Fresh flowers, workshops and garden tours are coming up at the fourth annual Southern Blooms Festival at Rock City Gardens May 4-6, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. This premiere garden event includes demonstrations, special vendors, book signings, music and a garden series honoring Rock City’s original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter.
Special daily promotions in honor of Rock City’s 80th Anniversary include Friday, May 4, all 19, 32 and 80-year-olds get in for free (based on 1932 being Rock City’s opening year and its 80th Anniversary); Saturday, May 5, every 80th person gets in free; and Sunday, May 6, the first 80 people pay only 80 cents.
This year’s Southern Blooms includes a new local food element mixed with great southern culture and speakers like Virginia Willis (www.virginiawillis.com) to lead a cold food prep workshop on Saturday. Willis is author of Bon Appetit, Y’all! and former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television.
HGTV’s Erica Glasener (www.ericaglasener.com) & GPT’s Walter Reeves (www.walterreeves.com) return to this year’s event on Sunday for a workshop on beautiful and edible gardens: Getting the Most out of Your Garden. All three workshop guests are scheduled for book signings after each demo.
Morning group tours of Rock City Gardens are being offered daily at 9 a.m., led by Rock City’s Director of Horticulture George Schimpf and Chattanooga’s Master Gardeners (limited space available). Coca-Cola is also sponsoring a “Build-Your-Own Rain Barrel” workshop each day. Local artisans and vendors are onsite as well, including Tangerina’s (www.tangerinasonline.com) featuring fun and functional artwork from recycled and reclaimed materials.
As Rock City continues its community partnerships with each special event and festival, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (www.chattfoodbank.org) is a featured community partner during Southern Blooms. Georgia Winery is also onsite as a new concessionaire and is offering a “Southern Blooms Blush Wine.”
Check out the full event schedule at www.seerockcity.com/southernblooms.
Rock City Gardens opened to the public on May 21, 1932, and has been helping visitors “make memories worth repeating” for the past 80 years! Since the iconic barn advertising campaign began in 1936, travelers have come from around the globe to “See Rock City”. From the German-inspired fairytale characters in Mother Goose Village to the more recent additions of annual events, enhancements are always being made to improve the experience along the Enchanted Trail. 2012 includes a new venue at Lover’s Leap, audio tours, a continuation of an art initiative with a new installation and much, much more! Visit www.SeeRockCity.com/anniversary.