Southern Spring at Cheekwood Botanic Garden

From Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee spring changes quite drastically. Where spring was just beginning in Chicago, spring was in full force in Nashville where the world was alive with birds singing and colorful flowers and trees blooming in the streets and in Cheekwood Botanic Garden.

The Cheekwood Botanic Garden was originally a private estate that belonged to the Cheek family, who came to their money through the development and sale of Maxwell House coffee– then Cheek-Neal coffee. The family hired acclaimed landscape architect Bryant Fleming to design the entirety of their estate, which was completed in 1932. In 1950 the family offered their home as a botanic garden and museum, which opened to the public in 1960. The garden is 55 acres, which consists of the art museum, the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail, the Robertson Ellis Color Garden, the Carell Dogwood Garden, and the Japanese Garden among others. If you would like to see the full extent of the garden, click here to see an interactive map.

While I was in Nashville, I was just in time to see “Cheekwood in Bloom” where the garden claims to have 100,000 tulips in every color variety as well as many kinds of daffodils, magnolias, redbuds, and dogwoods. The tulips were planted throughout the landscaping and looked like a field of brightly colored skittles. The dogwoods were in full bloom and looked like clouds come to the ground.

Despite the fact I came to Cheekwood to see the flowers and gardens, favorite place in the garden was found on the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail. It’s an interactive work called “Blue Pesher,” which is meant to be an interpretive commentary on the heavens” by James Turrell. “Blue Pesher” is a bunker-like structure where the viewer sits inside a white chamber and ponders the opening to the sky, the light within the chamber, and the black, raked sand at the center. It was a work that was so well integrated into the garden that I never would have known it was there if it wasn’t for an unassuming blue sign in front of it. It was a great place to meditate on not only the work, but also the beauty of the garden around me.

Take a look through my gallery to see my favorite moments from my walk through Cheekwood Botanical Garden.

Do you have questions about my visit to the Cheekwood Botanical Garden? Are you looking to plan a trip? Or do you just have questions about your indoor and outdoor plant babies?  If you’d like to know more about my trip or if you have questions about your plant babies, leave a comment below or feel free to contact The Garden Generalist. I would love to hear from you!

Want to stay in touch with The Garden Generalist? Would you like to keep up with my visits to gardens across the country? Keep checking the blog for more features, and don’t forget to visit The Garden Generalist on instagram for sneak peeks of my garden visits. Next up are my favorite gardens thus far: the Desert Botanic Garden, Tucson Botanic Garden, and Saguaro National Park.


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