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'Tranquility' - Cornelia B. Holland Hosta Garden Dedication - UT Gardens Knoxville

Cornelia Holland and Troy Marden

Sunday, June 7, 2015
Ceremony at 2 p.m., Hosta sale following
Free event, Public invited

Hostas are the number one shade perennial sold in the United States and now the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville is among the top sites in the United States where visitors can see an extensive collection of hosta plants.

Thanks to a generous benefactor, Cornelia Holland of Franklin, Tenn., the UT Gardens, Knoxville, has added a hosta garden that features more than 500 hosta varieties. Holland, who has been collecting hosta plants since 1995, allowed UT Gardens personnel to collect divisions from her extensive personal garden that includes both species and hybrid plants.

The plants were installed last fall and are now thriving in the newly created display garden called “Tranquility—The Cornelia B. Holland Hosta Garden.” The American Hosta Society has declared the collection as one of just 23 official hosta display gardens in North America. It’s one of only three in the Southeast, with the other two residing at Clemson University and the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Tranquility is now open to the public and will be formally dedicated on June 7 at 2 p.m. A hosta sale will follow the dedication to benefit the new garden. All are invited to participate.

Read the full press release here.

Membership Benefit Renewed!

Better Homes and Gardens subscription program

The UT Gardens is happy to announce that our Better Homes & Gardens Subscription Program has been renewed! Each member who joins or renews through September 30, 2015 will be offered a free one-year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens magazine (digital or print edition). Current subscribers will receive a one-year extension of their subscription. You will receive a card with your membership letter which you can then redeem for your free subscription. This membership benefit is made possible through the UT Gardens' membership in the American Public Gardens Association (APGA).

Don't forget - members also enjoy reciprocal admission benefits at almost 300 gardens across the United States. This benefit is made possible through the UT Gardens' participation in the Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP) of the American Horticultural Society. Click here for more information and a list of participating gardens.

Classes and Workshops - UT Gardens Knoxville

March (pre-register for any March event)

Home Grown: Seeds - Wednesday, Mar. 11, 1 - 3 pm. This class is for home-school groups. Seeds are vital to human survival. Without them we could not eat. Students will explore the life of a plant and how seeds grow. Each student will get to sow vegetable seeds to take home and grow. Cost: $5/student

Eggstravaganza - Saturday, Mar. 28, 10 am - 2 pm. Hop on down to the UT Gardens and enjoy the spring. Don't forget to bring your Easter basket! You can take part in crafts and hunt for some eggs. The Easter Bunny will also be jumping to get his picture taken with you. (Preregistration for a specific hunting time is required. Hunts will begin at 10:15, 11:30, 12:15, and 1:30.) Cost: $5/child

April (pre-register for any April event)

Garden Sprouts: Worms - Tuesday, Apr. 7, 10 - 11:30 am. This class is for children ages 3-5. Worms are a part of every successful garden. Preschoolers will explore the life of a worm and see how they help improve garden soil. Participants will make a worm compast bin to take home and care for. Cost: $10/member; $20/nonmember

Growing Together: Leaf Casting - Saturday, Apr. 11, 10 - noon. Learn to preserve garden leaves through leaf castings. This fun and easy activity will give you ideas for adding art to your garden or home. Participants will make a leaf casting to take home and display. Cost (per family): $20/members; $30/nonmembers

Sunday Garden Walk: Spring Flowers - Sunday, Apr. 12, 2:30 - 3:30 pm. Take a walk through the UT Gardens and see what is in bloom this time of year. Cost: Free/member; $5/nonmember

Pre-registration is required for all classes. All classes will be held at the UT Gardens in Knoxville. Contact Derrick Stowell at 865-974-7151 or for more information.

Drawing and Painting Classes - UT Gardens Knoxville

Iris Bloom

Charcoal, Lines and Trees, Saturday, Jan. 10th, 1 - 4 pm. This class will explore basic drawing and observation techniques. Plants from the UT Gardens' collection will be our models as we apply the principles of classical figure drawing to develop coordination between our hands and eyes.

Black and White Conifers, Saturday, Jan. 24th, 1 - 4 pm. Here we will focus on the forms, textures, and mass of conifers. We will work to interpret and express those qualities through the observation of light and value using only black-and-white dry and wet media.

Late Winter Color, Saturday, Feb. 14th, 1 - 4 pm. In this class we will explore the Gardens in search of colorful winter interest specimens. We will then explore the basic principles of color theory as we observe and render our cut specimens using colored pencils.

Color and Depth, Saturday, Feb. 28th, 1 - 4 pm. Using acrylic on wood, we will work to observe and render cuttings of a unique and colorful winter interest specimen. We will begin pre-study drawings and exlore composition.

Spring Still-Life, Saturday, Mar. 14th, 1 - 4 pm. With 15th- and 16th-century Flemish and Dutch masters in mind, we will cut, arrange, and draw our own still-life masterpieces. We will use pastels and various mid-range colored to black drawing papers to help us break through the standards of the color wheel and understand the less exalted realities of the color spectrum.

Spring Flower Portraits, Saturday, Mar. 28th, 1 - 4 pm. This class will focus on the selection, placement, observation, and rendering of a single cut spring flower. Using watercolor on watercolor paper, we will explore mixing colors, timing and patience when working with fresh spring models cut from the Gardens.

Pastels in the Gardens, Saturday, Apr. 11th, 1 - 4 pm. Here we will turn to basic techniques of drawing and observation as we work outside. We will use pastels and various papers as we explore and express single specimens, beds, and vistas in the Gardens.

Sketching with Watercolor, Saturday, Apr. 25th, 1 - 4 pm. We will observe landscape watercolors by masters, then go into the Gardens to sketch with watercolors and discover the boundaries and nuances of the medium - as well as the artist's need to edit.

Drawing for Botanic Realism, Saturday, May 9th, 1 - 4 pm. We will work with pencils and erasers to explore and strengthen observational techniques, as well as accurate rendering of species within the UT Gardens' collection using line, value, and texture.

Painting Iris, Saturday, May 23rd, 1 - 4 pm. One goal in this class will be to produce an accurate likeness of a specific iris cultivar in the Gardens' collection using dry-brush watercolor technique. The other will be to create a loose, expressive painting of a mass of iris or other flowers using watercolor, pastels, or charcoal through direct outdoor observation.

Cost per session: $30/member, $40/nonmember
Cost for entire series of ten classes: $275/member, $375/nonmember

All classes will take place at the UT Gardens Knoxville, and some will be held outdoors (as weather permits). All materials will be provided. Preregistration is required. To register contact Derrick Stowell at 865-974-7151 or

2014 Community Sponsors

The UT Gardens is pleased to announce our 2014 Community Sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor - HGTV HOME


Gold Sponsor: Ruth and Erbin Baumgardner


Silver Sponsors: Oakes Daylilies and Pleasant

Hill Nursery LLC

Oakes Daylilies


Pleasant Hill Nursery


Bronze Sponsor: UT Federal Credit Union



Professional Photography Policy

The UT Gardens in Knoxville are proud to provide an attractive venue and colorful setting that has become a popular location for all types of photography in the East Tennessee region. Considerable materials and labor are required to maintain the Gardens to the high standard that has attracted so many professional photographers to use the Gardens in their work. 

As a result, starting March 1, 2011, the UT Gardens will implement the following Professional Photography policy. ‘Professional Photographer’ being defined as one who charges a fee for their services.

Professional photographers who wish to take advantage of the UT Gardens’ as part of their commercial work are asked to become Friends of the UT Gardens at the $100 level or above.  These funds will directly support the maintenance and upkeep of the UT Gardens.  Membership information is available at

Photographers who do not wish to become Friends of the UT Gardens at this level may schedule photo shoots on the grounds for a fee of $35 per hour.  Non-member (commercial) photographers who bring clients to the UT Gardens without scheduling in advance, or without paying the sitting fee, may be asked to leave the grounds. 

The full policy may be viewed here.

UT Gardens T-Shirts and Note Cards - Now Available

t shirtVisit the eMarketplace of the UT Institute of Agriculture to order your UT Gardens logo t-shirt, spring or fall notecard set, or garden poster. Proceeds from all sales benefit the UT Gardens.




UT Gardens Knoxville Volunteers

The UT Gardens Volunteer Program in Knoxville is currently on winter hiatus. Regular weekly sessions will resume in late February. After that, they will be held each Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9-12. To learn how you can join in these work sessions, contact Beth Willis at; 974-2712


Thanks due to Spring Meadow Nursery and Netherland Bulb Co.

Spring Meadow Nursery and Netherland Bulb Co. recently made large donations of plant materials to the UT Gardens. Their generous support is greatly appreciated!

Dogwood Arts Festival Presents Bazillion Blooms

Bazillion Blooms is a Dogwood Tree planting program to beautify our East Tennessee communities, improve the health of our environment and foster community support and pride in our beloved native dogwood. For more information, click here




Corona is the official tool sponsor of the UT Gardens.

Dramm Logo

Dramm provides a portion of the watering tools used in the UT Gardens.

Contact The UT Gardens

UT Gardens
Department of Plant Sciences
252 Ellington Plant Sciences Bldg
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-8265
Fax: (865) 974-1947

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