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Tour stunning private gardens in Knoxville through Dogwood Arts’ series

By Hannah Moore,


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As winter begins to come to a close, Dogwood Arts is giving the public a look inside two private gardens.

The winter-featured gardens offer people a “view of the bones and structures of each garden.” Visitors to each garden will be able to see many varieties of snowdrops, daffodils, wood hyacinths, and other flowering bulbs.

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The event runs from March 17-19, 2023. Savage Garden in Fountain City and Dr. Jimmy Milan’s garden in Holston Hills are featured in the event. Tours through the gardens are self-guided, but for those seeking more information Master Gardeners and Dogwood Arts staff will be on-site to answer questions. On Friday and Saturday, the gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“The owners clearly are passionate about gardening and many of the people who visit are passionate gardeners as well. So, it’s a lot of fun for those of us who love gardening to go see what people who are really spectacular at it know how to do,” said Vicki Baumgartner, the trails and gardens manager for Dogwood Arts.

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Savage Garden was created by Arthur Savage following a visit to his native England. He built stone walls, ponds, arbors, and multiple follies for the garden. Dogwood Arts shared that he became known as “the father of rock gardening in Knoxville.” The garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The garden is quirky and eclectic, combining multiple themes. Although the main arbors and pagoda reflect a Japanese influence, the latter is topped with a “Dutch Girl” weather vane and there are two “Irish” water towers. After many years of extensive restoration, including rebuilding stone walls and borders, constructing faithful copies of the original arbors and gates, and planting thousands of trees, shrubs, and perennials, Savage Garden is once again the kind of magical place envisioned by Arthur Savage” reads a release from Dogwood Arts about the garden.

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Dr. Jimmy Milan’s Garden was inspired by Milan’s trips to Great Britain and Ireland. Dogwood Arts said it offers an escape for visitors with its stone walkways, boxwood hedges, lush foliage of hostas and ferns beneath the dogwood trees, and an outdoor room for entertaining.

“This is a lovely woodland-type garden that he’s created with his own two hands over 20 years,” said Baumgartner. “We saw photos yesterday of when he just began and it was just a lawn and now the whole back property is beautifully landscaped.”

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A $5 donation per garden is also suggested. On-site parking at each garden is limited as they are at private residences. Guests will be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition, comfortable or hiking shoes are recommended for the paths within the gardens. Click here to learn more about the event.

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