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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.

Spring Plant Sale - UT Gardens Knoxville


Saturday, April 11th from 9:00am - 2:00pm
A preview sale will be held Friday, April 10th from 4:00 - 7:00pm
for all UT employees, garden volunteers, and Friends of the Gardens members. Friends receive a 10% discount on their purchases at the preview and the public sales. Memberships may be renewed or purchased at the sale.

A Plant Sale Not to Be Missed!
Come and shop for some unique and cutting-edge plants for your garden. There will be a variety of hostas, herbs, edibles, perennials, trees and shrubs to choose from. (Check back for a list as the sale date nears.)

NEW This Year - Meet the Author (Saturday only)
Special guest, John Tullock will have copies of his new book Idiot's Guides: Vegetable Gardening available for sale and he will speak about spring veggies a couple of times during the sale (see scheduled times below).

NEW This Year - Mini Education Sessions (Saturday only)

Stop by the education tent to learn from the experts! We will be offering brief informational sessions throughout the day on plants available at the sale.

  • 9:00-9:15 - Tahitian Treasure Rose (James Newburn)
  • 9:45-10:00 - Spring Veggies (John Tullock)
  • 10:30-10:45 - Hostas (Andy Pulte)
  • 11:15-11:30 - Blueberries (Holly Jones)
  • 12:00-12:15 - Spring Veggies (John Tullock)
  • 12:45-1:00 - Flower Garden Design (Sue Hamilton)
  • 1:30-1:45 - Hostas (Andy Pulte)

All proceeds will benefit the UT Gardens. The sale will be located at the UT Gardens on the UT agriculture campus in Knoxville located on Neyland Drive adjacent to the UT Veterinary Hospital.

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 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

What's Growing and Showing at UT Gardens Crossville?

On an early-August walk through Plateau Discovery Gardens, Master Gardener Rae Hozer found lots to photograph in the themed gardens.

Click here for a virtual tour.

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