The outlook is nothing but rosy for CONTACT of Chattanooga this weekend. Seven private rose gardens and a public space maintained by the Tri-State Rose Society of Chattanooga will be open for viewing, and all admission donations will go to the crisis/help line.
"This self-guided tour is unique to our community and is only offered every few years," said Jeff Garrett, whose Soddy-Daisy garden is one of the stops.
All of the featured gardeners are members of the Tri-State Rose Society, a nonprofit affiliate of the American Rose Society. With 150-plus members, it is one of the most prolific rose societies in the country, according to Garrett.
At each stop, rosarians will be on hand to answer questions on the art of growing roses. Visitors also will be able to see how different varieties acclimate, as well as ways the gardeners incorporate perennials, annuals, water features and other landscaping elements.
The suggested donation is $1 per garden. For convenience sake, gardens have been grouped into north and east zones, but they may visited in any order.
Tour hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
Visit www.chattanoogarose.org for more information.
1 Belcher Garden, 4916 Meadow Trace Lane, Hixson (near Northgate Mall, just off Hamill Road and Highway 153). Rows of roses burst with color and variety; perennials add interest and balance. Wheelchair accessible.
2 Cansler/Butler Garden, 1428 Cambridge Pointe Drive, Hixson (off Middle Valley Road). Six small gardens are home to 250 rose bushes in more than 65 varieties.
3 Garrett Garden, 2049 Linwood Circle, Soddy-Daisy (off Lee Pike, just past Possum Creek Bridge). Visitors here will find an explosion of color and texture, with amazing variety. The backyard centerpiece is an oasis of perennials and ornamental trees surrounding a koi pond.
4 Veterans Park Rose Garden, 9009 Dayton Pike (south end of Soddy-Daisy). This no-spray, public garden incorporates varieties of roses that are hardier and require less maintenance.
1 Hill Garden, 4812 Madonna Ave. (off Moore Road near Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and School). Old garden roses cascade over a fence, and floribundas, hybrid teas, climbers and miniature roses grace the landscape of Don and Irma Hill's home.
2 Brackett Garden, 1516 Jenkins Road (off East Brainerd Road near Pizza Hut). This Southern plantation-style estate boasts a blanket of colorful and fragrant roses.
3 Wisseman Garden, 2110 Haven Crest Drive (off Igou Gap Road behind Hamilton Place). Started in 1973 with 15 rose bushes, the garden now stretches around to the back of the home, producing a lot less lawn and more vibrant color.
4 Fields Garden, 8830 Sycamore Lane, Ooltewah (near Ooltewah High School). High on a hill, this garden has a beautiful home as its centerpiece. A trellis shoulders numerous climbing roses and a wall of Knock Outs frames the scene.