Staff Photo by Randall Higgins Jesse Burgeuno, left, Jennifer Norton and Matthew Fisher, along with volunteers from Ocoee Middle School, get in some early Monday morning weeding at The Greenway Table educational garden for the community. The vegetable garden is one of the stops on Saturday's UT Extension — Bradley County's annual garden tour, along with manicured and landscaped home lawns and gardens.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The annual garden tour of the University of Tennessee Extension Service looks back to a century of gardening across the state and in Bradley County.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's Agricultural Extension Service. Bradley County was one of the earliest extension locations in the state, with the office founded in 1911 marking its own centenary celebration next year.
On the garden tour, this year's six featured sites include three devoted to home landscapes.
Bob and Susan Card's garden at 3264 Chestnut Circle NW features a large lake, manicured grounds and beautiful views. More than 7,000 plants have been added to the garden's woodland and meadow settings, two stone bridges and numerous annuals and perennials.
Steve and Wanda Green's three-acre garden at 262 Northwest Circle features more than 400 azaleas and numerous cherry and dogwood trees, plus roses, hosta, annuals and perennials and potted plants, a water garden and a raised-bed vegetable garden.
William "Bubba" and Kaye Smith's home at 378 Bell Crest Drive NW includes a G-scale garden railroad in the backyard. The track is built around roses, hosta, ferns, perennials, annuals and potted plants and a raised vegetable garden.
IF YOU GO
* What: University of Tennessee Extension Service Spring Garden Tour
* When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
* Cost: $10 tickets for home gardens, available at the three private home sites, or in advance at UT Extension Service office, 95 Church St., Cleveland, Tenn.; free for children under 12. Also free are tours of the Bradley County Cannery, the Greenway Table and Lamon Farm.
* Information: 423-728-7001 or http://bradley.tennessee.edu
Source: UT Extension-Bradley County
The three other tour sites are devoted exclusively to the dinner table.
The Lamon Farm, at 3175 Michigan Avenue Road, is where Franklin and Sue Taylor and Randall Lamon have many vegetable sites and a hay wagon for visitor tours.
The Greenway Table, off Parker Street near Michigan Avenue School, is an educational garden where schoolchildren and community volunteers work and learn more about the food that can be grown in the region while adhering to the Certified Naturally Grown method, founder Jennifer Norton said. The produce is sold at the MainStreet Cleveland and Peerless Road farmers markets.
"We will be showing the garden here in this public space and talking about the natural methods we use," Ms. Norton said.
The final stop on the tour is the Peerless Road market, along with its public cannery and the William M. Hale Agricultural Center. The cannery opened in 1977, allowing the public to can food grown in local gardens or bought at the farmers market.
More than 38,000 jars of food were processed by 356 people during 2008, according to Kaye Smith, agricultural extension agent. The 2009 numbers were slightly lower because of heavy rains, she said.
"We always have a lot of interest in our unique cannery," Ms. Smith said. "We hope anyone interested will come out to learn more."
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Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...