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The University of Tennessee University of Tennessee UT Institute of Agriculture

University of Tennessee Gardens

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Garden News and Events

See also : Contact Us : About the UT Gardens

This is where you can get the latest information on the UT Gardens or find upcoming events. We offer a variety of tours, lectures, workshops and special events suitable for all ages throughout the year.


2nd Annual Gala - A Rainbow of Iris - Knoxville

Bearded Iris

On Friday, April 25th, enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, music, dinner, and live and silent auctions at the UT Gardens' second annual gala, A Rainbow of Iris, presented by HGTV HOME. This year the Gardens are celebrating their designation as Tennessee's State Botanical Garden by featuring the state flower of Tennessee, the bearded iris. Also meet Vern Yip, HGTV host and designer, who will be our celebrity guest and emcee.

Tickets are limited, and must be purchased in advance. To RSVP please visit

A Special Gala Message from Vern Yip

Eggstravaganza - Saturday, April 12th - Knoxville


Eggstravaganza will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children's Easter crafts, spring activities and visits with the Easter Bunny will be held on the Gardens' Friendship Plaza.

This year we are partnering with Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) to help raise awareness about food allergies. We will host two food-free egg hunts, one starting at 10:15 and another at 11:30. The final two egg hunts will include food, but will be peanut free. Those hunts will be held at 12:15 and 1:30.

This year Hurley Co Photography will be taking photos of your family with the Easter Bunny. The photos will have a festive border to document the event, and will be available to purchase for an additional fee. A portion of the proceeds from the photographs will be donated to the UT Gardens to support our educational programming. (You are welcome to bring your own camera to take a picture with the Easter Bunny if you wish.)

Click here for photo pricing information.

To learn more about Hurley Co Photography, the Official Photographer of the University of Tennessee Gardens, you can visit their website at

To register online click here. Registration will close on April 10th. For more information contact Derrick Stowell at 865-974-7151 or

Drawing and Painting Classes - UT Gardens Knoxville

Iris Bloom

Painting III: Introduction to Expressive Landscape Painting, Saturday, Apr. 12th, 1 - 4 pm. This class will allow us to further develop our understanding of color, brush techniques and editing in watercolor painting. We will begin with rapid gesture paintings to focus on and develop areas of importance, followed by longer paintings done in the splendor of the Gardens.

Painting IV: Watercolor Painting en plein air, Saturday, Apr. 26th, 1 - 4 pm. In this class we will enjoy the beauty of the UT Gardens while having fun with our paint, disassembling and reassembling paintings and working with found objects in collage.

Cost per session: $35/member, $45/nonmember
Cost for entire series: $220/member, $300/nonmember

Click here for a pdf of class descriptions. 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

Classes and Workshops - UT Gardens Knoxville


Home Grown: To Dye For - Wednesday, April 2nd, 1 - 3 pm. This class is for home-school groups. Learn science as we explore how plants can be used to dye fabrics. See what early settlers used to add a splash of color to their lives. Participants will get a t-shirt and will create natural dyes to add color to their shirt. Cost: $5/student

Garden Sprouts: Three Sisters Garden - Friday, April 4th, 10 - 11:30 am. This class is for children ages 3-5. Corn, beans and squash are three great vegetables. Take a look at the Iriqouis legend of the three sisters and explore why this trio works so well together. Get a few ideas to plant your own three sisters garden at home. Cost: $8/member; $12/nonmember

Sunday Garden Talk: Companion Planting - Sunday, April 13th, 2 - 3:30 pm. Curious about what to plant where? Take advantage of companion planting to place compatible plants together. This class will explore the history of companion planting, and look at how plants can help each other and attract beneficial insects to fight off garden pests. Cost: Free for members; $5/nonmember


Books & Blooms - every Thursday (beginning May 15th), 10:30 am - 12 noon. Summer program for children featuring books, music, crafts and sprinklers (weather permitting) Cost: Free (Pre-registration not required)

Sunday Garden Walk: Egg Carton Garden - Sunday, May 25th, 3 - 4 pm. This free tour offers visitors a chance to learn about the UT Gardens and see what is new. Cost: Free

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.

School Programming - UT Gardens Knoxville

Through our school programs we hope to inspire the next generation of gardeners and provide students with valuable life skills so that they can garden at their own homes. Each program can be custom-tailored to meet the needs of your classroom. The programs are designed to meet State of Tennessee and Common Core State Standards. We currently offer two main programs for schools - Garden Trips and Go Garden.

Garden Trips are designed to enhance the school curriculum by reinforcing each teacher's educational objectives. Using the natural environment of the UT Gardens, they provide opportunities to incorporate science, math, language arts, and other educational subjects into one trip. Each program lasts two to three hours depending on your specific needs. Cost: $5 per student.

Go Garden is our traveling program which brings the garden to you. This program is designed to enhance the school curriculum. Using the natural environment around your school yard, it provides opportunities to incorporate science, math, language arts, and other educational subjects into one trip. The UT Gardens can even offer your school ideas on how to design, create, and maintain your own school garden. These sessions can be set up to accommodate a specific class or several classes at once. Cost: $5 per student.

Click here for more information on our School Programming.

Home Grown Program - UT Gardens Knoxville

The UT Gardens provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your home school program with a fun and educational hands-on session each month October thru April! . Because many home school families have children of all ages, these sessions are designed to meet the educational needs of children grades K-5. Each session will have a garden theme and will include activities that touch on science, math, and reading. Pre-registration is required. Cost: $5 per student (per session).

These classes are finished for the semester, but they will start up again in September. You can sign up to receive an email concerning our educational programming.


ACS logoThe UT Gardens was named a Conifer Reference Garden by the American Conifer Society. Initiated in 2007, the ACS Southeast Region offers its support for public conifer gardens in the Southeast Region. Reference Gardens offer plant professionals and the home gardener an opportunity to see live conifers in a planted setting illustrating their unique color, shapes and growth habits.

UT Horticulturist Named Contributor to Top Gardening Magazine

Institute of Agriculture horticulturist and research associate Jason Reeves is the newest contributing editor to Fine Gardening magazine. According to Fine Gardening editor Steve Aitken, Reeves was selected for his plant expertise and his commitment to providing useful, accurate information to hands-in-the-dirt gardeners.


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