Border beds blooming with color accent stone retaining walls at the home of Dan and Betty Smith. / Contributed Photo by Suzanne Ford
some text
Layers of plantings add color and texture to a hillside on the property of Hat Chau in Hixson. / Contributed Photo by Suzanne Ford

Gardens at four private residences and two schools have been selected by Master Gardeners of Hamilton County to feature on their 32nd annual Spring Garden Tour.

The fundraiser takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, in the Hixson/Red Bank/North Chattanooga communities. Tickets may be purchased on either event day at any of the gardens on the tour (see accompanying list.) Proceeds from the tour benefit educational and scholarship programs sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and Master Gardeners of Hamilton County.

If you go

› What: 32nd Spring Garden Tour

› Where: Four homes, two teaching gardens in Hixson, Red Bank and North Chattanooga

› When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 15; 1-6 p.m. Sunday, June 16

› Admission: $20 ticket, good both days

› For more information:


"This year's Spring Garden Tour features outstanding examples of homegrown horticulture in our community," says Holly Colf, Spring Garden Tour chairwoman and a Master Gardener.

"Each garden represents a work of art, a passion for nature, as well as a display of individual creativity and expertise. These gardeners have created personal natural settings demonstrating how sculpture and artifacts, water features and stonework can be combined with a variety of plantings to create beautiful and relaxing landscapes filled with surprises.

"We hope visitors will enjoy these unique displays and come away with an appreciation of the work that went into them, as well as ideas to take home for their own backyards."

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in Chattanooga, Master Gardeners of Hamilton County is a nonprofit, educational, volunteer organization. Master Gardeners sponsor the Master Your Garden Expo, Spring Garden Tour and a Hamilton County Fair exhibit every year.

Among ongoing landscaping and garden partnerships undertaken by MGHC are Alpine Crest Outdoor Learning Center and Gardens, Aquarium Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, Bachman-McCoy Farm and Garden, Bonny Oaks Arboretum, Brainerd By Grace Community Garden, Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Chattanooga Zoo, Crabtree Farms, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center and St. Alban's Community Rose Garden.



* Dan and Betty Smith, 150 Truan Drive, Hixson

Betty Smith's gardens have evolved steadily over the 40 years that she and husband Dan have lived in their Hixson home. Featuring azaleas, lilies, zinnias, dahlias, hydrangeas and a variety of other plants, her gardens are a rainbow of color.

The area around the house includes full sun and shade areas, border beds, a small kitchen garden and a terraced hillside garden with a vine-covered archway. Whimsical sculptures and a fairy garden are placed throughout the flowering plants and trees.

* Hat Chau, 5797 Taggart Drive, Hixson

This landscape artist has transformed his unusually configured property off Hixson Pike into an oasis filled with an amazing variety of plants. Pillar-shaped palms, feathery Japanese maples, dwarf conifers and boxwood topiaries create a backdrop for many varieties of hydrangeas, daylilies, ferns, seasonal perennials and colorful annuals.

* Alpine Crest Elementary School Outdoor Learning Center and Garden, 4700 Stagg Road, Red Bank

Alpine Crest's gardens provide an opportunity for students to increase the quality, quantity and benefits of outdoor experiences. Areas for learning include a registered butterfly garden, raised beds with vegetables and herbs, a bird-feeding station and orchard, along with nearby picnic tables and a large pavilion for outdoor learning. In addition, the woodland classroom offers nature trails for exploration and observing wildlife, native plants and trees.

* Carl and Lynn Pendergrass, 4016 Norwood Ave., Red Bank

The Pendergrasses moved into their home in 1980. At that time, the garden was nonexistent. Now visitors will find black bamboo, hellebores in many colors, variegated holly, Harry Lauder's walking stick tree, river birch and a dragon tree. In the garden are some of Carl's copper creations, gazing balls, a variety of shade-loving perennials and fish ponds.

* Cate Mueller, 1012 Hanover St., North Chattanooga

The mature landscaping surrounding Cate's North Shore home was planted by her mother more than 50 years ago, still tended by her daughter. This shade garden features many varieties of daylilies, hostas and astilbe along with perennials and annuals. Stone-enclosed raised beds marked by strips of terra-cotta tiling, repurposed from the old roof, is of special interest.

* Girls Preparatory School Teaching Garden, 218 Island Ave., North Chattanooga

The GPS teaching garden was established more than five years ago to increase awareness of and provide for communities in Chattanooga living in food deserts. Students in the environmental science class learn to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs from seeds started in their greenhouse, then planted outside in raised beds. Current crops include tomatoes, peas, watermelon, basil, mint, beans, carrots, okra, zucchini and eggplant.

In summer/fall 2018, GPS donated 417 pounds of food to the food bank and used about 50 pounds in GPS's own kitchen.


ChattanoogaNow Sections