Dogwood Arts Festival Gardens featured in Town

Fox Den, Village Green and Country Manor subdivisions will shine brightly starting today (Thursday, April 4) when the Dogwood Arts Festival Trails officially open with the Farragut Trail starring as the coveted Featured Trail among all Knox County trails.

After an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting today at the Kingston Pike entrance of Fox Den, the Trails will be open, with visitors being asked to follow the pink dotted road lines that will take them through all three neighborhoods, passing more than 500 homes showcasing flowers, trees and blooms of the season.

However, two properties off the beaten path in Altamira Subdivision will offer a walking option as part of the Festival’s Open Gardens at the residences of Michael and Mary Bates and John and Pam Garrity, on 513 and 532 Altamira Drive, respectively.

They are just two of dozens of official Open Garden and Camera sites in Knox County.

Michael and Mary Bates’ own garden started more than 25 years ago with East Tennessee native plants from Mary’s mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. “Most were wildflowers, which blended with the native white dogwoods,” Mary Bates said.

“The garden has continued to grow and expand over the years with blooms in each month of the season,” she added.

Roses are the heart of the Bates’ garden, blooming from May through November, and their collection will be on display for the Festival’s Open Rose Garden segment May 10-12, and again May 17-19, as will Kathy Brennan’s rose garden, l706 Landing Lane, in Farragut.

The Garrity’s garden “has evolved over the past eight years,” John Garrity said. “Inspired by [our] visit to the Keukenhof (kitchen) Garden in the Netherlands, each year we plant nearly 1,000 ‘big up’ tulips in the front that bloom at the start of spring.

“The rear garden is a natural, woodland setting which displays a unique garden to include a lobster trap, fish box and nautical items.”

Farragut’s public gardens will be at Founder’s Park at Campbell Station and Town Hall.

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