material and special features. The gardens showcase the full range of natural beauty present in our community.

Tours are self-guided, although master gardeners and Dogwood Arts staff will be on-site to answer questions. A $5 cash donation per garden is suggested.

These gardens require walking on uneven paths and are not handicap accessible; comfortable or hiking shoes are recommended. Since these are private residences, there is limited on-site parking; guests will be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis. No pets allowed.

GATOP (God’s Answer To Our Prayers): Owner Dr. Alan Solomon, 2643 Delrose Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914

Included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens, God’s Answer To Our Prayers (GATOP) is the private garden of Dr. Alan Solomon, a retired Knoxville oncologist who is known nationally for his pioneering work on the treatment of amyloid-related diseases. While he built his career in medicine, he found his true passion working in the garden. The property features many hundreds of botanical specimens such as conifers (the largest collection in the Southeast) and hollies, extensive displays of wildflowers, perennials, and ground covers, as well as numerous water features and large marble outcroppings. Complementing this unusual garden are stainless-steel, iron, bronze and stone sculptures. The site also features one of Knoxville’s oldest marble quarries.

Anderson Estate: Owners Fred & Sandra Anderson

Free parking & shuttle to the garden from Sevier Heights Baptist Church, 3140 Maloney Rd, Knoxville, TN 37920

Set on a hilltop overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains, Anderson Estate is a plant collectors garden. This young, but ever-expanding garden, features an extensive hosta collection with over 500 varieties and also includes a wide assortment of azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, conifers and a native plant display garden. The kitchen garden with 11 raised vegetable beds, fruit trees and berries is home to an apiary. The property also includes a cemetery from the 1800s, an Enchanted Forest, and a professionally landscaped frog haven with a bubbling brook and waterfall.

The Hopkins Cottage Garden: Owners Dennis & Linda Hopkins, 1708 Pheasant Ridge Trail, Knoxville, TN 37922

A labor of love cultivated over 35 years. This enchanting space features a lovely gazebo, cozy outdoor fireplace, arbors, bridges, stone terraces, a shaded pergola and winding stone paths that beckon you to explore. Inspired by a lifelong passion for gardening that began in Indiana, this Tennessee haven offers an extended growing season and a true gardener’s paradise.

Shannon Herron oversees marketing, communications and design services for the 18 annual events and programs of Dogwood Arts.


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