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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.

Classes and Workshops - UT Gardens Knoxville


Garden Sprouts: Fantastic Flower Pots- Tuesday, Jan. 13, 10 - 11:30 am. This class is for children ages 3-5. How do flowers grow and why do pots have holes? This class will answer these questions and more. Pre-schoolers will decorate their own flower pots to take home and use. Cost: $5/member; $10/nonmember

Home Grown: Garden Planning- Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1 - 3 pm. This class is for home-school groups. It may be cold outside, but it's never too early to start planning your garden. Students will practice math, geometry, and a little science as they plan and design their home garden for the next growing season. Cost: $5/student

Adult Workshop: Hypertufa Troughs- Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 am - noon. Make unique garden containers using simple, inexpensive ingredients. These stone-like containers are durable and lighter in weight than ceramic containers of the same size. Participants will make their own hypertufa trough to take home and use. Cost: $30/member; $40/nonmember

Growing Together: Insect Hotel, an Artful Habitat for Beneficial Insects - Saturday, Jan. 31, 1 - 3 pm. Growing organically is a popular trend. Learning how to manage pests using beneficial insects is one important component of gardening organically. This class will explore some beneficial insects and how to attract them to your garden. Participants will build an artful insect hotel to take home. Cost (per family): $30/members; $40/nonmembers


Sunday Garden Talk: Intro to Organic Gardening - Sunday, Feb. 8, 2:30 - 3:30 pm. Growing organically is a popular trend, but it can seem overwhelming to begin. This talk will focus on how to start growing organically. Participants will learn basic techniques to reduce the need for pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, and weed killers in your home garden. Cost: Free/member; $5/nonmember

Garden Sprouts: Carnivorous Plants - Tuesday, Feb. 10, 10 - 11:30 am. This class is for children ages 3-5. Plants that eat animals?! this session will explore the world of plants that attract and kill insects. Preschoolers will get to look at several carnivorous plants and learn how to care for them. Participants will also learn good local sources for buying their own carnivorous plant. Cost: $5/member; $10/nonmember

Home Grown: Water Conservation - Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1 - 3 pm. This class is for home-school groups. Students will learn about the water cycle and why it's important to conserve water. They will learn how to set up a home rain barrel, and explore engineering as we look at how to optimize rain barrels installed in the UT Gardens. Cost: $5/student

Growing Together: Toad Abodes - Saturday, Feb. 28, 10 - noon. Toads need a place to sleep. This class will explore the world of toads. Participants will create their own toad abode to take home and place in their garden. Cost (per family): $10/members; $20/nonmembers


Adult Workshop: Intro to Garden Photography - Saturday, Mar. 7, 10 am - noon. With the invention of smart phones, almost anyone can take great photos. This class will explore basics of photo composition and will touch on the use of traditional and non-traditional cameras. Using the garden as a backdrop, participants will get to practice and sharpen their photography skills. Cost: $10/member; $20/nonmember

Sunday Garden Talk: Spring Flowers - Sunday, Mar. 8, 2:30 - 3:30 pm. Spring is just around the corner. Come and learn about flowers that bloom early in the UT Gardens. If weather permits, we will spend time outside exploring what is or is about to be in bloom in the garden. Cost: Free/member; $5/nonmember

Garden Sprouts: Toads & Frogs - Tuesday, Mar. 10, 10 - 11:30 am. This class is for children ages 3-5. Toads are not frogs, and frogs are not toads. This class will take a look at these two amphibians and how they might live in your garden. Participants will create a toad abode to take home and place in their garden. Cost: $10/member; $20/nonmember

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


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 Stiff-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

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.

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





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